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Author Topic: If I’m just getting started in investing, what is the first thing I should do?  (Read 401 times)

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Quote from: Cardtrick

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Dont trust anyone with your money, not even loose relatives or "billionaires" who 'surely' must know what they are doing (think Madoff, Trump, etc). At least not blindly.

If you decide to entrust someone else with it, make sure you regularly scrutinize everything they do and can account for every dollar of yours at any given time via 3rd party sources.
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If I’m just getting started in investing, what is the first thing I should do?

I have shares in two major banks - through work, so it was all done for me without me having to put any thought or research into it.

This brings in dividends twice a year....however it's not something one can retire on, which has made me think/question other options.

I looked at Obi's link and have taken note of what BRA1N has stated...and personally, I'm still not getting the answer to the question you have asked..

I would like to know:

" How does one find the right product to invest in ? "

Maybe it's word of mouth...and or doing the research.

I honestly don't know..and would like to very much know.

Who does one call and speak to about investing in a product.?

How does one find said person, to discuss investing in a product.?

Is this all something that needs to go through an accountant ?

All very legit basic questions..

Unfortunately, I doubt there is anyone here qualified enough on Wall Street activity who would be able to give a straight forward answer to the first basic steps required with how to move forward and invest in a product..



* No offence intended to BRA1N and Obi..
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Let me tell about my general formula with the caveat that what works for one may not suitable for the other. I have been interested in stocks since I was literally a kid in jr high and 'investing' since my 20's. I have been trading options off and on since the late 1990's.

Investing to me involves putting money into intangibles like stocks, bonds, mutual funds (or tangible things like real estate) for the long term. Trading (options) is a short term high risk/high reward activity which is not suitable for most people but I use a combo of both strategies.

Most money should be 'invested' in long term securities. Money that I can afford to lose (which is a small percentage of my portfolio) I use to trade options. Most years I do very well.

Your question about which product is right has no definite answer. First, what do you mean by product? Are you talking about which companies to invest in or are you talking about things like mutual funds, stocks and bonds?

Let me tell you about some lessons and mistakes that I have learned over the years to help get where I am today. First, dont trust others with your money as I said before. In the USA for example, Trump and the Republicans in their unquenchable thirst to de-regulate everything and favor Wall Street billionaires, recently repealed a regulation which required brokers and money professionals to act as fiduciaries to their clients.

What that means is that they are not required to act in your best interests and can put their own interests or the interests of others ahead of yours when handling your investments and not get sued. So keep that in mind.

Second, the overwhelming number of mutual funds and most stocks under-perform the benchmark broader markets. That is a very important and powerful fact. I don't know a thing about the Australian markets but what that means in the US is that the overall markets of the NASDAQ 100, the DOW 30, the S&P 500, the Russel 2000, etc usually do better in a given year than most individual stocks. And during times of recession when they have bad years, they will eventually recover the losses and ride a wave of gains again if you stay in long term and not jump ship by selling.

When I first started investing, I made the mistake of buying individual stocks. You win some and you lose some with that approach unless you happen to have a unique skill for picking winners. It is very difficult. How smart is it to invest in individual stocks or mutual funds which make less than the markets in a given year when you can just invest in said markets indirectly and harness their returns? Not very.

Eventually the lesson I learned is that it is much better to invest into broad market ETF's which represent the DOW (like DIA), the NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) and the S&P 500 (SPY). A share of each of these represents investing in a basket of stocks which tracks the respective overall market which it represents. In many if not most years you can earn about 10% to 15% on your investments which is a whole lot better than keeping it in savings accounts.

With this approach you dont have to worry about picking the right company to invest in; only the overall economy and overall markets. It is the most diverse form of investment so all your eggs aren't in one basket or one company. Bad news and rising interest rates have a negative effect on the markets but bad news is usually fleeting. Interest rates are not.

With investments, diversity is considered indispensable so that if something goes wrong with a company or a particular sector or a country, you dont get completely fucked.

I also invest in 'hot' sectors which can return a lot more in a given year (20% to 40%) but this requires a bit more active research and forecasting into the future. Sectors are parts of an economy such as energy, technology, real estate, healthcare, utilities, etc.. Depending on the economy and public policies, a given sector may do extremely well compared to the overall markets. Other years they may tank.

For example during the Bush years energy did very well (24% to 34% annual returns in 2003 to 2007). Then the recession hit and the price of oil was cut in half causing the energy sector (and oil countries like Venezuela) to tank (-35% in 2008). I would categorize it as a medium term investment which requires keeping up with the news.

The bottom line about investments is that the potential reward is proportional to the risk and there are no guaranties. It all depends on your tolerance levels. You can invest in a certificate of deposit at a bank and get peanuts (< 1%) with zero risk of losing money.  You can invest in US government bonds and get a bit higher returns with a slightly higher (but minimal) risk of losing money. You can invest in corporate bonds via a mutual fund and maybe make 5% with a higher (but still relatively low) risk. You can invest in overall markets which may return at 10 or 15% but have a higher risk of having a negative return. Or you can 'trade' options and go for 200% and higher returns if you can tolerate the risk of losing everything and like to 'smart' gamble.

If you don't take a chance, you won't make anything. The question is about finding the right balance of risk/reward.

Then again, with Trump in the White House i don't have any long term money in the markets right now. I buy short options (called 'puts') on QQQ and SPY and cash in on days that the markets drops 200 points on something stupid that Trump said or did. I believe that within another year or two when his policies take take full effect, interest rates will rise and the markets will tumble. Just like they did after the Bush tax cuts. That's just my opinion. I could be wrong and the markets could soar under Trump although so far the year to date gains in the markets six months in are close to zero and in negative territory some days.

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  • Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions
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  • Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
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Invest in real estate and run a billion miles away from the stock market.

But really, your money is safer under a bed these days.

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Your question about which product is right has no definite answer. First, what do you mean by product? Are you talking about which companies to invest in or are you talking about things like mutual funds, stocks and bonds?

How does one know which company/product to invest it?

As a first time person interested in the stock market and investing, what are the basic layman steps I would need to take to look at investing in a product?

From step one...
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THE BRA1N

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How does one know which company/product to invest it?


There is no definite answer to that. If it were a predictable science then everyone would be getting rich from investing.

Some people swear by Fibonacci charts, moving averages and many other types of charts, other people look at PE and PEG ratios, some people look to whether company insiders are selling or buying stakes in their own companies, some look at volume and unusual spikes in buying/selling activity to get alerts that something might be up before it goes public and some people just throw darts at the newspaper stock page and buy whatever company it lands on.

No matter what charts or approach somebody uses, stock prices are hypersensitive to news and interest rates. You can have a stock going up in value for 5 years but if some dumbshit world leader decides to invade a country or start a war (including a trade war), it can tank your gains. Sudden, unexpected news has the most dire effect and usually it's the bad news variety (eg, the Sept 11 attacks that crushed airline stocks and the stock market in general).

Also, with the reality that we are living in a global economy, news from all over the world can have a big impact on your investments (eg, China, Brexit, Russia invasion of Ukraine, Greece and Italy near financial default, etc)

With that in mind, there are some basic things that most experts agree on. Earnings that a company has and the prospects for earnings to grow are key indicators to look at. Companies with strong earnings tend to rise in stock price.

Complicating that is the notion that companies might not necessarily have any history of making a profit but just the prospects alone can be enough for investors. Amazon and Google were like that in the early 2000's when they were under $20/sh and now that they are profitable they are both over $1000 a share.

A better way to look at it imo is that you shouldn't invest in companies with no earnings, declining earnings or poor prospects for growth of earnings. You may lose money no matter what you do and no matter how sound a 'system' is but you are more likely to lose money than make money by investing in these type of companies.

TL/DR: There is no magic formula. The best thing you can do is to learn first hand by actually doing it rather than reading about it. To that end the internet affords you an opportunity to do that without risking any of your money.

We started an Investopedia contest at FC many years ago that you may have seen Obi post about. It gives you $100,000 of play money to start (or any other sum) and you can buy/sell stocks to see how you fare over time without risking your own money. Other sites like TD Ameritrade offer more sophisticated versions of the same paper trade game which is practically the same as if would be if it you were investing with real money.

You can try different investment approaches and learn as you go with a play account. That's the best way to wet your appetite and yes, that's how I got started when I was a kid only it was literally on paper because the internet didn't yet exist!
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Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others
  • Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
  • Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions
  • Needing constant admiration from others
  • Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
  • Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
  • Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs
  • Intensely envious of others and the belief that others are equally envious of them
  • Pompous and arrogant demeanor

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We started an Investopedia contest at FC many years ago that you may have seen Obi post about. It gives you $100,000 of play money to start (or any other sum) and you can buy/sell stocks to see how you fare over time without risking your own money.

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http://ootikof.forumotion.com/f5-stocks-and-investments
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Quote from: Cardtrick

I suspect that the three x-men between them couldn't handle even OBI in a match.
That would be interesting - Obi vs. Oranje, LoCo and Duke.

LemsTopic starter

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  • Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.Lems has a place in the TRF Hall of Fame.
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There is no definite answer to that. If it were a predictable science then everyone would be getting rich from investing.



Don’t get gold dug, Cyber Fingers!
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eskimoo

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  • eskimoo probably just rolled in here.
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Buy Bitcoin. Buy drugs. Sell drugs. Wash rinse repeat, retire.  :borat:
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