Thinking About Investing? Here are Three Things You Should Know First

Stock market option

If you had to guess, how many publicly traded companies are there on the stock exchange today? The answer, it might surprise you, is only 6,000. But though that might seem like a relatively small figure (especially given the number of people who live in the U.S. today, estimated at 314 million), the New York Stock Exchange first began with only one listed company — the Bank of New York.

Since those primitive days of 1817, the market has bloomed into a heavy influence on not just the economy of America, but of the global economy as well. Stock market investing is a not a game; it’s a series business, and plenty of people around the world rely on it for their paycheck — as well as for their retirement. But where do you begin when it comes to investment tips?

You don’t have to spend time on Wall Street to understand how the market works. All you need to do is follow a few basic beginner investing tips. For starters…

1. Don’t think of the market as a winning lotto ticket.

What That Means: If you think “playing the stocks” is some kind of slot machine-type activity, you’ve been watching too many cartoons. As Investopedia is quick to point out, investing is not some kind of get-rich-quick scheme, but a lifetime of hard work and diligence.

What To Do: Responsible investors hire professionals to keep track of their portfolios in order to build them up over time. Look at investing as, well, an investment — in your retirement, in your future and in your future happiness.

2. Know a bull market from a bear market.

What That Means: You might know how to invest in the stock market, but if you can’t tell a bull from a bear, your portfolio will crumble right before you eyes. That’s because a “bull” market refers to a period of investor confidence, while a “bear” market refers to a drop in market average.

What To Do: Again, stock market investing is better left in hands other than yours. Professional planners watch out for these trends and can plan accordingly, adjusting your portfolios in the process so you don’t lose out when things get too low.

3. Familiarize yourself with more than just stocks.

What That Means: There’s more to the market than just stocks. Bonds and mutual funds are popular non-stock investing choices, as are options and currencies and real estate opportunities.

What To Do: Read, read, then read some more. If you’re serious about investing, it’s going to take a few years to build up your portfolio. So prepare yourself for putting in that amount of work by reading everything you can about the different things you can invest in to see a profit in the future.

If you wanted to pick up scuba diving, you wouldn’t expect to learn all the basics as you’re swimming around underwater. Why would you think stock market investing would be any different? Both take a lot of prep work and planning, and without it, you could be facing serious damage to your personal — and financial — health. Remember, it always pays to be prepared. Check out this site for more: