Keep in mind that investing should not be treated lightly. Banks treat stock market investing seriously and so should you. Even though one may first think of the stock market as gambling, it is more serious than that. Take the time to understand thoroughly everything about the companies that you are investing.
If your job security is ever volatile or threatened, investing in a Roth IRA is a good safety net. Anyone who is unemployed for a period succeeding three months can apply their Roth funds towards paying for their health insurance, without any withdrawal or tax penalties from the government. While doing so does hurt your retirement portfolio, it can keep you healthy and looking for work, so that it can be filled back up.
Start with a small investment into one stock. It is wise that you do not spend all your money in the stock market. If you find that the stock you chose turns out to earn you profit, then you can slowly start investing more and more. Investing too much at once increases your chances of losing large sums of money.
Invest at a time when the market is down. The saying "sell high, and buy low" is right on target. You can find bargains when you buy stocks during this time, since everyone has already sold off what they wanted. Buying at a time when the market is low sets the stage for long-term growth you can profit from.
A general tip that all beginners should use is to avoid buying stocks that cost less than $15 per share. When starting out, you generally don't want to invest in companies that aren't leading their field and those companies that are, are most definitely going to cost much more than $15 a share.
Try to choose stocks capable of bringing in profits above those generally achieved by the market as a whole, because an index fund would be able to give you at least that much of a return. To figure the potential stock return, add the dividend yield to the growth rate of projected earnings. Stocks yielding 4% and which have a 10% earnings growth rate may produce a return of 14%.
Rebalance your portfolio quarterly. If you started with an 80/20 mix of stocks and bonds, the stocks will likely outpace the bonds, leaving you 90/10. Rebalance to 80/20 so that you can reinvest your stock earnings into bonds. This way you keep more of your swing trading earnings over the long run. Also rebalance among stock sectors, so that growing sectors can fuel buying opportunities in bear cycle industries.
When looking at the price of a stock, make sure your mind remains open. One rule of math that you can't avoid is that the higher priced an asset is, the harder it often is to generate a high return on that asset on a percentage basis. If a stock is worth $50 one week, you may not want to buy it until its price declines to $30 the next week.
Be prepared to wait it out. When you are investing in stocks, be prepared to leave them alone for a minimum of five years. Make sure that you are able to manage without that money, as it is the only way you will see a good profit. If the market starts to do poorly, try to remain levelheaded, and understand that just as the market goes down, it will rebound, but it takes time.
Consider investing in index mutual funds. These funds buy and hold the stocks of the companies that comprise one of the major stock indices. These funds allow you the chance to capitalize on the returns of the overall stock market, without excessive fees or sector risk. These funds also require very little maintenance or attention.
Do not unrealistically hold on to losing positions. Your refusal to sell stocks, even if you are experiencing numerous losses, because you are hoping that they turn around, is going to cost you a lot in the long run. Cut your losses, sell your stock and move on to better investments.
To be successful in stock market investing, it is essential to read widely. Practice reading annual reports and understand how basic accounting methods are used to display company information. Look up unfamiliar terms in a good online glossary. Empowering yourself with investment information can go a long way in increasing your success.