The stock market welcomes newcomers with open arms, but you should take precautions before jumping in with both feet. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds - all these can be lucrative sources of income if you know how the trading market works. These beginner tips can help you get started in the right direction for stock market success.
Common Types of Stocks and Investments
You can buy stocks in a variety of ways based on your financial situation, the risks you want to take, and your goals for the future. The two main types of stocks available are common stock and preferred stock. Common stock means having equity in a corporation. Preferred stock means the investor has equity that resembles both common stock and bonds, with a fixed percentage of the face value as its dividends. The prices of preferred stocks rise when interest rates fall, and vice versa.
Stocks are also categorized as mutual funds, penny stocks, growth stocks, value stocks, income stocks, and blue chip stocks. Mutual funds are securities that are diversified among many companies to reduce risk levels. You can buy stock in several companies with only one purchase or initial investment amount. Blue chip stocks are investments in well-established companies, which offer more stability due to the company's successful track record. Penny stocks are risky, low priced stocks that are traded outside of a major exchange, or "over the counter."
Stocks paying high dividends over a period of years are called income stocks. Growth stocks increase as a business grows and can also yield a high return. Value stocks are stocks that are bought while under-valued with the expectation that they will grow in the long term.
A bond is a type of investment that has a maturity date, at which time the investor receives a set amount of money. The amount is usually $1,000 per bond. There are corporate bonds, which are backed by a company, and U.S. Treasury bonds (T-bonds), which are backed by the U.S. government.
Forex trading is a form of stock trading in which a person invests in currencies, not companies. Currency trading can produce high yielding stocks as one nation's currency surpasses another in value, and it can be traded day or night through online resources.
How to Buy Stocks
Before buying stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, learn how each works and the amount of risk involved. Learn the basic principles of the stock market - how you can earn money, and how you can lose money based on the stock market's patterns. Develop a mentality for long-term goals and success, not only short-term wealth. The stock market, if worked right, can bring both short-term and long-term financial freedom.
Use the services of a stockbroker to buy stocks if possible. They do charge quite a bit, but can offer you the guidance you need as a beginner in the stock market. They can also manage your account for you, which is a huge time saver. If you have limited funds, there are also discount brokers (especially online) who might not offer full service, but can help you get started. You can also invest directly into companies with DRIP plans, or direct investment plans.
How to Pick Stocks
Pick your stocks carefully. Don't place all your hopes and dreams - and dollars - into one company. Diversify your investment among several companies. Buy stocks in well-established companies so you can afford to take a risk with a new company occasionally. Buy some mutual funds, which are less risky, for long-term growth. Diversifying your stock investments will help balance your portfolio and reduce your risk. Also, follow stock news carefully to find out which companies are steady in their earnings and which brand new companies have the most potential. Education is pertinent if you want to be successful with stocks.
Whether investing in stocks paying high dividends or mutual funds, approach the stock market slowly and carefully before buying stocks. Consider the stock market as any other business, with potential risks and rewards. You can easily use online resources to study the stock market and learn how it works. Go online today to start building your stock market portfolio!