Buying Your First Stocks

Stocks come in a variety of options. While a stock overall is a common thing to trade and buy, the different variations make it difficult for some to understand just how the trading is done. This valuable investment allows for partial company ownership, which helps many businesses make their profit.

When many people think of the words stocks, shares, and equity, they believe they are referring to different things. These words may have some differences, but they all refer to the same thing.

Stocks: A representation of partial ownership over a company.

Shares: One of the parts that a company has been divided into.

Equity: The value of a company’s total shares.

All of them indicate the involvement of a company and those that own a portion of its value.

There are also two main types of stocks to differentiate between. Common stocks and preferred stocks are both important investments, but they include different features.

Common Stocks

Common stocks allow owners to receive dividends. This stock type is known as common because it is the most sought after the type. Many people choose them. Those with a share of the company can vote at stakeholder meetings, which is an important feature of this stock type. This type usually performs better than preferred stocks, but they get paid out last in the event of bankruptcy.

Preferred Stocks

Preferred stocks do not allow for say at stakeholder meetings. This type does get paid out to owners first in the event of bankruptcy, though, ensuring everyone who has one gets their fair share. The amounts are usually high and well worth it. Those interested in a long-term income typically choose this type.

Stock Certificates

Every purchased stock provides a certificate. It is an easy way to detail ownership and prove the stock was acquired by an investor. Rather than receiving a physical copy of this certificate, many have the form electronically submitted. It is often kept in an online portfolio with a brokerage firm. A physical copy is also available for those that want to have it in their possession.

Risk Assessment

A business that seems to be doing well, for the time being, may not be doing as good shortly. That is why it is necessary to understand the risks involved with buying stocks. It is wise to perform a risk assessment by looking at data and stock market trends. The businesses that have been going downhill are not wise to invest in. Companies that are new are also risky, as no one knows which direction they will go in shortly or down the line. It is best to find a reputable company that has done consistently well for some time. A short-term investment may be worth the risk if the investor is going to pull out quickly and be smart about the decision. It is all a matter of assessing the risk and determining the best course of action.

quote by warren buffet

First Time Stock Buying

The first time buying stock can seem a little tricky, as each investor needs to determine the best method for them. People can buy stocks from a face-to-face broker or invest online. Stocks can also be purchased directly from a company, which avoids brokerage fees. This then leaves them to handle the details on their own, which is not often ideal for first-time investors.

A brokerage firm is often the best bet for first-time investors because the firm will be responsible for handling all aspects of the account. The investor just pays the fees and lets the firm know what they would like to invest in.

Once the method for purchasing is determined, it is time to look at the different stocks available. Cash can be deposited into an account to use to purchase the stocks chosen. Investors need to know the type of stocks they hope to buy and the amount. A broker will take this information and use it to invest the money in an appropriate stock. A small fee is paid to the company for doing the job of finding the right stock to invest in.

Market Order

A market order is one option. It allows the investor to buy the stock at the current market price. This could mean paying a higher amount than what was originally wanted, but it gets it acquired and in the person’s portfolio right away.

Limit Order

A limit order is intended for those that only want to buy stock in a certain price range. If a company is selling a stock for $70, for example, and the investor only has $50 to spend, they will have to wait until it reaches that point before making the purchase. This limit order allows people to wait for their price range, but it does not allow them to add the stock to their portfolio until a later time.

Learn to Compare

A stock’s current price should directly correlate to the expected growth rate of its earnings. It is necessary for real investors to learn to compare these prices and see which ones equal the right opportunity. The price-to-earnings-growth ratio should be at a 1. A stock with 40 times earnings that has a 40% expected growth, for example, meets the criteria. If it falls to only 20 or 30 percent, it is not as ideal.

Knowing Which Companies to Invest In

There are three main types of companies to invest in:

Those with a good track record of making wise investment decisions

Those that have a long history of making profitable earnings

Those that continue to earn returns

These types of companies are more likely to earn you an increased stock rate than any other.

With multiple methods for buying a stock and several types of stocks available, it is important for people to understand the process and the differences before making a final decision. It should not be a rushed decision that is entered into lightly. Not all stock types will work for everyone.

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