Finance -
The First Steps Toward Becoming A Successful Investor
Ian Stone
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By Ian Stone
Published on 10/24/2008
"Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it." Peter Lynch

"Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it." Peter Lynch

CONGRATULATIONS! By reading this article you are taking the first step toward becoming a successful investor. Despite what you think, investing is fun and easy. Society leads us to believe that buying and selling stocks is difficult and arcane; we are trained to believe that we need experts to help us because successful trading is over our heads. That's just not true.

Buying and selling stocks for profit is actually one of the simplest activities that we can engage in. Compare it to raising children. Many of us have brought up or are in the process of bringing up sons and daughters. The decision-making that responsible parenting demands can be among the most challenging actions we ever undertake. We start out nervously, unsure of our abilities, but we rely on our own judgment, put one foot in front of the other, and get on with it. In a short while our confidence in our ability increases. We become the experts.

You Are The One
Why is it then that so many people, when confronted with the opportunity to become successful investors, assume that they need expert advice for an activity that is inherently easy? It's an activity that is far less challenging than raising kids! The majority of people have been led to believe that they aren't smart enough to manage their own money. Either they run to so-called experts or they do nothing.

You are an expert. No need to run to someone who doesn't have you and your financial health as his number-one priority. After reading the secrets contained in these series of articles, you can take control of your investments or, if it's the right choice, you can still do nothing.

Here Is The Place
Guess what? Experts "do nothing" all the time. Doing nothing is a decision, and when done on purpose, could be the best decision in many investment situations. I'll get into that in more detail later, but for now the point I want to make is this: Compared to many of life's challenges, investing money successfully is one of the simplest activities and the tips in these articles, combined with a little practice, will make you an expert at it.

You can make large amounts of money buying and selling stocks on your own using the expertise that you may not even know you have. You see, we all have a particular area of expertise that we acquire through our jobs or through a hobby. For instance, maybe you have been an auto mechanic. That makes you an expert in the quality of various replacement parts, who makes them, which manufacturer's parts are better than the others, which cars break down frequently and why, among other things. Alternatively, maybe you're a history buff and know a lot about military equipment and aircraft. You get the point. If you have experience in a particular area, you have "inside information" on the companies that make up that sector. One way to put that information to work for you is to become an expert in the stock of a few companies in that sector rather than trying to stay on top of the thousands of stocks that make up the market.

Now Is The Time
It's important to realize that the times aren't what they used to be. Not too long ago, privileged brokers and investors dominated the market. Expensive proprietary systems were used to obtain live market data, commissions to buy and sell were usuriously high, and company information was closely held and not widely disseminated to the investing public. Today, the individual investor can buy and sell stock cheaply through discount brokers and can leverage the Internet to create a "command center" that far surpasses what top professionals used just a few years ago. Today's corporate reporting and transparency level the playing field for the investor. The good old days are happening right now.

As you read this series of articles your viewpoint and any lingering apprehension about investing in the stock market may begin to change. You will break free from fears that prevented you from being in charge, fears that are kept alive by mutual fund companies and brokers and are magnified by the media to prevent you from taking charge of your financial health. It's time to put you back in charge. You can outperform the investment sheep and their shepherds too!