When it comes to the stock market, the easiest part about trading is buying the stock. The most challenging aspect you’ll face as a trader is consistently choosing companies that out-perform the market to turn a profit. Here are five quintessential tips to help you get started.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
This rule is one that has caused even seasoned investors to lose big. All the due diligence in the world won’t save you when a stock you’ve invested in is having a run, and you decide to go with it. Riding the lightning becomes bag holding if you miss the exit you planned due to getting greedy. Any online trading strategy you execute requires you to have set stop losses to save yourself from losing out on bad plays. Be prepared to implement these stop losses and taking gains instead of what-iffing yourself into a bag holding situation.
Plan for When the Market Gets Dicey
It’s easy to make money when the market is on a bull run in various sectors, but you should also plan for when the market waters turn choppy, so you’re not directionless. Pay close attention to stocks and never made snap decisions. One of the best recommendations I’ve seen for new traders is to keep a journal of your trading activity to help you spot patterns and keep your emotional balance in check. Write out why you’re trading a stock, what you find attractive about it, and what could cause you to sell it immediately. Keep these guidelines in mind should you see yourself approaching that situation in your online trading endeavors.
Never Go All in at Once
Timing is an investor’s greatest friend, so if you have a stock lined up that seems interesting, keep the timing of your play in mind. Instead of dropping the full amount you’re willing to invest on this stock in one go, edge yourself into the market at various price points. This strategy will help you play the dips and make sure you’ve got at least three different entry and exit points to maximize your profits.
Don’t Get Overexcited with your Trades
Once you’ve made a few thousand, it can be tempting to keep jumping on the trading horse to keep that amount growing. If you’re checking your stocks every day, you’re riling up your emotional state, and that may lead you to make irrational decisions. Unless you are day trading or swing trading, checking in on the stocks you’ve chosen periodically is perfectly fine. If you’re worried about missing a big news event that may impact the company you’re trading, consider setting up a Google Alert for that company to be notified by email any time a big piece of news drops.
Remember You’re Trading Value in a Real Company
It’s tempting to get caught up in the possibility of making money just from market swings, but remember the tickers you’re trading are associated with real companies. Research how the company operates and the projected forecast for profits before making any investment considerations. The company is courting you for money, not the other way around.