WealthWire is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers.
Want to invest but unsure where to start? It doesn’t have to be so complicated!
As a new investor, investing in stocks is one of the best ways to grow long-term wealth. However, with so many stocks and investment options, learning what they are, where to invest, and how to invest can be overwhelming.
1. What are Stocks?
Before investing in stocks, it’s important to understand what stocks are and how they work. In short, stocks represent ownership in a company. When you buy a stock, you become a shareholder in that company. That means you’re entitled to a portion of its profits, known as dividends, along with the potential to earn capital gains if the stock price increases.
Stocks are traded on exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ. They can be bought and sold by individual investors through a broker or an investment platform such as Stash.
Some key terms to understand when it comes to stocks include:
- Dividends: A portion of a company’s profits that is paid out to shareholders.
- Capital gains: The profit you make when you sell a stock for more than you paid for it.
- Stock splits: When a company decides to divide its existing shares into multiple shares. This can make the stock more affordable for individual investors.
Hot Tip: Try out Stash and get a free $5 to invest to start!
2. Benefits and Risks of Stocks
Like any investment, stocks come with benefits and risks. Here are some of the key benefits of investing in stocks:
- Potential for high returns: Stocks have historically provided higher returns than other types of investments, such as bonds or cash.
- Diversification: Investing in stocks allows you to diversify your investment portfolio and spread out your risk across different companies and industries.
However, investing in stocks also comes with risks, including:
- Market volatility: Stock prices can be volatile and fluctuate rapidly based on a variety of factors, including economic conditions and company performance.
- Risk of loss: Investing in stocks comes with the risk of losing money, especially if you don’t do your research and make informed investment decisions.
Keep these benefits and risks in mind when investing in stocks and to have a long-term investment strategy in place.
3. Choosing an Investment Platform
When it comes to investing in stocks, there are many different investment platforms to choose from. Choosing the right investment platform is crucial for success in the world of investing. That’s why we recommend Stash, a user-friendly and affordable investment platform that’s perfect for beginners. With Stash, you can start investing in stocks, ETFs, and other assets with as little as $5.
Stash is offering a $5 credit to start investing when you sign up using this link. We recommend Stash because they offer personalized investment recommendations based on your financial goals and risk tolerance. Whether you’re looking to build long-term wealth or just dip your toes in the world of investing, Stash can help you find the right investments for your needs.
Start investing and get free $5 to invest now.
4. Common Mistakes to Avoid
As a beginner, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that many investors make. One common mistake is investing in a stock based solely on its past performance. Just because a stock has performed well in the past doesn’t guarantee that it will continue to do so in the future.
Another mistake is investing without a clear plan or strategy. It’s important to have a well-defined investment plan and to stick to it, even during market fluctuations.
A third common investing misstep is trying to time the market by buying and selling stocks based on short-term fluctuations in the market. This can be a risky strategy that often leads to losses instead of gains. It’s important to focus on long-term investing goals and to maintain a diversified portfolio that includes a mix of different stocks and other assets.
Investing in stocks can be a rewarding way to build wealth over the long term. However, you should approach it with a clear understanding of the risks and rewards. With patience, discipline, and a long-term perspective, anyone can become a successful investor in the stock market.