How do you actually Invest your Money in the Stock Market, in practice?

By Susan April 11, 2012 07:12

How do you actually Invest your Money in the Stock Market, in practice?


If I got 20 cents every time an individual investor said to me “This might be a stupid question, but…”, I’d be so rich by now, you have no idea. These things weren’t taught at school. So it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t know about them. I thought a module at GillenMarkets entitled “The Practicalities of Investing in the Stock Market”.

And what do I cover? Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the stock market, but were too afraid to ask.


First, you’re not alone in wondering


When I started mentoring individual investors I noticed that the same questions would crop up all the time:


What time does the market open?

When do I trade?

How do I actually buy or sell a share?

Invest in the Stock Markets - Susan HayesCulleton

Invest in the Stock Markets – Susan HayesCulleton

When do I know it’s time to sell?

What taxes are involved?

When does the dividend come into my account?

How do I keep my costs low when buying and selling?

Is my money safe with an online discount broker?

Where do I get independent investment advice?


So I decided to team up with GillenMarkets, an online independent investment advisory service, to offer training about the practical, nitty-gritty issues of investing in the stock market. And I’ve had great feedback from it. Looking at attendees scribbling furiously throughout, I guess it does fill a need…


It’s a collection of all the practical questions I’ve been asked, of all the problems I’ve been submitted, answered in one presentation. Indeed, it is a perfect complement to GillenMarket’s seminar about investing in the stock market.


Seminars for individual investors usually follow the format of “Oh, come here for two days and then go home and good luck.” Whereas if you’ve never traded before, you need constant reinforcement, to memorize the process and apply it with confidence.


This seminar I teach is one of the modules people can attend when they sign up for GillenMarkets’ 1-Day Training Seminar. There are many stock-picking websites out there, but it’s essential that you guide people step by step in the beginning. Otherwise they will never get around to actually using the valuable service they paid for. The website in itself is very useful – my task is to show people how to maximise their use of it.



The stock market: is it all a cod?


There is also, unfortunately, a certain degree of financial illiteracy, and you have to help people overcome that.


When it comes to investing in the stock market, there is first a whole lot of background information that is key to your investment strategy, and that you have to assimilate up front. But this theoretical information is not enough. You also need to know what exactly needs to happen when you are going through that first transaction.


More importantly, such seminars also serve the purpose of disillusioning people about the stock market. Investing in the stock market is not for everyone, and it’s not a question of whether you’re “clever” enough. It depends on your personality and your preferences.


Sometimes, the best service you can offer with such a seminar is to make people realize the stock market is not for thembefore they lose an awful lot of money investing in it. This is crucial. For those who want to move forward into the world of risk assets, knowing how to invest in a risk-controlled way is a precious lesson.



How to use the service you’ve paid for


I assume that people attending this module “need reminding” of all the main concepts that they learned on the day of the first seminar. In my presentation I want to help them reactivate that knowledge, by showing them the concrete steps they will be taking to apply it.


I don’t go too much into the details of the theory of dividend yields on the evening, as they have done this at the seminar. I do not tell them which stocks to pick. That is done for them on GillenMarkets’ website. I complement both by showing them what they can do with that information, where to find it and how to react to changes (or not!).



What other services you will need


Once you’ve chosen an independent (very important!) stock picking advisory service whose goals are aligned with yours, you will need a platform to actually handle the transactions. So you need to sign up for other services, like those of a broker, or online trading.


This is where my training comes in. When you’re an individual investor, you want to save time and money. So I tell people exactly which questions to ask their broker, in order to know exactly what they are signing up for: specific questions about all the different costs that they will be charging you, as well as minimums and interest, etc.


Then, when I’ve guided them through a range of services, they are in a much better position to decide for themselves.



Oh – Is that all there is to it?


A question that comes up a lot, and is often asked with some anguish, is “When do I get out? When do I know it’s time to sell?” This is the easiest question to answer, but it’s the hardest thing to do. Knowing when to get out is very easy: you sell a stock when the reason you bought it in the first place isn’t there anymore.


And still, this is the question that people struggle with the most. Very often, they don’t remember why they bought the stock in the first place. It’s also the hardest thing to do emotionally. There is something definitive about selling a stock: you won’t be able to make any more money out of it, or to recoup your losses when you’ve sold.


But actually knowing what to do? That’s “easy”. My role is to dispel the confusion around such a question and get a reaction of “Oh. Is that all there is to it?” Yes, that is all there is to it. Most people who attend this module liken the experience to learning to bank online: it’s scary before you do it, but when you know what you’re supposed to do, it’s a cinch.



Hint: it’s called the “practicalities” of investing


The main objective of this particular training is not to tell investors how to make money. I don’t open a company report and say “Let’s see whether we want to invest here.” The aim is not even to encourage investing, but to tell attendees how to actually, technically do it in practice and how to keep their costs low.


I take them through the process step by step; tell them what they should do now, next week, next month, in six months’ time. It saves individual investors a lot of time and money – and it also makes them more comfortable as they don’t have to feel stupid about asking those questions.


Again, this is something nobody ever taught you, so how could you know about it? I don’t know where people get the idea that their questions are stupid…



What is GillenMarkets?


GillenMarkets is an independent online stock picking advisory service. Their foundational 1-Day Training Seminar teaches you successful, time-tested investment strategies that a novice or experienced investor can implement in a few hours a year. If you want to invest your savings or manage your pension this course is for you. You will learn what to buy and when to sell. The module ‘Practicalities of Investing in the Stock Market’ is included in the foundational package and makes the investment process whole.


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By Susan April 11, 2012 07:12