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The stock market is not as complex as you think. If you take a few weeks to learn more about investing and get the right tools to assist you, you could become a trader yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the stock market and how you could be making money.

You have probably heard the saying, “Keep it simple.” This holds true for a lot of things, even the stock market. Keep your investments strategies such as examining data points, making predictions and trading real simple to help ensure you don’t take on too many risks on companies or stocks without having market security.

Beginner stock investors would be wise to make themselves prepared to lose a bit of money on some of their trades. Often times, new traders panic at the first dollar they lose and quickly sell off their stocks before giving them a chance to recover on their own.

If you own common stocks, take advantage of your voting rights as a shareholder. While each company differs, you may be able to vote for directors or for proposals that involve major changes like merging with another company. A lot of voting occurs annually at any given company’s shareholders’ meeting; it can also be done through proxy voting.

Aim for investing in stocks from companies that are financially sound and have earning growth that are above the market average. There are over 6,000 publicly traded companies in the United States stock markets, available to choose from. However, applying these criteria reduces your target pool of stocks to just around 200 choices to invest in.

Create your own index fund. Choose an index you would like to track, like the NASDAQ or Dow Jones. Buy the individual stocks that are on that index on your own, and you can get the dividends and results of an index mutual fund without paying someone else to manage it. Just be sure to keep your stock list up to date to match the index you track.

It is generally better to invest in a limited number of positions that you are confident in, rather than to invest in many different companies. For example, if you like the way telecom companies have been performing, and if there are four companies that appeal to you, take the time to determine which stock is the best and most cost effective. Rather than invest in all four companies, you should invest only in the company that you believe is the best.

Use a discount brokerage rather than a full service firm for your trading of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and keep more of your money. Discount brokerages usually charge lower fees and commissions. There is no point in paying unnecessary fees. The only downside is that a discount brokerage will not give you advice about what to buy and sell. You must make those determinations on your own.

Try not investing a lot in the company where you’re employed. Although you may feel a bit prideful about owning stock from your employer, there’s risk that comes with doing this. If anything should happen to the business, both your regular paycheck and your investment portfolio would be in danger. If your company gives you a discount for purchasing their stock, it may be worth the risk to have a portion of your portfolio contain your company’s stock.

If you want to pick the least risky stock market corners, there are several options to look for. Highly diversified mutual funds in stable and mature industries are your safest bet. Safe individual stocks would include companies that offer dividends from mature business and large market caps. Utilities are non-cyclical businesses that are very safe. The dividends are almost as reliable as clockwork, but the growth potential is negligible.

Know what blue chips stocks are. These market-leading businesses are known publicly for their safety, quality and ability to manifest revenue throughout times both good and lean. However, this means that their stocks are priced fully and hard to get at a bargain price outside of a serious market downturn. Keep an eye out for them, but do not hold your breath on having them in your portfolio soon.

Keep in mind that all of the cash you have is not profit. Cash flow is a very important part of any operation, and this includes your investment portfolio and your life. Although it is great to reinvest your money or spend some of it, you still want to set money aside to take care of your immediate bills. Try to retain a six month emergency savings balance, as a “just in case” precaution.

Whenever you are looking up companies in which you might want to invest with, make sure you are paying attention to at least a 5 year history of the stock. You really need to look deeper than that if you can. This should go right along with making sure that you pay attention to all data provided about the stock. All the same, you must know what the chart looks like, and you need to go as deep as you can.

As you can see, finding the best investments is a matter of education. If you take the time to learn as much as you can about the stock market and stay up to date with the trends, you will make the right investments. Apply the tips you have just read and remember, practice makes perfect.