How to recognize a good investment opportunity

 

A series of good investments can fund your ideal lifestyle, allowing you to retire sooner than expected or walk away from a job you dislike. Alternatively, bad investments can deplete your savings and damage your prospects for the future.

Knowing the difference between the two and finding the right opportunities at the right time is never straightforward, but knowing what to look out for when it comes to a potential investment – as well as what to avoid – can go a long way towards making sure your money always works in your favor.

Long-term viability

If you are risk-averse, you should confine your investments to those stocks and shares that you will be happy to own for at least ten years. While fields such as cryptocurrency may provide the opportunity to make large sums of money in a short amount of time, the best investments are those which provide solid returns and allow you to reinvest your dividends, either into the same company or into a more diverse portfolio.

Therefore, if the business or area you are thinking of investing in seems like a flash in the pan affair or temporary fad, you should proceed with extreme caution. That said, it’s important to factor in a plan to deal with any regrets you might have about an investment well in advance. This can include the regret that comes with making a loss but also the regret that comes with seeing an investment grow in value after you made the decision not to get involved. Dealing with the emotional ups and downs of investing at an early stage can make it easier for you to stay on track.

Alternative markets

Old standards such as property are likely to remain a good investment, especially if you are in for the long haul, but there are also a number of new ventures that offer a good return and a low level of risk, such as the growing field of peer to peer lending – a system in which investors provide the capital that is loaned out to businesses looking for cash injections.

One of the key advantages of peer to peer lending is that you can be actively involved in deciding exactly who you want to lend to. You can also share the risk with others by investing less than the full amount. Firms such as Folk2Folk.com only lend to those who can provide an adequate level of security, further reducing any risk to their investors.

Simple business models

While investing in the latest innovations and trends may provide great opportunities for some, if you invest in an area of business in which you have little understanding, it will be far more difficult for you to judge the market conditions and know when it’s a good time to cash in your shares or purchase more.

If you find a business that has a very simple business model that you fully understand, such a business is likely to operate in a more stable manner and have a solid growth curve at its core. Although the returns may not be as spectacular, investing in such a field will also provide you with far greater peace of mind, in addition to an additional income stream.

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How Beginners Prepare for Stock Market Trading

 

Trading on the financial market can be a fascinating activity and a great way of making some money. For those with the time, commitment and knowledge, it can even become a primary method of income, netting sizeable rewards. And even if you can only commit a limited amount of time to the market, you can still provide yourself with a nest egg for your retirement.

But while the opportunities are almost limitless, the risks are also very real. Starting to trade and invest in stocks without any knowledge or preparation is a sure way to lose everything. Nevertheless, there are straightforward ways of preparing yourself to take on the market that will give you a good chance of coming out a winner.

Study the market

You can start simply by following the market. Yahoo and Google both offer finance coverage – these are great places for beginners to study how the market works. As you grow more confident with the terminology, you can move on to the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal. That way you’ll learn to spot trends, read analyses and pick up on economic concepts and jargon. There are many sources, both online and off, for useful articles.

Follow the greats

When you have the time, you should also consider reading a few of the many books on the subject of investment and stock trading. As a general rule, avoid the more sensational volumes that promise to make you a millionaire overnight. Look out for the major names in the field, such as Warren Buffett or Benjamin Graham. Many of the strategies applied sixty years ago are still valid today.

Take a course

If you’re really serious about getting involved with investing and trading on the financial market, then it’s a good idea to enrol on a professional course to learn the basics. The foreign exchange market, or forex market, is the world’s largest financial market and is open 24 hours a day, with international currencies constantly traded against each other. Forex trading courses are available that will show you how to make money on this market, whether it’s going up or down. Financial opportunities are always available if you know how to seize them. The risks are minimal if you know how to protect yourself, and trading for just an hour a day can be enough to earn you a sizeable tax-free secondary income.

Open an account

The next step is to open an account with a reputable online broker. You might want to find one that offers virtual trading as well, so that you can practise without taking any risks, until you get the hang of it. Use online forums to ask questions and pick up advice, and better still, get yourself a mentor who has experience of stock market trading. This is a tried and tested way of progressing for all successful investors.

Most importantly, establish your financial goals and how much you can afford to invest before you start. Generally, it’s best to start small and stick to one simple strategy. Treat any winnings as a bonus while you’re learning the ropes, and have fun!