The proper steps to take when beginning to invest in stocks


There are several items one will want to look into prior to investing in stocks including understanding whether to choose an individual stock or fund, select an account with low fees and useful tools, identify your budget, conduct research before purchasing a stock or fund, and figure out whether one intends on investing for the short or long term. Equity index funds allow the investor to purchase a small piece of multiple companies with just one transaction such as a Standard and Poor’s 500 fund. Individual stock purchases focus on a single company. If one focuses on single company, it is best to diversify the portfolio so if one sector suffers one will not lose their entire investment.


Choosing an account is as simple as signing up with an online broker. Stocks, bonds, Roth IRAs, and ETFs can be bought via online with brokers such as TD Ameritrade and OptionsHouse. These brokers are advantageous as well to the new investor since customer support, educational resources, and stock trading platforms are available for use. The funds needed to open an account vary, yet one will want to determine the type of stocks or funds to invest in since the price for each varies. Smaller budgets favor investing in an ETF while those with a bit more supplemental income to invest may want to go with a mutual or an index fund. Either way, researching an investment is important, namely any recent news, annual reports, past performance, or analyst ratings on the companies of interest. Regardless of the rout one turns, stick to a game plan and be prepared for the daily price fluctuation caused by news and general market turmoil. If a single stock is causing too much stress, try an equity index or ETF so the price changes are not so drastic.


Before moving into your initial investment, be certain that one has six months of savings. Once this has been accomplished, try one of the many trading apps available such as Robinhood, Stash, or Acorns. Robinhood permits the user to purchase stock free of charge, and one can open an account for just a few hundred dollars. Stash and Acorns permits the investor to own stock using their spare change. For instance, five dollars permits one to own a percentage of a mix of stocks and bonds in a diversified portfolio. Stock research is offered free of charge at Betterment and Wealthfront. Computer models are utilized to figure out the portfolio mix that would be the best option based upon the investor’s age, income, goals, and tax situation. Frankly, it is tough since there over 2,300 stocks to choose from in the New York Stock Exchange alone.


There are a couple of manners in which one can earn a profit when investing in a stock including via a dividend or by selling your shares at a greater price than what they were initially purchased at. Dividends are typically dispersed quarterly and are a good way to generate a consistent stream of income. It is beneficial to invest in a company that one understands the business they are involved in. The knowledge one has in the type of business is beneficial when deciphering how well the company is performing. Look for companies to invest in that have a competitive advantage over their competition such as Amazon which has turned shipping and delivery into an art form. Once a company is decided upon to invest in, it is a good idea to start out buying a small position and use any remaining funds on other stocks so as to diversify your holdings.


Six Investment Tips For Beginners


Investing in the stock market is a great way to build wealth over time. The following are six tips and principles beginning investors can follow to be successful while making modest investments in the stock market.


  1. Set Long-Term Goals


Few people make money quickly on the stock market. Most successful investors make regular investments, avoid unnecessary financial risk and let their investment dollars grow over a period of years or decades. That’s the safest way to make money on the stock market. People looking to get rich quick on the stock market tend to lose their money. The stock market can be volatile, however, over the long term people that make wise picks and hold them for a long time tend to make money. The size of your investment, your net annual earnings and the length of time you leave it will determine how much money your investment makes.


  1. Understand Your Risk Tolerance


Risk tolerance means how much risk you are comfortable taking with your money. Younger people are usually willing to take more risks with their money because they feel they have more time to make it back. Older people and people with limited resources tend to be more conservative with their investments. Once you decide how much risk you’re willing to take with your money you’ll be able to better decide if you prefer investing in relatively safe stocks and making small but steady returns, or making high risk high reward investments.


  1. Control Your Emotions


People that cannot control their emotions and make logical investment decisions tend to lose money in the stock market. The short-term value of stocks tend to be driven by emotions, rumors, hopes, fears, and speculation, rather than systematic analysis and logic. Being able to remain calm and consider all the facts tends to lead to good investment decisions. When you invest in a stock you should understand why you did so, and at what point you will liquidate your assets. That’s called your exit strategy. And you should execute your exit strategy unemotionally when the time is right.


  1. Handle Basics First


Learn the basic rules about the stock market before you begin investing. This includes financial definitions and metrics like P/E ratio, return on equity, earnings per share and compound annual growth rate and how they are calculated. Learn about Stock Selection and Timing, fundamental and technical analyses, Stock Market Order Types and Investment Accounts including cash accounts and margin accounts. You should also learn about how margins are calculated and the difference between initial margin requirements and maintenance margin requirements.


  1. Diversify Your Investments


You can diversify your investments by purchasing stocks in different companies, different industries and even in different countries. This helps to ensure one bad event won’t wipe out all your investments. It also enables you to get dividends from several different companies and recover if one or more of your investments loses money.


  1. Avoid Leverage


Leverage means borrowing money so you can execute your desired stock market strategy. Banks and brokerage firms loan people with margin accounts money to buy stocks, usually for 50% of the stock’s purchase value. If the stock goes up you get 50% of the profit. If it goes down, you lose your money and you owe the bank or brokerage firm money plus interest.


Making investments in the stock market can help to grow your money over time if you save consistently, invest time to learn about investing, manage your risk and are patient. The younger you are when you begin the better your chances of success.