Since the best investors basically buy and sell in untested and risky companies, they need all the help they can get to make the best predictions and score the biggest gains. While old-fashioned investors relied on instinct and gumption to make their trades, modern investors are loath to leave home without a few research tools to help them make informed decisions.
For the novice investor, here’s a list of some of the best tools online now to help you learn the stock market and make awesome investments. Once you’ve gotten all you can out of these, you’ll be buying and selling like a pro.
Guides and Lessons
The stock market is anything but user-friendly, so if you’ve decided to start buying and selling stock to supplement your income, you’ll probably need a refresher course since your high school economics class. Jumping into the stock market without understanding its core concepts is like diving headfirst into a tank of sharks — you can’t really predict what will happen, but it probably won’t be anything good. Educating yourself on stock market principles is the very first step to making your first investment buck.
Luckily, to learn about the market you don’t need to shell out university tuition for an economics degree. Plenty of websites offer invaluable lessons on investing for the beginner.
Brokerages and Reviews
Just like everything before the Internet, brokerages used to be brick-and-mortar locations you’d visit to tell your broker when to buy and sell your stock shares. Unless you lived at your brokerage, you could easily miss the ideal window for you to buy or sell, diminishing the returns on your investment potentially catastrophically.
Now, plenty of brokerages exist solely online. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, you can buy and sell stock with the click of a button, meaning your money is much more under your control. Plus, because different brokerages have different policies (and deal in different types of stocks) you are better able to shop around to find the exact brokerage and account that will work for your investment strategy. What’s more, in the modern world of business accountability, you can find plenty of customer reviews for brokerages.
Stock Screening and Trend Watch
If you feel like you’ve gotten a handle on how the market works and you’re ready for the next step, you probably need some help figuring out which stocks are worth your time and money. If you’re smart, you’ll do plenty of research on individual stocks before you invest; you might even want to pay attention to the industry trends to make sure you’re picking up the scent of potential gains. Online trackers can help you find trend ideas for stocks in case you’re not sure where to start, and there are plenty of market trackers to let you watch your investment grow and grow — if you’ve done all the right groundwork, that is.
Chat With Experts
Finally, if through all this you still aren’t sure if you’re doing the right thing — or if you can’t believe your profits and want to know about your possible next steps — you can find an amazing community of helpful fellow investors online. Despite the age-old reputation from Wall Street of cut-throat investors with bad advice and worse attitudes, many expert investors are more than willing to offer tips and tricks to individuals just starting out.
The type of guidance you can receive from the online investing community can range from simple information about stock market basics to in-depth discussion about the viability of certain burgeoning industries. With that latter category, you should be wary about the advice you receive. More experienced investors usually go for high-risk investments, but if you’re just starting, you might be put off by the potential pitfalls of risky stocks: namely, the extreme likelihood of losing your money. The best advice is to know what kind of gambler you are before you become an apprentice because experts may try to sway you into investing in stocks you aren’t comfortable with.
You don’t need to leave the comfort of your own computer chair to become a stock market tycoon even if you’ve never so much as glanced at a trend report. Learn the basics and talk to the experts, and soon enough you’ll be supplementing your income with the force of the Internet’s resources to back you up.
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