There are only a handful of financial questions that we ask our self every day. Finance is not a cloth where one size does fit all, what needs to be done at any particular time vary widely from person to person.
Even the answer we supposed to have known already does not remain valid for long. Our financial priorities keep on changing along with the circumstances. It’s to your best interest that you seek answers to these questions regularly.
Below are the most basic financial questions on investing and how I do feel about them.
Should I buy Shares in this Market
When I am writing this, there has been a market meltdown, so today, I will advice any one to buy stocks but, when you are reading this, stock market might be sitting at its peak and buying shares now might not be the most intelligent decision you could ever make.
Here, I would like to take note of Warren Buffet’s strategy, he gets on to the market when it’s in decline and he keeps on sitting over his investment for long, very long time. I follow his strategy and tap on to the market when it’s in decline and hold on to my stocks till I need the money or till I remain optimistic about further growth.
As per experts’ opinion, when you are retired or nearing retirement, you should stay away from stock markets, do not invest further money in direct stock purchases unless you are sitting on a pile of cash you don’t bother to lose.
Which Stocks Should I Buy
I can only answer about myself; I can’t and shouldn’t suggest what you could buy right now. I do not speculate about stocks, I do not buy a stock which is less than $5 a piece. I buy shares which have a history of paying dividend continuously in last 10 years.
Before you start stock picking, ask yourself why in the first place you want to buy a stock directly from market? If it is to increase your passive income then there is risk involved, can you devote time to do proper research on a stock? Once you buy, can you keep on updating yourself about the stock on weekly basis? Can you be able to read each quarterly statement of the stock? Lastly, can you afford a negative return at times on this part for your investment?
If answer to any of the above questions is in negative, you would probably not do any favor to your self by investing in to stocks directly, even if you get around and make a hefty profit, it’s just by chance.
If you can cope with the above requirements, then ask yourself which stocks have consistently performed and which stock’s business model I am fully comfortable with. Then ask your self if the company can do as well in future.
The last thing I do before investing in individual stocks is determine how long I can hold the stock and what is the potential of the stock growth up to that point. There is no point in listening to others about a stock’s long-term potential if you are just going to hold it for 6 months.
Should I Day-Trade?
Answer varies between people, I do not day trade. But, there are people who make a lot of money trading stocks over a day. Unless you have disposable income you should refrain yourself from day trading, it could wipe off your wealth. On the other hand if you are in to gambling, day trading is definitely better option, at least day trading has more odds in favor of your success than gambling.
In order to day-trade, you need to pick up a handful of stocks and analyze each of them, you need to equip yourself with a number of theories and charts and graphs associated with each of them. Also, a very important requirement is that you should always be acquainted with latest news on the stocks you day trade with. You would probably also need to be in stock trading communities.
If you can do these things, go for day trading, it makes a lot of money but, be cautious as I heard people going bankrupt for wrong stock picks or wrong timing.
Bond Fund or Stock Fund
I do have investments in stock funds and bond funds. Stock funds have higher risk and higher return, meaning stock funds give you higher positive or negative return as compared to bond funds. It depends on your risk tolerance, I would again think that if you are retired or nearing retirement, it’s probably better to lower exposure to stock funds.
Bond funds provide low but steady positive income. There are other forms of bond funds which might give you better return, such as high yield bonds they provide high yield only because they invest in lower investment grade papers and bonds, thus increasing risks of default on behalf of the bond issuers.
Historically high yield bond funds and stock market produced similar (almost) return.
Always research the constituents of the fund before investing, as well as, compare the fees.
Should I Invest in Real Estate?
Investing in real estate is probably easier as prediction can be made more reliably. We are renting now with a plan to buy our first home sometime next year. You can invest in real estate; in fact it is lucrative business right now.
Before you invest in real estate, do your home work and make sure that local real estate market is on upside before investing even a penny. Before you sell, make sure the other costs are factored in also. Fees, like broker fee, service charges, agent fee, closing costs etc. can really make your gain in to loss if you sell too close to your purchase price.
Often a lot of outdoor work is involved in real estate trading, unlike stock trading which can be done far easily by sitting in front of your computer at home or work, but risk is generally lower and trading being difficult you don’t have to worry about impulsive trading.
What do you think the most important question you ask yourself on investing? Leave your comment and let me take it from there to answer them.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert, I write for self educational and entertainment purpose only. Always do your own research about your investment options.
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