Check your portfolio regularly for winners and losers. Water the winners with reinvestment and weed out the losers by pulling them. If you cash out your earnings from the winners and ignore the weeds, the weeds will grow and eventually be the only thing you have left in your portfolio. Any money not needed for five years should be in your portfolio.
You may want to look into reliable investment management software if you are thinking of investing in stocks. Rather than taking risks or trusting a brokerage, these software programs can teach you the ins and outs of investing, ensuring you will make the best choices. Some of these programs even allow you to track trends.
Prior to placing funds with a professional broker, be sure you conduct sufficient research into their background. It's not that you would find an outright crook, although that is a distinct possibility. But what you're really looking for is the highest possible level of competence.
When picking stocks, find a strategy you enjoy and stick with it. For instance, you may choose to ignore the market's behavior for the most part and focus only on a company's earnings potential. Once you settle on a personal set of rules, you can seek out prominent investors or financial gurus who share your philosophy, and you can learn from them.
When investing in the stock market, you should only trade with cash that you can afford to lose. You do not ever want to put in cash that you will need to pay off debt into the stock market because you could lose it all. No investment is 100% safe, and you should never attempt to speculate on what's going to happen in the future with money that you will need.
Watch the cash flow of any company you are thinking about. Even if a company has a long history of profitability, if their cash flow is barely above their overhead, it only takes a short disturbance to trip up their lease payments. This kind of company killing debt is not listed on balance sheets, but instead found buried among the details of their current financial paperwork.
Consider getting some good software that specializes in investment management. It really does not cost that much and it will help save you a ton of time trying to learn how to properly do things. Look into getting one that can help you with profits and losses and one for tracking prices.
Be cautious when choosing to purchase the most promising stock of the moment. Remember that stocks can be like trends, and that means that they come and go with the times. The most promising stock today might not be the most promising stock tomorrow, and if you become too heavily invested in it, you will open yourself up to potential losses. If you stick with industries that have a history of remaining promising, you will be placing your money in a safer marketplace.
You should always investigate the fees that you will be liable for from a broker before you register with them. There will be entry fees and other fees that could be deducted upon exiting, as well. These can often add up quickly, so don't be surprised.
If you wish to pay lower fees for investing, considering trading online. There are many online firms that trade stocks and are much cheaper than a regular brokerage firm. Read up make money trading stocks online on different firms to determine which are reputable and provide the types of services you're looking for at a decent price. TradeKing and Fidelity are two great choices.
If you own stocks, use your voting rights and proxy as you see fit. Depending on what the company's charter says, you might have voting rights which allow you to elect board directors, or even make proposals for big company changes like a merger. The voting typically happens at the annual shareholders' meeting, but you can also vote by mail.
Avoid discount brokers. These brokers lie somewhere between the expertise and advice of full-service brokers and the low prices and fees of online brokers, but do not really offer the advantages of either. It is better to be at the ends of the spectrum to find true value for your time and money.