As featured in the Finances FYI section of the the Seattle Times
By 1st Security Bank
Investing in the stock market is one of the easiest ways to help secure your financial future. Unfortunately, many people are left on the sidelines due to the perceived complexity of buying and selling stocks. With confusing lingo and different strategy options, there’s certainly risk involved with investing in publicly traded companies.
Luckily, there are ways to mitigate risk and get the most out of your money when getting started in stocks. We’ll give you tips to get the most out of your money when entering the market – from clichés to less obvious considerations, you’ll be on the right path to reaching your goals. Whether you’re investing a little or a lot, you can find success in the financial markets today.
Diversify your portfolio
You’ve heard it a million times before, but adequately diversifying your portfolio is essential to mitigating risk and getting the most out of your investments. Proper diversification means owning numerous types of investments, including stocks, bonds and ETFs.
It also means spreading your investments across various sectors within the markets. Don’t load up your portfolio on just green energy or technology. Instead, strike a balance with numerous industries represented. Invest in companies of different sizes, including big names and new startups, equally.
Many savvy investors also go global with their investments, buying stock in many companies abroad. This can help protect you during localized recessions and provide some exciting potential in emerging markets. When picking stocks, try to paint with broad strokes instead of focusing on one company, sector, or index.
Don’t panic sell
While it may sound obvious, you’re not going to see long-term gains by constantly closing positions and exiting the markets altogether. Using a future-focused approach is the safest way to invest, and you should be more concerned with five- and 10-year outlooks than you are with weekly or monthly numbers.
Holding stock through the good times and the bad will ensure you never miss large jumps in price and increase dividend earnings if your preferred stock offers them. While riding out slumps can be challenging, it’s often beneficial to buy dips and lower your average price per share.
Many amateur investors take positions in stocks hoping to see significant price jumps on news or earnings reports and bail before they should, due to a lack of such information. Buying and holding stock is the only way to guarantee you won’t miss significant innovations or earnings reports. Making profits in the market is a marathon and not a sprint, so don’t let quiet periods or falling prices scare you away from the long-term potential.
Trust your research
There should be an element of fun in your investments, and at the end of the day, you should only be putting your money toward companies you genuinely believe in. Research is a huge element of success in the markets, and you should find some joy learning about new products and ideas that could make you money over the long haul.
One major pitfall to avoid is the wisdom of the crowd. Never use social media or perceived market sentiment as the primary driver of your investments. With sound research, you’ll be able to cut through the noise and identify solid opportunities. Keeping a buy-and-hold mentality will also help you when it seems like everyone else is selling. Keep your long-term goals a priority, and never trade based on emotion or speculation.
With a solid approach and sound research, anyone can find success in the markets regardless of how big their bankroll is. Whether you’re starting small or have substantial money available to invest, keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.