Everyone wants to be financially secure. If you have a house, your house may be your biggest "asset" early on, but you will need to live in it for the rest of your life. Do you want a financially secure retirement or a vacation house in the South Pacific? You must invest your savings if you plan to retire comfortably.
You're investing in stocks — good for you! To make the most of your money and your choices, educate yourself on how to make stock investments confidently and intelligently, familiarize yourself with the Internet resources available to help you evaluate stocks, and find ways to protect the money you earn. Also, be sure to do your homework before you invest in any company's stock.
Stocks are an equity investment that represents part ownership in a corporation and entitles you to part of that corporation's earnings and assets.
Common stock gives shareholders voting rights but no guarantee of dividend payments. Preferred stocks provides no voting rights but usually guarantees a dividend payment.
In the past, shareholders received a paper stock certificate -- called a security -- verifying the number of shares they owned. Today, share ownership is usually recorded electronically, and the shares are held in street name by your brokerage firm.
Investing in stocks can be tricky business. In fact, it's best to treat all of your investment pursuits as a business. Heck, that's what Benjamin Graham (Warren Buffett's stock market mentor) recommended.
Before you buy your first stock, you should master the basics of stock investing. This won't make you a great investor overnight, but only when you understand the fundamentals of investing can you learn how to invest in stocks with confidence.