STOCK MARKET BASICS FOR BEGINNERS - ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
By Brian John Njenga
Rookie stock market investors are those who only possess a relatively rudimentary knowledge and experience in the investing sphere. Most of these individuals usually commence by sticking to a 'buy and hold' trading strategy. As a beginner, your general experience in stock market investment trading is very limited. This, for the most part, confines you to making no more than a couple of trades perhaps on a monthly basis from a cash account. However, this does not necessary signify that you have not placed high expectations on your stock market trading activities. You most likely are very interested in expanding your knowledge as well as investment experience in order to realize the objectives you may have set. This is all nice and good.
Nevertheless, most beginners are generally totally ignorant on the exact time investment and devotion required in investing and trading. This makes a large number of them to be extremely susceptible of initiating failed investments. The kind of stock market investments which are based purely on instincts and hearsay, rather than investments that are based on actual research.
Most rookies usually comprehend the notion of buying low and then selling high. Still, they are very prone to letting their emotions guide their actions, the moment a trade or investment has been made. As a result, many of them can desperately cling to securities resulting in substantial losses. Mind you, even when the exact reasons that drove them to make the initial investment in a particular security become untenable. As such, most of them find themselves hoping or anticipating that a 'losing' stock will be able to recover for them to be in a good position of getting back even. In the event higher prices emerge, these beginners then opt to pull out way to soon. This normally prompts them to sell their stocks at break even or perhaps after they have only realized insignificant profits.
Generally speaking, it is always tough for rookies to discern a forest from just trees. Also, they find it hard to recognize if the future prospects of any particular security are auspicious, even if the short term trading trends are not volatile. Beginners are normally successful during strong 'bull' markets. But unfortunately find themselves clueless on tougher occasions, especially when market volatility is higher and 'bears' happen to rule. Well, if you deeply feel you fit this description to the T, here then are some stock market investment basics for beginners, which could be useful.
Make it a point to set realistic trading objectives
Before you decide to make your very first investment, try to ask yourself the following questions. "At what point will you require the money you have invested?" "Will it be after 6 months, a year, 5 years or perhaps much longer?", "Are you trying to lay a nest egg for your sunset years?", "Are seeking to obtain the necessary funds to finance your college education or perhaps seeking money to buy a home?" "On the other hand, do wish to establish an estate that you want to leave for your beneficiaries upon your demise?"
Whichever the case, prior to making any investment, you ought to fully determine your primary driving motivation. When you have ascertained this critical point, next consider the most likely time in the future you might stand in need of the funds you wish to invest. Should you require your investment back within just a couple of years, then it will be much better to consider another investment channel. It is very important for you to fully understand that the stock market with its volatility can offer no guarantee on just when your investment will be made available.
Accordingly, you should always make it a point to calculate beforehand how much cash you wish to invest and what kind of ROI you may deem suitable to realize your trading objectives. As a rule of thumb, always recall that the eventual growth of your stock market portfolio relies on 3 interdependent factors. These are the exact capital you decide to invest, the amount of yearly earnings on your investment. And lastly, the exact number of years you wish to invest your capital in the stock markets.
Take the necessary time to effectively determine your risk tolerance
Risk tolerance happens to be a psychological attribute, which is genetically oriented. Yet, it can still be significantly influenced by factors such as education, income or even wealth. The moment all these factors increase in value, risk tolerance also tends to rise. Basically, your exact level of risk tolerance can be accurately described as how you feel about any risk you make. As well as the exact level of anxiety you tend to experience whenever you decide to undertake risky ventures. Take your time to ask yourself, "Can I risk $100 to gain $1,000 or perhaps $1000 to gain $1,000?"
It is vital for you to fully understand that all people possess varying levels of risk tolerance. This certainly means that there is no such thing as 'right balance' in this given issue.
At the same time, risk tolerance can generally be influenced with the exact 'perception' of the risk an individual is contemplating to take. This given concept of risk tolerance is then the most accurate when it comes to stock market investmentt or trading. As you become well conversant with the basics of trading, you will find that the idea of the risks involved in such matters is generally lesser. This includes having an excellent understanding of how to buy and sell stocks, assessing market volatility (price changes). Along with the ease or difficulties of liquidating stock market investments.
This usually leads to a lessening of the overall anxiety you are bound to experience when you trade or invest in the stock market, due to your 'perception' of the risks involved. So, by taking the necessary time to fully understand your exact risk tolerance, you will be able to avoid trading in investments you dread. Ideally, you should not invest in an asset which has the potential to cause you sleepless nights. Anxiety triggers fear that in its turn prompts an emotional response to the stressor. By always retaining a cool head during stock market uncertainty, you will be able to adhere to an 'unemotional' decision-making process in your stock market activities.
Make it a habit to keep off your emotions from your investments
By far the largest obstacle quite a large number of beginners have to routinely face is their inability to regulate their emotions and proceed to make logical decisions. In the short term, the prices of company stocks correspond with the combined emotions of the whole investment community. When most stock market investors happen to be anxious about a particular firm, its stock prices will be bound to take a plunge. Alternatively, when most traders possess a positive perspective to a firm, its stock prices will naturally rise.
Those individuals who retain a negative perspective about the stock market are known as 'bears'. While those that have positive outlooks to the same are known as 'bulls.' During market hours, the unceasing struggle between bulls and bears is usually reflected on the constantly fluctuating securities' prices. These short term fluctuations generally arise from rumors, speculations and in some cases even hope. All of these factors can be rightly labeled as been emotions. Effective stock market investment necessitates a logical and systematic analysis of a company's assets, management and future prospects.
At this juncture, it is important for you to remember that stock market prices can move in contrast to most expectations. For the inexperienced, this can fuel insecurity and tension. At such moments, you will find yourself faced with a dilemma - "Should you sell your position to prevent a loss?", "Or should you continue maintaining your position in the hope that the prices will ultimately rebound?" Even in the occasions that prices perform as you expected, you will still find yourself facing troubling questions. "Should you take a profit now prior to the prices falling?", "Or should you maintain your position as the prices could rise even higher?"
Dealing with all these perplexing thoughts can trigger a lot of worry, particularly if you constantly monitor the prices of the securities you trade in. This emotion can eventually prompt you take certain actions. As your emotions are the main motivation, it is mostly likely your action will be wrong. When you buy a stock, you should only do so for valid reasons. Also, you should have realistic expectations of exactly how the prices will perform if your guiding reasons prove to be accurate. Finally, before investing in any stock, always take time to determine the exact point you will liquidate your holdings, especially if your reasons are proven wrong. All in all, always have an appropriate 'exit' strategy prior to purchasing any stock, and make it a point to execute it unemotionally.
Make it your business to comprehensively learn about the basics of stock market investment
Prior to making your very first stock market investment or trade, make sure that you fully understand all the basics of stock market together with the individual securities which make them up. Below are some of the most pertinent areas you will be obliged to be well conversant with before commencing any stock market activities.
To begin with, take time to understand the exact financial metrics as well as definition that are utilized in stock market trading. Some of the most notable of which are P/E ratio, earnings / share, return on equity and compound annual growth rate. Take you time to fully grasp how these metrics are usually calculated. It is important to state that been in a position of effectively contrasting just how companies use these metrics is essential in any successful stock market investment operations.
Next you should learn all about the most popular techniques of stock selection and timing. To this end, you should make it a point to understand how fundamental and technical analysis can be executed. More importantly, just how they vary and when it is appropriate to use them in a stock market trading strategy. You should also be well conversant with the different types of stock market orders. Take all the time you require to fully comprehend just how market orders, limit orders, stop market orders, stop limit orders and trailing stop loss orders vary from each other.
Finally, you should make it a point to learn all you can on the different kinds of stock market investment accounts which are made available. You perhaps are well conversant with cash accounts that are arguably the most prevalently used by stock market investors. Nevertheless, what are known as margin accounts are by regulations, required when you wish to make some specific types of stock market trades. So, make sure you fully understand how margin accounts can be calculated. You should also find out about the exact differences between initial and maintenance margin accounts prerequisites.
Make it a point to diversify your stock market investments
The moment you have performed all the necessary research that helps you determine and even quantify risk, making the decision to diversify your stock market portfolio can be a very shrewd step. The same is also the case, when you are totally 'comfortable' that you will be able to pinpoint any potential danger which might jeopardize your position in a stress-free manner. In both scenarios, you will be able to liquidate your stock market investments prior to sustaining any dangerous loss.
Therefore, the most prudent means of been able to effectually manage stock market investment risks is to diversify your exposure. You should know that most shrewd stock market investors, make it their business to own stocks from different firms, different sectors and even different nations. The primary driving force which motivates them to do so is the firm guarantee that a single inauspicious event can never influence all their holdings. What all this really boils down to is the undeniable fact that stock diversification can allow to comfortably recover from the loss of a single and even several of your investments.