Alright, so you’ve decided you want to take a shot at buying and trading stocks. The only problem is, you really don’t know how. Where should you begin? And do you even know what a stock is and the significance of stock for companies?
A stock is actually partial ownership of a company. Some companies consider stocks as certificates so the more stock a person owns of the company, the larger portion of the company they own. Along with owning a bigger part of the company, they also have greater influence in running the company. This influence is referred to as equity investment.
There are other important terms you should become familiar with before getting into the stock market. Get to know about leverage, price-earnings ratio, earnings per share, margins and options before you dive in and invest your hard-earned money.
Next you need to figure out where and how to purchase those stocks. Basically, there are two ways you can purchase stocks:
1. through a brokerage service
2. through online exchanges
Online exchanges let investors have access to stocks from all around the globe. Without the need for a broker, investors can purchase and sell stocks online. Some banks also give you the ability to set up your own stock portfolio. You can use the money you have invested with these banks to purchase and sell stocks online right away.
Brokers render brokerage services and they are the middlemen who do the work on your behalf. Brokers give advice, research the current stock market and buy and sell stocks in accordance with the requests of their clients. From buying and selling these stocks, the brokers earn a commission.
When you decide on how you prefer to purchase and sell stocks, you need to open an account. Exchanges will allow you to monitor and control your individual stock portfolio yourself. If you decide to enter into the stock trade with a bank, discuss the specifics of setting up your own account with the bank you choose. For conducting trades through a broker, you need to find a reputable broker to deal with and then ask them to open and manage your account.
Once you set up an account successfully, start studying the stock market to plan your strategy. Do you want to be conservative when making investments? Do you like to aggressively invest? How many investing years do you have? Are you a day trader or will you be investing on a long term basis?
When you determine your personal plan, do your research on the current stocks offered in the market. If you have a broker, it becomes easier because they do much of the research for you. However, it is still best to study the market on your own.
Remember, the stock market is a volatile place so be ready for explosive activity when trading and buying stocks. Like life, there are many ups and downs before you reach your goals.