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How To-For Stock Investers And Beginners-The Real Truth

Aug 17, 2007
Stock Investing For Beginners

Investing is a touchy subject for a lot of Americans. Most of us know that we should be active in the market, but we're intimidated by what we don't know. The brokerage industry likes it this way.

So long as we think that we're not smart enough to engage in stock investing on our own, the few of us who do decide to give it a try will come stumbling into an Edward Jones or Raymond James office and pay commissions through the nose to a broker who may or may not have our best interests in mind.

But investing is not nearly as complex as some financial advisors would have us believe. It is something that almost anyone can do. With that in mind, here are some tips for getting started in stock investing.

Stock Investing 101 - You're Not An "Idiot" or a "Dummy"

People have become millionaires writing books that tell us that we're "idiots" or "dummies" - that we're too feeble-minded to understand the simplest of subjects, let alone something as complex as investing.

Even the books that aren't for "complete idiots" or "dummies" about stock investing typically feature one of two fatal flaws: They either assume that the readers know too much, or they assume that they are too stupid to understand the real ins and outs of investing.

The latter are even worse than the former, as they tend to cover only what their authors consider most important, and the authors are usually wrong.

The bad news is that in order to truly understand stock investing, you need to understand these basics that most writers think you're too dimwitted to comprehend.

The good news is that the financial writers are the real dimwits. The basics really are basic and you can understand them if you have a good teacher or a really good book.

You Can Be A Stock Investing Genius

In 1997 a Wall Street pro named Joel Greenblatt wrote a great book called You Can Be A Stock Market Genius. The subtitle, Even If You're Not That Smart, was a potshot at those insulting books for Dummies and Complete Idiots.

The book was intended to be for beginners, but Mr. Greenblatt inadvertently made it a little too complex for the average newcomer to investing. Ironically, the book became an instant classic among hedge fund managers - supposedly the smartest guys on Wall Street, who privately manage the play money of billionaires.

But teaching his hedge fund peers was not Joel Greenblatt's goal, so in 2005, he wrote a new book entitled The Little Book That Beats The Market.

The second half of The Little Book is devoted to a particular stock investing strategy that Greenblatt devised. Greenblatt's "magic formula" may or may not be right for you, but the first half of the book is what's really important.

It features what is probably the best explanation of investing for beginners to ever be published. The Little Book That Beats The Market is highly recommended to stock investing newcomers, and after reading it, you will be able to understand Greenblatt's first book and many other great books on investing.

Knowledge Is King - And Reading Is Fundamental

You can never hope to master stock investing in a matter of hours, days, months, or even a few years. To achieve only the basic level of knowledge necessary to begin investing will require you to read at least a few books.

After reading each of Greenblatt's books, consider reading Jim Cramer's Real Money and William O'Neil's How To Make Money In Stocks. They're both a little more advanced, but once you can comprehend them, you'll truly be on your way to becoming a stock investing pro.

Also, consider subscribing to at least one publication that focuses on investing. The best are the newspapers Investor's Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal, but if you don't have time to read the paper every day, consider the biweekly Forbes or Fortune.

Barons is a weekly newspaper that is great for finding stock investing ideas, and SmartMoney is a great monthly magazine, especially for newer investors.
About the Author
William Smith the author provides additional financial information on many subjects as well as the secret to his success in the market along with 5 Free power stock picks emailed daily so grab your Free subscription on his website at Stock Investing (All is Free)
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