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.
“Keep it simple” can apply to stock market investment. Reduce your risk by keeping all investment activities, including examining data points, predicting and trading, extremely simple.
Do your research. Before buying any stocks, thoroughly research the company. Study its financial history and how the stocks have performed over the last ten years. Earnings and sales should have increased by 10% over the prior year, and the company’s debt should be less. If you have difficulty understanding the information, talk to a financial advisor or broker with a good track record in stock investing.
When it comes to investing, make sure you’re educated. Learn the basics of accounting and stock market history. If you’re not educated, you won’t be able to make money and you’ll look like a fool. You don’t need a four year accounting degree or anything fancy, but take the time to learn the necessary information.
It is important that you never think of investing as a hobby. It is really an extremely competitive business, and if you keep that in mind you will be able to have a more helpful outlook. You need to deeply understand your profits and losses along with the companies you are investing in.
Keep your day job as long as you can. If you reinvest your yields from dividend stocks instead of cashing them out when paid, you get more shares that produce more dividends the next time around. Even a low-paying dividend stock left alone can create an avalanche of wealth over the decades.
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.
Stocks are only one part of an overall investment strategy. You should also keep liquid assets in an emergency fund that you can withdraw from easily whenever the need arises. It is also possible that your investments may not perform as well as expected. As your wealth grows, keep in mind that you will most likely need to also increase the amount held in your emergency fund.
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.
Choose the best broker for your needs. There are two kinds of brokers, the first being a traditional or ‘full service’ broker. They will work personally with you, offering investment advice and handling your portfolio. The second type is a discount broker who will execute your orders, but won’t offer any sort of advice. While a traditional broker charges a higher commission, they are often the best choice for a first time investor.
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!