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What does it take to be a great investor? Is it time, money or skill? The truth is that it’s knowledge, and this article contains some of this valuable knowledge that you need to know, in order to get started. Hopefully, if you have a question you can find the answer here, plus, more that you never even thought to ask.

Keep in mind that investing is a business, not a hobby. You’re doing this to make money, not for fun. Any time you’re doing something regarding your investments, whether it’s getting a magazine subscription or investing in a new stock, you need to sit down and ask yourself whether it’s going to help you make money, or if you’ll lose money from it.

Before making your first trades, hone your strategy using a stock market simulator. There are a number of these simulation programs available online that allow you to make trades using virtual money. This is a great way to test your investment strategies or try out a potential portfolio without risking any of your real money.

Save money by trading online. Search online for firms that offer cheap stock trading. Quite often, their fees are much lower than traditional brokerage firms. A regular broker will usually charge a high commission, just to make a simple stock trade on your behalf. If possible, try to pay between $7 and $10 per trade.

Don’t let your emotions play a part in your investments. Remember that this is a business and you’re in this to make money. You can’t let yourself make bad decisions that are solely based on your emotions. Learn to separate your emotions from your decision making so that you can have a clear mind.

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.

Re-balance your portfolio on a regular basis to make sure that you have your money allocated correctly. At least once a year, go over your portfolio to ensure that you do not have too many assets in one sector. That way, if one sector performs poorly, other areas of your portfolio can compensate for those losses.

Do not set price targets for your stocks. Instead, you should set a stop-loss limit. It is always wise to plan for the worst, while hoping for the best. Because of this, whenever you purchase a new stock, set a stop-loss value at about 15 percent below your purchase price. This is the point at which you should cut your losses and sell your stock, before it becomes completely worthless.

It is important to buy a stock when it has fallen and to sell it when it is high. People think that the best time to buy a stock when it is high, and they sell it when it is low. This is how so many people end up losing large amounts of money in the stock market. Do not allow your fears to take over your decision making.

When trying to decide which company to buy stock in, it is important that you follow past trends. Most of the time, if a particular stock has done well in the past, it will probably do well in the future. By picking this kind of stock, you will make the most money in the long run.

Do your research about a company before investing in it. Lots of times, people hear about some new business that appears like it’s going to be very successful, and then they decide they should purchase some of their stock. Unfortunately, it is just as common for a company that has done well in the past to suddenly drop in value.

If you are hoping to get a large return on your capital, then using a constrain strategy could be the best option. This strategy involves searching for stocks that others do not want. Under-appreciated companies often have a larger potential to go up in price. Companies that everyone wants sell for a premium. That is not usually going to be a wise investment. Investing in less famous companies with good earnings and other fundamentals may pay off in the end.

If your employer offers any kind of match to your retirement contributions, such as 401k, invest up to that level of match. If they match dollar for dollar up to 5%, invest 5%. If they match one dollar for every two up to 3%, invest the needed 6%. Not doing so leaves free money on the table, which is among the worst mistakes you can make in investing.

Try your best not to let your emotions get involved when you are dealing with the stock market. Getting obsesses about every little thing can lead to you making very bad decisions. You cannot pull out every time your stocks lose money and you cannot go all in just because you made a little profit.

Once you’ve purchased a stock, give it time to grow. Don’t trade it as soon as the price drops. The stock market fluctuates frequently, so patience is key if you want to make some real money. Your losses may very well outweigh your gains when you buy and sell frequently.

The greatest piece of advice that any stock trader can use, is to leave your emotions at the door. When trading stocks, it is important that you trade with your head, instead of your heart. Often times, beginner traders find themselves attached to a particular stock for whatever reason. It is important that you realize that your emotions cannot get involved.

Now that you have some knowledge, it’s time to build up your skills. Use what you’ve learned here to build an investment strategy and then, stick to it as you put your money into the markets that you believe will bring you the greatest profits. If you stay true to your plan, you can reach your goals!