Friday, August 3, 2012

The Beginners Guide

Nowadays you can hardly watch the news or read the newspaper without seeing something about the stock market, investing or Wall Street. This sparked the interest of many people who became interested in investing and the stock market. However, there is a lot of confusion about how to become a stock market investor. This article will explain the basics about investing and how you can become a stock market investor.
There are a few important steps you should consider doing before you start beginning investing. These steps will minimize your risks of making bad investment decisions or having financial difficulties in the future.
Set goals
Ask yourself why you want to become a stock market investor and determine your goals. Investing to raise money for your child's education, your retirement or to make enough money to buy a yacht are different reasons and will usually need diverse investment strategies, products and the amount of money you will be investing.
Don't settle for less but make sure you set realistic goals. Planning to marry, having children or buying a house can affect your goals and should be taken in account. If you have a mortgage to pay it will become considerably more difficult to set aside money to invest.
Nonetheless, it is never too late to start saving money for investment purposes. Even a small amount of money can accumulate into a fortune over time.
Research your investment options
After establishing your goals you should research what the best type of investment would be for your goal and situation. If you are living with your parents and hardly have any expenses you can take more risky type of investments than someone who has a family to take care of or a mortgage to pay. Three common types of investments are:
Stocks - By purchasing stocks you receive a partial ownership in a company which pays you a percentage of their profits (dividend). On the other hand, if that company doesn't perform well, the value of your stocks decline and can leave you with a loss.
Bonds - By purchasing bonds you offer a loan to a company or the government which in turn pays you interest on that loan. This type of investment is safer than stocks but usually bring much lower profits.
Mutual funds - In this type of investment you grant a group of professional investors your money. These people invest for several people at once and pay out dividend to the members of the fund. This can be safer than purchasing stocks yourself if you don't have much awareness of the stock market. The downside of this type of investment is that the fund managers also receive a portion of the amount you invested in the fund.
Get help from a professional
After setting goals and researching your options you should prepare to carry out your investment strategy. Working with an (online) broker or brokerage firm can help you to accomplish this. But before choosing a broker you have to consider which one is the most capable for your goals.
If you are confident in your abilities and know exactly what you want, you may prefer an online firm that enables you to invest how and whenever you want to. If you are uncertain in picking stocks and could use more assistance you could look for an experienced brokerage firm that helps you with investing.