Many people invest in stocks but end up losing money because they don't study first. Nowadays, in what we so-called as the Technology or Information Age, people are slowly gaining the awareness about the value and benefits of stock investing. This is true to the fact that investors aged 18 to 44 comprised the bulk or 73.9% of online stock account users. Quoted from the Business Word University Edition November 5-18, 2015, Mr. Hans Sicat, PSE President and CEO, said that “The growth in online accounts continues to be impressive and validates our strategy of expanding the retail investor base through this platform.” He added, “Online accounts now compromise 27% of total stock market accounts from a mere 6% share in 2009.”
Worth noting indeed. However, despite the high returns one can get in stock investing, there is this big CAVEAT or warning also given the risks of losing, the fluctuations, the bearish periods, the heresies or hypes that can make your heart palpitate and your head go nuts. But do not fret for these things can be minimized if not totally avoided and here are some tips that you may consider:
1. Know Your Investment Goals/Objectives
It is important that one knows what his/her investment objectives are. These should be assessed carefully because it can help in the determination of what particular type of asset or fund would suit your reasons. Some of which may be any of the following:
a) Capital Preservation – This is considered as the conservative approach towards investing since the aim is to avoid risk of loss with the hope of gaining yields overtime;
b) Capital Appreciation – As the term implies, this objective deals with the accumulation or growth of capital. This may enable one to gain higher returns but note that there are higher risks too. The same goes with the investment adage, “the higher the risk, the higher is the return.”
c) Dividend Accumulation – The goal is to gain earnings through dividend declarations from companies or other business organizations, and
d) Current Income – This mode is to seek for the fastest yields to one’s investment. Said returns may not be extremely high but are just adequate to cover up for one’s regular expenses.
2. Research about the Stock Market
Of course, as any other important reminder, know what you are getting yourself into. From the Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) of Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Academy, stocks are shares of ownership in a company. When you buy stocks of a publicly listed company, you become part owner of that company. As a part owner, you participate in the company’s growth and future profits. Conversely, you may also lose if the company suffers a loss or performs below market expectations. Now what is a stock market? The stock market is a place where stocks are bought and sold or a place where people can invest in publicly listed companies through the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.
3. Determine Your Risk Appetite/Profile
Basically, one has to evaluate his/her levels of tolerance for losses. As what financial consultant and stock market trader, Mr. Marvin Germo, said “Your investment strategy should reflect on the stock you are buying.” He further explained that there are volatile stocks that have the great potential to go higher but also have the possibility to go down significantly. There are also stocks that are steadily growing while the market is going up and gets down steadily as the market turns otherwise. In order for one to identify his/her risk profile, he or she should attend trainings or seminars about stock trading. Another option is to watch training videos or read books to gain insightful knowledge and strategies.
4. Allocate Investible Funds in Stock Investing
In a nutshell, one must only invest funds that he or she can afford to lose in the stock market. Never go with your daily operational or living funds, or even pension funds in stock investing because the risk of losing is very real. Though losses in the stock market are considered “paper losses”, others can’t help but feel worried, especially for most newbies, since the funds they poured into the stock market are at times hard-earned money which can be used for other purposes. In addition, make sure that you have emergency funds and savings because there are no guarantees that there will be returns all the time.
5. Devote time for Stock Investing
They said that investing in stocks is much like going to school or a college course wherein the funds that you placed are your tuition fees for learning. In order for one to be successful in stock market or in schooling, he or she should commit time to study and be more aware of the mechanics of the market. Allocating time in stock investing does not necessarily mean that you have to watch how the market goes every minute in a trading day but you can set your own time in monitoring. The same can be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis, or whatever mode you are most convenient with. One can even align his/her monitoring time with his/her preferred strategy, be it long term (buy-and-forget), regular (peso-cost averaging) or short term (daily trading).
Truly, investing in the stock market is yet another means for building wealth. It is in one way or another that it can also alleviate poverty among our Filipino Kababayans given the proper knowledge and training. Noting that fear or ignorance immobilizes success, let us be informed, be engaged, and begin investing in the stock market. Cheers to investing!
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