Over the years, the temptation to earn big has lured many investors to the stock markets. While India still has a very minuscule portion of its population participating in the stock markets, there are those who earn big and also those who lose their wealth in the process. Making money through the stock markets is not always easy. For one, it definitely requires patience and discipline on the investor’s part. A good understanding of the markets and thorough research go a long way in determining an investor’s wealth-creating ability through the markets.
We all know that stock markets are highly volatile, especially since the onset of the pandemic. This results in a lot of confusion among investors as they are unclear about whether to invest, hold, or sell their holdings.
There is no one answer that fits all as far as success in the stock markets is concerned. However, for those who want to make the most of stock investments, here our experts have put together the top 10 things to do to invest better in the stock markets.
1. Adopt discipline
The stock markets often see sudden panic-driven volatilities that can cause investors to lose money even during bull conditions. However, if an investor invests money in a systematic manner by choosing the right securities and holding the investment as per plan, it can fetch outstanding returns. Therefore, it is important for investors to adopt discipline around their approach and have patience apart from aiming for long-term returns.
2. Know before you invest
Thorough research is the key to making good return generating investments in the stock markets. Many investors invest by looking at the company’s name and reputation. While looking at a company’s standing is important, it is equally important for an investor to have sufficient knowledge about the company and the sector.
3. Never time the market
Most stock market veterans advise against timing the markets. However, this does not mean that investors should also avoid the price level checks for decision-making. By timing the markets, investors lose their focus on goals and take decisions based on temporary movements. This can lead to significant losses and is not ideal for long-term wealth creation.
4. Invest using excess funds
Stock market investments are generally high on the risk element. It is important for new and seasoned investors to try and use their excess funds for investments so as to avoid financial distress at any point. It is ideal to invest the amount of money that one can afford to lose in the stock markets. While stock market investments can fetch significant gains, there is no guarantee of positive returns every time.
5. Know what is right for you
As the saying by stock market veteran Warren Buffett goes, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful!”. What this means is that each stock market investor should focus on what is right for himself/herself instead of blindly following another investor’s path.
Many stock market buyers base their decisions on the moves adopted by their acquaintances or seasoned investors. So, if a known investor is investing in a stock, others will follow suit irrespective of their investment strategy. However, in the long run, this strategy may not work. It is best to avoid herd mentality, as it can drain one’s hard-earned money in no time.
6. Know the business before you invest
Stock market investments are never about investing in a stock, it is about investing in a business. This requires an investor to understand the business more than following the stock prices and movements. Simply put, before an investor invests in a company, he/she should know the business and be comfortable as far as understanding it is concerned. This can reap long-term benefits as an investor can know the impact of certain business decisions that the company may take and take personal investment decisions accordingly.
7. Monitor your investments
Due to the increasing impact of globalization, any major event anywhere across the globe can have a significant impact on the country’s financial markets. Therefore, a stock market investor should aim to constantly and closely monitor his/her investment portfolio. If this is not possible due to lack of time or knowledge, it is advisable to seek help from a professional financial expert. This can help in ensuring that one can buy, sell, or book profits at the right time without incurring any losses.
8. Avoid emotional decision-making
Fear and greed are two emotions that are commonly associated with stock market investments. During a bull market run, one can easily get lured into making quick profits. While speculating, investors end up buying shares of unknown companies without knowing the risks involved. Thus, such investors may end up with losses instead of creating wealth in the long run. During bear markets, investors may panic and sell off their holdings at low prices. If investors put aside their emotions while making investment decisions, they can stick to their goals and fetch returns accordingly.
9. Diversify your portfolio
Portfolio diversification across various assets is one of the important ingredients of optimising returns by minimising overall risk. The diversification level adopted by an investor may depend on personal risk-taking ability.
10. Set realistic goals
While expecting the best from an investment, one should ensure that he/she keeps realistic goals. Having unrealistic assumptions, like fetching instant wealth from stocks that have performed well during recent bull runs, may only end up burning a hole in one’s pocket.
Investors should never assume that they can fetch the same level of returns from the stock markets at all times.
We all know about the stock market wiz, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, and how he turned a few thousands into millions through his self-designed stock investment strategies. However, not many know that his father advised him to invest in the markets with his own money and not owed money. This advice is equally important and applicable for all stock market investors and can go a long way in determining whether one earns or burns wealth.
Trading and investing are two different strategies that can be adopted to foray into the stock markets. Both adopt unique approaches and provide returns based on one’s goals.
Stop loss is mostly used in day trading in stock markets. It helps in minimising and controlling the amount of loss that can potentially be incurred in a trade.
Leveraging or borrowing to trade in the stock markets is not advisable since it can cause financial distress, especially if one incurs losses through trading.
Short-selling should ideally be used by seasoned stock market investors as it involves strategic decision-making and good understanding of the markets.
To begin investing in the stock markets, one can learn about the fundamental and technical analysis basics apart from learning stock market basics. To trade, one must have a demat and trading account with a broker.