Searching for a stock is the obvious first step to investing. You hear about stocks on television and radio, and notice some mentioned in the paper, or other people tell you about what they know (or think they know). Start keeping a list of all the stocks you hear of. And you will hear more and more, and find more and more mentions everyday as you get more into the subject of investing.
May as well make a list. Some of the stocks that arrive on your list might be very good ones. Of course you will investigate all of them, and eliminate probably most. But, if you are just starting out it is well worth the effort to check out everything you can.
Searching for stock can and does take time but it’s always worth it. You are dealing with your money. You don’t want to do this hastily or emotionally. The original research of searching for the stocks you want to invest in may well be the most important part of stock investing.
Good investors control their investments; their investments do not control them.
There are resources online you should investigate: MorningStar, the Wall Street Journal, Success Magazine, yahoo.com/finance, Reuters.com/finance/stocks, and many more. Search them out, decide what’s best for you and study what they have to teach you.
Get familiar with stock charts. If you have a broker already, ask them what charts they use; maybe they have one online that you can learn from. If not charts.com is free. Play with the charts until you are comfortable in reading one, and are quite sure about what it is telling you.
Don’t get caught up in what you think you’re learning from studying charts or from reading the papers. This is just a familiarization period. You’re learning to gather important stock information, not trying to make judgments. You’ve much more to do before you’re ready to invest.
Remember what you read in your local paper that has to do with stocks is probably old news as far as stock news goes. Everything that happens in the stock market happens so quickly by the time it gets to your newspaper it’s long past timely. That’s why you need to learn to investigate stocks and dig out information about the company(s) rather than depending on impulses and gossip.
Incidentally, if a stock symbol has four or more letters the stock is traded on the NASDAQ or the over the counter exchange; if the symbol is less than four, it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange or the American stock exchange. It helps to know which exchange you want to look at if you’re looking things up in the Wall Street Journal or other news paper.
The most important thing right now is to not be in a hurry. Once you’ve decided to invest most people are anxious to get started. But, you have a lot to learn if you’ve never done this. You don’t want to be hasty.
Setting out to create a list of 25 stocks and keep notes on all you learn about them, is just the beginning. As you learn about them you will be eliminating stocks off the list.
It is important to keep notes on how you do your research. As you get more experience you will find some of the things you thought were important to do when you started are not giving you information you can use. Keeping notes on all you do will help you to learn as you can evaluate your learning process as well as evaluating the stock.
And have fun. Even research can be exciting. And the real gem, might be in the next paragraph, or on the next page. So enjoy!