The Motley Fool Guide To Investing For Beginners

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The Different Ways To Invest In The Stock Market

How to Invest in Stocks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Individual stocks

You can invest in individual stocks if — and only if — you have the time and desire to thoroughly research and evaluate stocks on an ongoing basis. If this is the case, we 100% encourage you to do so. It is entirely possible for a smart and patient investor to beat the market over time. On the other hand, if things like quarterly earnings reports and moderate mathematical calculations don’t sound appealing, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a more passive approach.

Index funds

In addition to buying individual stocks, you can choose to invest in index funds, which track a stock index like the S& P 500. When it comes to actively vs. passively managed funds, we generally prefer the latter . Index funds typically have significantly lower costs and are virtually guaranteed to match the long-term performance of their underlying indexes. Over time, the S& P 500 has produced total returns of about 10% annualized, and performance like this can build substantial wealth over time.

Robo-advisors

Finally, another option that has exploded in popularity in recent years is the robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is a brokerage that essentially invests your money on your behalf in a portfolio of index funds that is appropriate for your age, risk tolerance, and investing goals. Not only can a robo-advisor select your investments, but many will optimize your tax efficiency and make changes over time automatically.

Stay Current With The Australian Economy

Youll want to stay up to date with Reserve Bank of Australias interest rate decisions, investor confidence levels, the performance of share markets both in Australia and around the world, government policy changes, exchange rates, and the overall health of the national economy.

All of these factors can influence the overall market.

Things To Look For When Choosing Your First Shares

The key to successful investing is making informed trading decisions. Youll want to research the financial health and growth prospects of the companies youre interested in. Remember, it doesnt matter where the shares have been but where theyre going.

Read each companys last few annual reports and trading updates, look up research reports, go over annual reports, and see what the professional analysts are saying.

One of the most important things to look for when investing is durable competitive advantages in a companys business. This could mean a valuable brand name, proprietary technology, efficiency advantages, greater scale, or high barriers to entry. The idea is that these types of advantages can help preserve a companys market share and pricing power, which is essential for a successful long-term investment

You also want to buy companies with a solid balance sheet and low debt. We already mentioned that its generally a good idea to avoid companies with lots of debt. The debt-to-EBITDA ratio, discussed earlier, can help you analyse a companys debt burden.

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C Independent Investment Advisor Or Financial Planner

A typical independent advisor, such as a Registered Investment Advisor, or RIA, may charge a fixed fee for a specific service or they may charge an ongoing fee based on a percentage of assets under management. The client may choose their own brokerage and open their own accounts or the advisor may choose the brokerage and open accounts on behalf of the client.

How Much Do You Need To Start Investing

A Beginner

The amount of money you need to start investing generally depends upon the type of investment account you are using and the type of investments you want to buy. Therefore, the minimum amount to get started on investing may be a range from as little as $10 or as much as $3,000 or more.

For example, to start investing in your employer’s 401k plan, you can typically start with as little as 1% of your pay. However, if you start investing with a mutual fund in a brokerage account, you may need a minimum initial investment that typically ranges from $100 to $3,000 or higher.

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What Is Your Priority

This is another question that can help you choose share investments that are right for you. If your priority is to grow your wealth, for example, you dont need to focus on dividend-paying shares.

On the other hand, if you plan to rely on your share investments for income, you may want to focus on higher-paying investments only. This is even true if you decide youre best suited to invest in index funds.

For example, an investor whose main priority is long-term growth might choose an ETF like the Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF, which has a 90% allocation towards growth assets and 10% to income-generating assets.

On the other hand, an income-reliant investor might choose the Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF, which aims for exposure to companies with higher forecast dividends relative to other ASX-listed companies. An investor who falls somewhere in the middle might choose the iShares Core S& P/ASX 200 ETF, which tracks the ASX 200 index and charges a reasonable management fee of 0.09%.

How Much Does Stock Advisor Cost

The Motley Fools Stock Advisor is now available at its lowest price ever. Last year I paid $199 and if you go to their website you will see the full retail price is $199. BUTThey do run pricing promotions of $19 a month or $89 a year for new subscribers. Either way you can cancel and take advantage of their 30 day money back guarantee and get a full refund.

Is Motley Fool a pump and dump?

Absolutely not. In fact, they are the opposite. They recommend you hold their stock picks for at least 5 years.

Does it Cover Penny Stocks?

No, the Motley Fool services focuses on blue chip stocks, which are large & well-established companies in their respective industry. They do NOT recommend penny stocks.

For penny stocks, I would suggest looking into Timothy Sykes, a penny stock trader who made $1.65 million by day trading as a university student.

He has a couple of teaching segments that you might interest you:

Is the Motley Fool Good for Technical Analysis?

No, definitely not. Technical analysis involves analyzing trade volume and prices and then trying to forecast the direction of stock prices.

The Motley Fool service is based on fundamental analysis and is for longer-term investing. Hence they focus on the companys financial statements, their competitors, the overall health of the economy, etc.

Is it Good for Day Traders?

It is focused on buy & hold portfolios that seek capital growth. This involves a lot less stress and growth for the long-term.

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Why Should I Invest

The easy answer to the question is: to create wealth. As a whole, stock investments have historically returned more than 9% per year, on average. If you invested $10,000 at this return rate for 40 years, it would grow to nearly $315,000.

Investing can help you reach your financial goals, such as paying for your children’s college education, passing wealth to loved ones, or building a nest egg for your own retirement. There are many potential reasons to invest money.

What Is The Motley Fool Stock Advisor

How to Invest in Stocks — Your Step-By-Step Guide to Beginner Investing

The Motley Fool is a stock and investment website. It employs many writers and analysts who constantly comb the market for stock picks and investment ideas. The flagship product for investors is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service. This paid service gives you access to a more exclusive list of stocks.

  • Customers get two new Stock Advisor picks per month.
  • Subscriptions cost $99 for the first year and then $199 per year going forward.
  • You can try it risk-free for the first 30 days and then cancel for a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
  • At any given time, Stock Advisor customers have access to about 10 recommended stocks.

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How To Choose Stocks To Invest In

If you choose to invest in individual stocks, the first thing you should understand is the difference between investing and speculating. Investing is a long-term activity, designed to achieve sustained returns that can compound over time. Speculating is akin to gambling — trying to chase a quick payday.

With that in mind, there are certain types of stocks that make excellent long-term investments, especially for beginners. There are many things to look for in your first stock investments, but just to name a few: You’ll want to learn basic ways to value stocks, identify durable competitive advantages, and understand how a business makes money. Of course, our writers at The Motley Fool regularly suggest some good beginner stocks, like these examples.

Value Stocks Vs Growth Shares

There are two main types of shares you can invest in value shares and growth shares.

Value shares are generally considered companies that trade for valuations less than the overall share markets average, although thats not a set-in-stone definition. The important point to know is that the goal of value investing is to find shares that are trading for substantial discounts to their intrinsic value.

Growth shares are generally defined as companies that are growing faster than the markets average. The idea behind growth investing is to find shares with the highest long-term potential relative to their current share price.

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How Often Should You Invest

Invest in stocks and shares every month. In fact, setting up a regular plan to buy index trackers or funds and trusts can be an excellent way of investing for beginners, as you can build up a sizeable position over time. Thats especially true when the effects of compounding enter the picture.

Lets demonstrate the power of compounding.

On average, the FTSE 100 delivers a return of around 9% annually when including income from dividends. Assuming this dividend income is re-invested, and every month £25 was added to the portfolio, a total of £9,000 would have been deposited into the account after 30 years.

But how much do you think the portfolio would be worth? Its actually closer to £51,610 thanks to all the income it generated over the years.

Now lets say youve managed to land a well-paying job and have £500 to invest each month. Under the same assumptions, how much do you think youd have after 30 years?

The answer: £1,032,200! Now thats a nice retirement plan!

Is It Safer To Pull Your Money Out Of The Stock Market Or Keep Investing For Now

Stocks for Beginner Investors

The TSX Composite Index has dipped 12%, as fears of a recession loom. You might wonder if it is safe to keep investing in the stock market.

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Image source: Getty Images

Several metrics signal an oncoming of a recession. The stock market has pulled into a bearish stance. It is natural to be fearful and look for safer options. Is it safe to pull money out of the stock market? If you do, you are doing the opposite of buying the dip and selling the rally.

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The Motley Fool’s Track Record

Most of The Motley Fool stock picks do make money. It has been estimated that roughly 80-90% of their stock picks are profitable. A very slim majority of their stock pick choices beat the S& P 500.

The Motley Fool recommends several large and mid-cap stocks and very few small-cap stocks. Members are encouraged to fully invest in high-quality stocks over the long term.

This long-term investing view is also the view we generally take at Investor Junkie, and it’s nice that The Motley Fool recommends high-quality companies that are generally long-term holds.

Decide How Much You Will Invest In Stocks

First, let’s talk about the money you shouldn’t invest in stocks. The stock market is no place for money that you might need within the next five years, at a minimum.

While the stock market will almost certainly rise over the long run, there’s simply too much uncertainty in stock prices in the short term — in fact, a drop of 20% in any given year isnt unusual. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the market plunged by more than 40% and rebounded to an all-time high within a few months.

  • Money you’ll need to make your child’s next tuition payment
  • Next year’s vacation fund
  • Money you’re socking away for a down payment, even if you will not be prepared to buy a home for several years

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How Much Time Do You Want To Spend On Investing

This is the main question that will tell you whether you should buy individual shares or if youd be better off focusing on ETFs and mutual funds. To be sure, theres nothing wrong with the latter option. Index funds can ensure that you do as well as the overall market which, as we saw in the introduction, is quite good over time.

If you want to choose individual shares, we encourage you to do so. However, theres a caveat. You must commit enough time to thoroughly and effectively evaluate the shares before buying them.

At a minimum, wed suggest only investing in individual shares if you have at least a couple of hours each week to learn about investing and to evaluate potential investment opportunities.

Are You Ready To Start Investing In Shares

How to Invest in Index Funds

All other factors being equal, the best time to start investing in shares is as soon as you can. Your money will never have more long-term compounding power than it does right now.

Having said that, there are a couple of financial tasks to do before you put any of your money into the share market. Its important to get rid of your high-interest credit card debt and to establish an emergency fund, so you can put your investment dollars to work as effectively as possible.

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C Taxable Brokerage Account

While a brokerage account is generally taxable to the account owner, there are no contribution limits, no penalties for withdrawals, and greater flexibility than other investment and savings vehicles, such as retirement accounts. Brokerage accounts can be held by an individual, jointly with other individuals, and can be opened for minors .

How Much Of Your Money Should Be In Shares

First off, this refers to the amount of your invested money. Obviously, things like your emergency fund shouldnt be in shares. So, its important to learn the basics of asset allocation. For beginners purposes, we can narrow this down into two basic categories shares and bonds .

Its a smart idea for beginners to read through our guide to asset allocation, but for the time being, theres one main idea you need to know. Shares have higher long-term return potential, but also have more short-term volatility.

Bonds, on the other hand, tend to generate lower returns over long time periods, but tend to be less volatile.

Because of these traits, shares are better suited to younger investors while bonds are more in line with what most older investors need .

Heres another important concept. All investors should have some combination of the two, with younger investors more stock-heavy and older investors more bond-oriented.

Theres no set-in-stone rule when it comes to asset allocation, but a useful guideline is that you can get a ballpark idea of your share allocation by subtracting your age from 110.

For example, if you are 38, this implies that you should have about 72% of your portfolio in shares, with the remaining 28% in bonds. As you get older, youll adjust your holdings accordingly.

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Select Your Investment Options

Once your risk tolerance is identified and investment accounts are open, you’re ready to select your investment options. It’s generally a good idea to diversify risk, which means to own a combination of different asset types, which are primarily stocks, bonds, and cash.

  • Stocks: Also called equities, stocks represent ownership in a company and enables the investor, or shareholder, to participate in profits and receive dividends paid by the company. Stocks are generally suitable for investors who have a moderate to high tolerance for risk associated with short-term fluctuations in price.
  • Bonds: Broadly considered as “fixed income,” bonds represent debt to a company. This makes the investor, or bondholder, the lender that receives interest payments from the company, or debtor. Bonds are suitable for investors with low tolerance for risk, preferring more stable returns compared to stocks.
  • Cash: Investors primarily use cash in their brokerage account to buy shares of their investment securities. A typical investment portfolio won’t hold more than 5% of assets in cash. Some active investors may hold more cash in certain market conditions.

A Beginners Guide To Investing In Tsx Stocks

Motley Fool Options

Are you considering investing in stocks? Where to start can be intimidating. Lets start with the workings of stocks and how to do research.

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A stock market is a place where you can double or triple your money or reduce your savings to negative. The one who experiences early profits becomes over-confident and makes short-term bets, thereby losing money. The one who experiences losses exits the market, calling it a gamble. To begin investing in the stock market, you need to know how it works. You need to set the right expectation with the right share. Once you know the basics, you will realize that it is hard to lose money in shares if you stay invested in the right ones.

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Why Are You Investing

Your reasons for investing can play a major role in your investment style, risk tolerance, and more.

For example, suppose youre saving for retirement. In that case, you should be less inclined to take risks than someone who has a substantial nest egg in their superannuation account and is simply investing to try to make some additional money. The same can be said if you are investing for a specific goal, such as to pay for your kids education.

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