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Bless our heart, under authoritarian rule, loyalty is regarded as more important than competence....

Stock Market Tips: Getting Started

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By Wanda Naylor

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Want to invest in the stock market? Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Do not change any trading or investing you currently do, if any, or do not begin with real money in the market until after one year of intense study and practice in the market with play money.

2. Learn to distinguish between the noise (the stuff the lay public reacts to) and the nuggets (the significant news professional traders hear and react to). This takes months to learn the language of the markets.

3. Buy one share of stock. Pick a company that interests you because of a passion, sports, clothes you like, shoes that you run in, etc. Pay attention to when the company announces earnings and all news regarding the company. Find and read the company report before you buy this share. If you don’t have the money for one share, then ask for it for Christmas or birthday.

4. Check free sites of interest: NBC Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance. Read, read and read some more.

5. Practice trading/investing on a virtual/play platform like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Merrill Edge, Trade Station, Alley Invest or Capital One Investing or many others online trading platforms. Paper trading-practicing for at least one year to see how seasons and people change in the market. This is practice trading. You do not put money into the market differently than you have been for at least one year of study. If you have zero in the market, keep it at zero.

6. Read investment and mindset books, for your education has truly just begun. Put books on your wish list for Christmas. Find them in used bookstores or amazon.com.

7. Read about wealthy investors: Bill Gates, The Dukes, Warren Buffet, etc. Seek the advice of the wealthy and successful.

8. Read and understand about taxation in this country and in other countries.

9. Share your wealth. You cannot over give. The more you give, (time, wealth, money, etc.) the more you receive.

10. Work on your discipline in life. Discipline is critical to success in the market just as it is to your good health and happiness.

11. Begin trading/investing with money you can lose at first until you know what you are doing. You will lose money in the stock market.

12. There are no get rich quick schemes. It takes practice and discipline to succeed.

13. Begin to put all info you learn into one of three categories: Trading-using stocks to generate cash — companies that move are generally used. Retirement — using stocks to generate funds to survive/live/play when you retire. Investing — these are companies you buy and want to own for life. Companies that are stable and will be around for a long time. These are the ones you own for wealth and to change the future of your family for generations ahead.

14. Once learned, growing wealth is a skill and like riding a bike, you will have it and never lose it. Well worth the effort not only for your life but also for the lives you can change by giving it away.

15. The tortoise and the hare … slow and steady will win the race. Small changes can have “monster results.” Read this book and then apply the concept.

16. Remember there is no black box that can make you rich. Hard work, hours of practice, understanding what affects the markets, becoming without emotions in how you make/invest money and discipline will make you rich.

17. Successful people work harder than most. They never use excuses and generally don’t waste time on mindless pursuits like TV and video games unless there are principles to be learned. They show up early, they stay late and are never afraid to get their hands dirty or to volunteer so they can learn something they want to know.

In America, anyone willing to sacrifice and work hard can do it: even a janitor can become a millionaire.

Wanda Naylor teaches in the Finance Department at ECU.

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