There’s something about capital markets that captivates everyone: Some think stocks are an easy way to make a quick score. Others, on other hand, liken stock to gambling.
And then there are some who just don’t have a clue about stocks at all.
(Fret not, #WealthGANG, we’re here to serve!)
But why is the stock market so fascinating? What causes people to be completely overawed by it?
Despite the many myths, it is extremely easy to trade in the markets; you can actually get started on your smartphone for less than $10.
But to trade stocks successfully? Now that’s another story—despite what those in-their-20s Instagram crypto money managers and scammers want to tell you.
For all the myths, biases, (mis)beliefs and misconceptions, you can still hedge your bets by following a disciplined blueprint. In this case here, we will share with you what not to do.
Here are X common investor mistakes to avoid at all times.
Mistake #1: Thinking you can make a quick buck from Wall Street
This is probably the single biggest misconception about the stock market. Investor legends like Warren Buffett always maintain you need to invest over a long-term horizon to book big profits.
And even if you have stories like the ‘Teenage Bitcoin Millionaire,’ trust us on this one! They’re the exception, not the rule.
Mistake #2: Investing on impulse
In other words, decision to enter the stock market’s based on an impulse. There’s no proper entry strategy and no exit strategy.
This is not how an investment decision should be made. Every investor should realize that investing in the stock market is a long-term play—it’s definitely NOT a get-rich-quick scheme.
“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”
Mistake #3: Following the hot tip!
Investors are all on the lookout for hot leads and stock market tips. But in reality, there aren’t any. This mistake is exactly how the “Wolf of Wall Street”got people onboard with his schemes.
Even if someone does have a hot tip, you have to watch out for human nature: People may skew positively towards stocks they own—and negatively towards the ones they don’t.
The reality is this: There are qualified analysts who spend all day researching market trends and metrics.
Investment managers and brokers then share these analyses with premium clients. Much more credible info, yes. However even after receiving this analysis, there is no guarantee the investor will see an ROI.
Warren Buffett is a firm believer that investors can grow wealth by just replicating the indices instead of looking for multi-baggers and stocks that are expected to crush the market.
“If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice.”
Norman Ralph Augustine
Mistake #4: “Buy/Sell Strategy”
This is probably the biggest misconception of all. Many investors, impulsively, end up buying a stock just because they see the price surging. (Again, think Bitcoin in December.)
As the price continue to climb, they’ll sell the stock and make a huge profit. The so-called Buy-Hold-Sell Strategy
But that is not how the stock market works. (Buffett’s mantra is buy-hold-and don’t watch too closely.)
If you do buy a stock, hold it for some time and then sell…you don’t have any guarantees the stock will rise.
A better play—aside from Buffett’s, obviously—is the borderline cliched “Buy Low/Sell High” strategy. In this strategy, an investor buys a stock on the downslide instead of when the price is rising.
All the investor has to do is hold the stock until a price correction occurs. If the stock is fundamentally strong, the price will increase. This will be the time to sell it off and earn a profit.
“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” — Warren Buffett
Mistake #5: No clear investment objective
Every investor should define, clearly, what his or her investment goals are.
The rule of thumb of investing is the higher the risk, the higher the return. So if the market return is less, then—needless to say—the risk involved is deemed less.
There are two forms of securities, generally: Stocks (equity) and bonds (debt).
Equity stocks tend to have higher risks associated with them. However, there is a tremendous potential to earn capital gains from equity shares—but with the caveat that you should be prepared to lose your investment
Bonds and fixed income instruments are relatively less risky than equity shares. They offer periodic returns in the form of interest but are still prone to market risk.
A short-term investor looking for minimal risk is better off buying treasury bills and government securities.
“You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.” — Peter Lynch
Video: Compound Interest, Explained
3 Ways To Invest From Your Smartphone For Under $5
The numbers say 80% of millennials don’t invest in stocks.
Reason? Half say they don’t have money, one-third says it’s too early and another third says they don’t know how.
In addition to that, there’s demographic gap. “The average age of a financial advisor is 55,” said Douglas Boneparth, a New York City-based financial planner. “There are more financial advisors over the age of 70 than there are under 30.”
Despite these beliefs, you don’t really need much money, nor experience, to get started. (Just look at our fearless co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi and what she’s pulled off here)
Be that as it may, here are three ways to get started for $5 or less.
What: A micro-investment app (iOS and Android) with over 30 ETFs according to industry, sector and risk tolerance.
How it works: Download the app and choose your investment.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We help people who don’t have a lot save money on a weekly basis,” CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg said in one interview. “Stashers look like America, they look like people you meet every day: they are nurses and teachers and Uber and Lyft drivers.”
What: iOS and Android app.
How it works: Download the app and choose one of six index funds. When you buy, say a cup of coffee for $1.75, it rounds up the change to $2 and deposits the difference.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Just like Stash, fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We’re not trying to preach austerity to the client, because that’s a bummer,” CMO Manning Field says. “Some people will say, ‘Don’t have the cup of coffee.’ We’ll tell you to have the cup of coffee and invest along the way.”
What: A commission-free investment app (iOS and Android).
How it works: Download and start buying stocks.
Minimum investment: Whatever stock you want to buy.
And by the way, if you want to get a fast start on real estate, here’s Forbes’ list of nine REITs with yields between 8% and 10%.
CHART: How Blockchain Powers Bitcoin
Blockchain, Bitcoin. Bitcoin, blockchain.
The two terms go hand in hand—and have become almost ubiquitous with this year’s insane rise (and fall) of Bitcoin.
But what does it all really mean? How does it come together? In this week’s chart, our friends at CB Insights break down exactly how blockchain powers Bitcoin.