Making an investment in the stock market is something many people will do at some time in their lifetime. There are steps you can take to learn more about your choices, minimize your risk, create a diversified portfolio and generally, invest with more confidence. Here are some tips that will help you to intelligently navigate the world of the stock market.
Do not blindly follow the recommendations of your investment broker without doing some due diligence of your own. Ensure that the investment is registered with the SEC and find some background information on the way that the investment has performed in the past. There have been instances of fraud whereby the information presented by the broker was fabricated.
Remember that stock prices are reflections of earnings. In the short term immediate future, market behavior will flucutuate depending on news and rumor and the emotional responses to those, ranging from enthusiasm to panic. In the longer term picture however, company earnings over time wind up determining whether a stock price rises or falls.
When the stock market takes a dip, do not distress. Instead, look at the fall as an opportunity to purchase stocks at bargain prices. Many smart investors have made fortunes this way, because the market will inevitably rise again. Being able to see past the doom and gloom can be very profitable.
A great tip that most investors could use is to make a rule where you automatically sell off your stocks if they go down in value by about 8% of the original stock price. Lots of times’ stockholders are praying for a rebound that never comes, and they end up losing even more money.
Before delving into the stock market, you should have a basic knowledge about stocks. Stocks, which are also called shares, are segments of a company which people may purchase. So when you own a company’s stock, you actually own a piece of the company. When it comes to shares, there are two different types: common shares and preferred shares. In terms of investments, common shares are the riskiest.
Figure out if you want to use a brokerage to purchase stocks, or if you want to buy right from a Direct Investment Plan or Dividend Reinvestment plan. If you do not think, you can afford a brokerage, there are many discount brokerages available. Just be aware that some companies do not offer a Direct Investment Plan.
If you are saving for retirement, keep in mind that your portfolio mix will adjust over time. It is recommended that young savers start with 80% of their portfolio in aggressive stocks and then, move one percentage point a year into more conservative assets, as these savers get older. This gradually shifts the portfolio towards safety, while still leaving plenty of room for growth and compounding.
Avoid investing in too much of your employer’s stock. It is okay to have a little of your company’s stock in your portfolio, however, it should not be the majority of your portfolio. Like any other stock in your portfolio, you don’t want to depend too heavily on any one; you want to diversify so that if any one stock falters, you don’t face losing all of your wealth.
Check your portfolio regularly for winners and losers. Water the winners with reinvestment and weed out the losers by pulling them. If you cash out your earnings from the winners and ignore the weeds, the weeds will grow and eventually be the only thing you have left in your portfolio. Any money not needed for five years should be in your portfolio.
As odd as it may seem, when it comes to the stock market, it pays to go against what everyone else is doing. Statistically, the majority of people are often wrong and chances are, if you put your money where everyone else’s is, you are going to end up losing a lot of money.
If your employer offers any kind of match to your retirement contributions, such as 401k, invest up to that level of match. If they match dollar for dollar up to 5%, invest 5%. If they match one dollar for every two up to 3%, invest the needed 6%. Not doing so leaves free money on the table, which is among the worst mistakes you can make in investing.
The greatest piece of advice that any stock trader can use, is to leave your emotions at the door. When trading stocks, it is important that you trade with your head, instead of your heart. Often times, beginner traders find themselves attached to a particular stock for whatever reason. It is important that you realize that your emotions cannot get involved.
Have a game plan and generally, stick with it. Many individuals buy a stock with the plan of sitting tight on it for a period of five or ten years. As soon as something goes sour in the market, those same individuals turn around and immediately sell. While selling is sometimes the smart way to go, if you sell every time your stock takes a bit of a nose dive, you will see more of a loss than you will see a gain. If you instead remain strong, and stick to your game plan, you will often see a greater amount of success in the long run.
Do not start trading until you have a good understanding of how the stock market functions. Take a few weeks to read about trading, join a seminar or take a class to learn how to invest your money smartly and manage your stocks like a professional. Think of your education as an investment.
If you have a broker, and you disagree with something that he says there is nothing wrong with that. You always have the power to disagree considering it is your money that is at risk. Be wise and do not disagree with a broker that has made you a lot of money in the past.
These suggestions should help you to become a more savvy investor. While there’s no guarantee you’ll become the next stock market mogul, a better understanding of investment basics will go a long way in making smart money decisions. Here’s hoping all your future investment choices will result in a healthy return!