Getting Started On The Stock Market

By: Garnett Johnston

The stock market is often seen as a complicated financial system for those white collar professionals who buy and sell stocks day in and day out. However, the ability for anyone to trade on the stock market is there and now more so than ever with the availability of computer software and websites to make the whole process so much easier. But where does the average joe make a start in such an investment minefield.

Imagine for a moment that you have just started learning to drive. When you first start driving, you will not enter the highway and take the car at speeds of sixty and seventy miles per hour. Instead, you will stay in residential areas or at least on the access road, where there is less pressure to maintain such a high speed.

This analogy can also be applied to anyone wishing to begin investing in stocks and shares on the markets. In the stock market, you will also want to stay away from any expensive stocks or extremely volatile investments until you have become extremely comfortable with the process of trading. Those who fail to heed this advice can end up losing more than their shirt.

There are small investment opportunities referred to as "penny stocks", which will help you try out your sea legs and get a feel for how the stock market works prior to investing large sums of money and risking a big financial loss. These particular stocks cost literally pennies or small dollar amounts and typically only fluctuate fractions of a cent on any given day, making them extremely safe for those just starting out.

Once you get the hang of it and can better judge the market trends, you can comfortably move on to more complicated and adventurous areas of the market. It is like removing the training wheels from your bicycle or entering the freeway the first time at an hour of the day when there is no traffic to contend with.

Be aware that, just like you may fall off your bike once or twice and end up with some scrapes and bruises, you may lose money in an investment here and there. This is very typical, and investing in the stock market is a lot like gambling. In poker, you cannot expect to win every hand, and the same is true in the world of investments. Learning to watch the market trends, though, is similar to watching other cars as you join traffic and determining the correct speed and proximity to other cars for optimal safety. Such diligent study can help you improve your statistics drastically in a short time.

Similarly, like any investment or gamble, never put in more money than you can afford to lose. This way, even in the worse case scenario you can still pick yourself up and move on.

Trading
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