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Investing in the stock market can be financially rewarding during a bull market, when stock values are on the rise and investors are becoming increasingly wealthy over time. However, things are a little different on the flip side of a bull market, when stocks fall into negative territory and the bear market takes hold. More»
Owning stock, or "equity" in a company lets you share in its future -- for better or worse. As a stockholder, you participate proportionately in a company's profits, or pratfalls. More»
If you're looking for an investment that can yield consistent long-term returns, investing in stocks might be the answer. When you purchase stock, you are buying a small ownership of a company. In the case of a mutual fund, you may be investing in multiple companies simultaneously. Prices for all shares will naturally fluctuate in the short run, but your goal should be to choose a company that will become more valuable over time.
Choosing the right stock is where risk comes into play. Well-known and successful companies, known as blue chip stocks, tend to gain value steadily but slowly. Growth companies have the ability to swing dramatically in either direction, providing huge profits or major losses. There are no guarantees of returns in the stock market, but investing in companies you understand can improve your odds of success.
A traditional broker can advise individuals or retail investors on the most advantageous stock and investing strategies for their particular financial situation. Online trading services allow individuals or businesses to purchase shares independently. Online brokers are often more cost-effective but less personalized than traditional brokers.
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