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Youth Investing in the Stock Market

I'm not much different from you. I'm a 20-year-old who worked a part-time job throughout high school, enjoys going out with friends on the weekends (and weekdays too, for that matter), and loves going to football games. I get stressed when it comes to schoolwork and expectations. While I have a number of passions, I don't know exactly what my future will hold.

The one point where everyone seems to think that I'm not like most people is when it comes to my biggest hobby: investing. At the age of 14, I developed this insuppressible passion for investing and the stock market. That's what ultimately led to the creation of TeenAnalyst.com. The site was founded on this idea that investing isn't as complicated as everyone seems to make it out to be. And people are more than able to make their own investment decisions. That last sentence is what has given me a lot of grief lately. Are people really able to make their own investment decisions? I mean, just look at our society; everywhere you turn, people are telling you about that "hot new stock." People are quick to point out their investment successes and feel that this qualifies them to expunge their stock picks on everyone else.

My advice to you is to ignore anyone who points you at a stock. Plenty of people out there can help you understand investing concepts and strategies, but never (and I mean NEVER) buy a stock because someone else has told you to. Would you ever buy a new car because someone told you to, without researching it and taking it for a test drive first? Probably not. This is the same thing. In fact, don't even listen to the stock picks here on TeenAnalyst. That's not what they were intended for. We intended on simply providing an example of how you can evaluate stocks. We don't want you to actually buy them because of what we say. In fact, no one can predict short-term markets all the time. Buying shares of stock means that you are buying a share of the business so the best way to approach investing is to buy stock in a company that you can see as a viable business. The next thing you have to remember is that you shouldn't buy a stock at any price, even a good one. Many mutual fund managers buy shares of stock in big-name, "solid" companies. These companies will probably always be around but there's a flaw in that investment strategy. So many of them think that General Electric, Microsoft, etc. are good investments at any price. They're willing to buy these stocks at 40 or 50 times earnings. That's just stupid. A Mercedes C230 is a good car, but would you pay $50,000 for it if it was only worth $27,000? Don't be afraid to wait for a stock to get into your price range. If that means waiting a year for XYZ Corp to drop down to 20 times earnings, then do it. Be patient. Warren Buffet once said the following: "I call investing the greatest business in the world because you never have to swing. You stand at the plate, the pitcher throws you General Motors at 47! U.S. Steel at 39! and nobody calls a strike on you. There's no penalty except opportunity lost. All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it." That saying also alludes to the fact that some of the best opportunities to buy are when the majority (the fielders) are saying that there are no opportunities. Take a look at our current situation, for example. The market is down considerably from its 2000 highs. And while this has been bad for a number of investors, it has helped filter out the bad companies and make the good ones even cheaper. Some investment companies out there are saying, "We just can't see any good stocks right now. Everything seems to be going down." What do these people expect? There's no such thing as a magical bell signaling that it's a good time to invest. The symbols of good stocks don't twinkle when you open up a copy of the Wall Street Journal. You, and only you, have to go out, look at the company, and ask yourself "is this company a bargain? Does it have enough solid fundamentals to provide me with a good return?" As a new investor, you need to learn to trust yourself. One bad investment isn't the end of the world. Think of it as a learning experience that will help hone your investing skills. And when people tell you to invest in some hot new telecom stock, just remember that it's your money, not theirs. And who knows how to handle your money than you? Now here I am at the conclusion of this brief little article. I could say that by following this advice will lead you to turn out like me. It won't. Instead, it will lead you down a path that will allow you to reach your own goals, not someone else's. And that's what matters. Oh yeah, and have some fun.

 

Discuss It!
1 2 >

dfg said:

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Clara said:

Hey, I'm a 20 year old very much interested to start my own little investment in stocks. Do you have any recommendation as to which broker company to use? Right now I'm leaning towards Phillip capital young investor programme and the CIMB Youth Engagement. Any comments would be much appreciated. Thank you! =)

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