Thursday, August 31, 2006

Winning Attitude in Stock Market

Many people often wonder why some make it in the stock market and some don't. They sometimes sigh and say, "They have all the luck, that's why." True enough, luck can be a factor in one's success or failure in the stock market. As most experts will allow, trading at the stock market is very similar to gambling. They both involve a great deal of risk. But unlike gambling, success or failure in the stock market is not solely dependent on luck. It has much to do with two things information and attitude.

Information has much to do with success or failure at the stock market. First of all, information makes stock trading more than just guesswork. Analyzing trends can help investors make educated guesses regarding their investments.

One important aspect that often goes unnoticed is the proper attitude investors must have towards investing. Too often, investors fall prey to the wrong type of attitude in investing. This leads to wrong decisions, and impulsive buying or selling. What are these attitudes, and how should they be avoided?

1. Many Investors Exhibit an Impatient Manner

Unfortunately, many investors get into the mix just because they are under the impression that they could get rich overnight as result of a few investments. This is so far from the truth. In fact, successful portfolios are built over time. Stocks take time to mature and appreciate. If the investor never realizes this, he or she might be looking to make a quick buck. And when he or she is unable to, he or she may become discouraged or may sell his or her shares for a lower price.

2. Many Investors Look to Take the Risk to Be Overnight Millionaires

Warren Buffet, the Wall Street Tycoon has this advice for investors: don't bet all your marbles on stocks that seem to be skyrocketing today. They could crash tomorrow. Buffet confides that he has always built his empire over stocks that were stable and exhibited continued growth over the years. He says that these stocks are preferable to volatile stocks that could crash anytime.

Other investors fail to diversify their portfolios. Depending on how much risk one is willing to take, an investor should divide his or her portfolio into low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk categories, and invest in such stocks. Some people are too risky and put their heads on the guillotine with high risk investments. Others will not risk their necks on any investments. One should choose an attitude that is just right for his or her risk tolerance.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

How Stock Market Price Rises and Falls

Understanding how stock market price rises and falls is similar to understanding the prices of other products in the market. It also follows the law of supply and demand. Price of stocks rise and fall due to the following reasons:

1. Company profit projections and image

A company's growth and profit forecasts describe how capable a company is in delivering its promises to its investors. These numerical projections are carefully prepared by a company based on their past profits and projected additional profits due to new products and services, operations and infrastructure improvement.

Aside from profit forecasts, company image can also make an impact on a company's profitability. Rumors of change in management, take-over, mergers, and even personal issues about the company's top executives can affect the company's image.

For example, a rumor of a merger between two big companies projects more stability and greater profit projections for both companies. As more investors would want to buy stocks from these merging companies, the demand for their stocks will rise. Based on the law of supply and demand: the greater the demand for stocks, the higher will their prices be.

A bankruptcy rumor about a company can send its investors to sell all their stocks. If there are more sellers than buyers of stocks then the supply (of stocks) is greater than the demand for stocks thus, stock price will fall.

2. Political Economy

General news about the local and global politics has an immediate impact on the economy and consequently to stock market prices. Politics and economics are correlated. Positive news such as lower unemployment rates, increased productivity, peace and order, and strong confidence in the government has positive impact on the economy. Such news encourages more local and international investors to open companies in a certain location or country. This in turn would generate more jobs, and as an effect, would encourage more trading in the market at higher stock prices in general due to the increase in demand for stocks of different companies.

On the other hand, negative news such as political instability and turmoil, security problems such as terrorism and insurgency, frequent strikes, and inflation has negative impact on the stock market prices. Investors are driven away by these things and close-up. As an effect, more stockholders would sell out. This creates more sellers than buyers thus stock market prices fall.

3. Interest rates

Higher interest rates are associated with a slump in economic growth. This creates a sluggish environment where investors become apprehensive in buying stocks. Either they keep the status quo or sell out their stocks. When the demand for stocks is not high, prices will go down.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Stock market risks: Is my money really worth it?

So, finally, you have your money you can call your own. Naturally, you want to see your money grow. Saving your money in a bank doesn't entice you, seeing it offer too little growth potential. You want something that gives a little more risk, with the hopes of having a much larger financial return. You turn to the stock market.

But wait! Are the risks involved in investing in the stock market worth my money? Investing is a good tool to increase you money, but you have to keep an open mind and know what to look for.

Needless to say, investing in stocks is a risky business. There are some risks that fortunately, you can control.

For example, you must guard against investing in "hot" stocks. True, some get wealthy in investing in "hot" stocks such as the "dot-com" bubble in the 1990s, but when the initial buzz around these stocks begin to slide, so does your investment. Once they fall, they really fall hard in a short period of time. This includes your money and others like you who invested in these stocks. If you really need to invest in these stocks, you have to keep a constant eye on them and try to sell them when they start to level off or drop.

To avoid such risks, you must diversify your portfolio. Basically, it means buying a little bit of a lot of different types of stocks and bonds. In that way, if one stock gets down, another one of your stock might be up and will help you recover some of your losses. It is a good idea to have some stocks in the technology sector, telecommunications, biomedical, and consumer corporations. In time, you could add your portfolio with precious metal and diamond indexes, and some general investment funds.

There are also companies that offer "safety stocks". It will be a sound decision to have several shares of companies such as this in your portfolio. This is because such stocks rarely fluctuate and most often offer a slow and steady growth, thus giving you an assurance in your investments.

Do not rely on tips saying that this stock is "going to be big" and the like. These tips are often unfounded, and these stocks are almost worthless. Investing in these stocks might give you a higher return but in the long run, these stocks will just give you worries. Read the Wall Street Journal or watch the stock reports on news networks to know more about your stocks. Also check relevant websites to see how your stocks have been performing in recent weeks.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stock Market Quotes 101

The stock market quote is the basic collection of numbers an investor must understand to achieve success in the stock market. It is a list of prices for certain stocks at one point within the trading day. In the past, stocks were quoted in fractions, but now, most exchanges use decimals. Stock market quotes are found in newspapers, as well as online. Stock quotes are updated regularly during the trading day.

What are the numbers and columns in the stock quotes mean? Though most are easily understandable, some may be confusing for a stock market newbie. Here is a review of the common numbers in the stock quotes and what they mean.

Newspaper Stock Market Quotes. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) format is easiest to follow.
Listed below are the columns and a brief explanation for each column.

- YTD % CHG - The Year-To-Date Percentage Change. This represents the stock price percentage change for the year. This percentage is adjusted for stock splits and dividends over 10%.

- 52-Week HI & LO - The two numbers in the column record both the highest and the lowest price the stock is traded for within the last 52-weeks. Previous trading day not included.

- Stock (SYM) - This is where the stock name and symbols are listed. Stock names are usually abbreviated. The stock symbol is printed in boldface. Some newspapers don't print them at all.

- DIV - This stands for Dividend reflecting the annual distribution rate based on the last regular disbursement for a stock.

- Yield % - The yield percentages are the other disbursements paid to stockholders as a percentage of the stock's price.

- PE - The Price to Earnings Ratio is the per-share earnings over the closing price.

- VOL 100s - This means sales volume expressed with two missing zeros.

- CLOSE - The last price the stock traded for a certain day. But it doesn't mean that this will be the price the stock opens at the next trading day.

- NET CHANGE - This is the amount at which the stock closed today against yesterday.

- Footnotes - These notations point out any extraordinary circumstances within the listing such as new highs and lows, unusual dividends, first day of trading, etc.

Online Stock Market Quotes. Online stock resources cover the same information as the newspaper stock quotes. However, the difference is mainly with regards to getting the "live" information. Compared to reading yesterdays stock quotes on the paper the next morning, the information presented on online resources are updated constantly within the course of the trading day.

Indeed, stock market quotes offer a wealth of information when it comes to wise stock investment. as long as one understands what the numbers mean.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Learn The Basic of Stock Market

The stock market is a complicated game. In order for you to succeed in this business, learning the basics of the trade would be an important factor for your financial growth.

Before risking your money with the stock market, you should be able to recognize the factors vital in choosing which company to invest in. Here are the basics in learning some facts about the company:

1) Revenue. This refers to the amount of money the company makes. Although some companies that are still in the early development stage have no revenues to offer, many of the companies that have been in the market for years make use of the revenues to cover some losses and other costs.

2) Earnings. This refers to the money the company makes. Aside from revenues, the earnings are the money that would not be used in covering expenses. These are the extra money the company makes. Companies with large earning have an advantage in the stock market because investors examine the earnings made by the company they are about to buy stocks on.

3) Debt. This refers to the money the company owes in many ways. Because the company is in debt, the money they have is for paying up for the debit alone. Buying stocks from these companies would be risky because of the instability of the company.

4) Property. This refers to all the assets (money, stocks, and all businesses they own) of the company. Knowing these assets could give you an understanding of the company’s position in the industry. If the companies have significant properties in their hands, you could safely trust their background and immediately buy some of their stocks.

5) Financial responsibility. This refers to the account of the companies that they need to pay out. Meaning, if the value of their financial obligations are low, the company is not in danger of becoming in debt. Examining the company’s liabilities and comparing it with its assets could help in determining if you are ready to buy stocks from them. Make sure that the assets of the companies are always higher than the financial responsibilities they need to make.

It’s never safe to gamble your money away on some company you don’t even know. The basics of the stock market lie on the companies’ background. Make sure you research to ensure your money is in the right hands.

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Stock Market for Beginner

"You, the newcomer, and the stock market"

So you wanna to try your fortune in the stock market. And too bad, you don’t know how and where to start. So what do you do now?

Well, the very first important thing to do is ask the basic question of what is a stock and its significance.

A stock represents ownership of a company. Some sees stock as certificates. So the more stocks a person owns of a particular company, the more of the company he/she own. And the more the company they own, the bigger the influence he/she have in running the company. This is known as equity investment.

The next thing important thing to do is familiarize yourself with financial terms such as ‘price-earnings ratio’, ‘margin’, ‘option’, ‘earnings per share’ and ‘leverage’.

Up next, it’s to knowing where and how to actually buy stocks.

There are 2 ways to buy stocks:

1. brokerage service
2. online exchanges (e.g. banks)

Exchanges are services that enable investors to access stocks all over the world. Here, he/she can buy and sell stocks without the need for a broker. Some banks allow you to set up your own stock portfolio and trade stocks online using the cash you already deposit in these banks.

Brokerage services are rendered by brokers. These middlemen do all the work for you. They research the stock market, give advice, and buy and sell stocks according to the wishes of their clients. These brokers earn a commission from the stocks bought or sold.

Once you have chosen how to buy and sell stocks, the next thing to do is to open an account. As mentioned earlier, exchanges allow you to monitor and control your stock portfolio personally. If you choose to enter the stock trade with a bank, then ask your bank the details of setting up your own account.

If you choose to trade stocks via a broker, find a reputable broker and ask them to open and manage an account for you.

After you have successfully set up an account, it’s time to study the stock market and plan your strategy: will you be conservative in investing your money? Or will you be aggressive? Are you in it for the long term? Or are you a day trader?

After you have detailed your plan, it’s time to do some research on the stocks offered in the market. Having a broker will significantly make it easier for you as they will do the research and give you advice. But, it is still best to study the market and the mechanism yourself so you can understand the risk and reward you get.

Be cautious though, the stock market is volatile. Be sure to understand that most of the time it takes a strong heart and strong will to invest in stock since most people are stressed out when the market is declining (but also give you faster return if you know the trick).

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