How to invest in stocks (beginner's guide)

Stock trading refers to investing in a publicly listed company by purchasing a number of that company’s stocks, also referred to as shares.

 

A company’s stocks become available for trading once it has completed an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and can be purchased on the stock market. When stock trading, an investor’s success is intrinsically linked to that of the company they have invested in. When news surrounding the company is positive its stock price rises, providing profit for the investor. On the other hand, when things are not going well for the company, its stock price will fall and investors will experience losses.

How to invest in shares

How to Buy and Sell Stocks Online

Although stock trading was traditionally conducted on physical exchanges, where transactions were made on a trading floor, the growth in online trading means that a large percentage of stock trading is now conducted digitally.

 

An added benefit of stock trading using an online account is that instead of simply buying a company’s stock, they can also sell it short. This means the investors can benefit from both rising and falling markets, providing additional investment opportunities.

 

Furthermore, as a shareholder, investors are able to benefit from dividend payments as a source of passive income.

How to Buy and Sell Shares Online

Through using a bank that offers stock dealing, such as FlowBank, investors can buy and sell stocks in a range of global companies online, from a single trading account. If a trader expects that a company’s  stock price will rise, they go long (buy). Alternatively, if the expectation is that the stock price will fall, they can go short (sell).


How to Buy and Sell Shares Online

Stock trading through CFDs can be profitable, however, there are risks involved that investors should be aware of before entering the market. There are also a number of factors that can influence company stock prices, which are important for investors to know if they want to be successful.

 

Factors that affect stock prices

Part of learning how to invest in stocks involves understanding the range of factors that can affect the value of a company’s stock. Investors that experience the most success in stock trading are those that have comprehensive experience of how the stock market moves and why, as well as in-depth knowledge about the companies they are investing in.

 

Positive earnings reports

The release of a company’s earnings report is a major contributor to the performance of its stock price. Reports that come in above previous data or beat expectations in areas such as revenue and profit can send a company’s stock price climbing. On the other hand, poor figures can have a significantly negative impact on stock price.

Product Launches

News that a company is preparing to launch an innovative or revolutionary new product can also have an impact on stock price. Such announcements can lead to positive expectations for a company’s future financials and thus lead to a rise in stock value. If, however, a new product announcement is met with a lukewarm or negative reception, the company’s stocks will suffer.

 

Senior Management Changes

Changes in senior management personnel can have a major effect on a company’s stock price. People in these positions have a large say in how a company moves forward strategically and the business choices that are made. Incoming individuals that are experienced and widely respected in the company’s industry can boost stock price due to the optimism surrounding their appointment. However, a company that suffers from constantly changing personnel may be seen as unstable or in trouble, which could lead to its stock price falling.

 

Industry News

Outside of company-specific announcements, general news from the industry a company inhabits can also affect stock price. If for example, strict regulations are announced governing a specific product or industry that relates to the company in question, this could lead to a dip in stock price, as investors become pessimistic about the company’s future earning potential.


Keeping informed about the latest news and announcements surrounding the industries and companies an investor is interested in is one of the most important parts of learning how to invest in stocks successfully.

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