Thursday, July 24, 2008

lakky490

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Had you invested in real estate (or property as it is known in the UK) over the past 30 years or so you would have done very well.However, prices have now reached such a level that it may not be such a good investment especially in the short-term. Over the long-term,prices are sure to appreciate once again. Outside of bricks and mortar, the stock market still provides the skilled individual with one of the best opportunities at capital appreciation.

With the globalization of markets now having been accomplished enabling an individual to trade in almost any market across the globe from anywhere, we will concentrate on the American market which is still the biggest and most liquid market. Having decided to concentrate on the American market, you now must decide on what sort of companies offer the best opportunities for making a profit.Small technology or biotechnology companies can sometimes offer spectacular gains in the short-term. However, your chance of picking them out of the bunch in advance of the significant move in their share price, unless you are equipped with insider knowledge, is pretty slim. Therefore concentrating on large established companies is a much safer route to profits.Concentrating on the constituent members of the S&P 500 index provides the investor with ample scope for investment in established companies. I will therefore solely turn my attention to the latter to provide the necessary fodder.

When viewing companies in an index such as the S&P 500, you have got to be aware of the different sectors within it. In order to reduce your risk, it is inadvisable to invest in more than one company in any one sector at a given time. Picking on a sector that is currently advancing, or about to advance, and then looking for the most eligible company within that sector likely to profit from the favorable tide can be very rewarding. The company chosen needn't be the market leader in that particular sector. If Xxon Mobil, for instance, dominates the Oil and Gas sector, a second or third line company in that sector such as Occidental Petroleum may give you a much better opportunity to profit from rising oil prices for example.

Ideally you are looking for an established company in a sector that is advancing, or likely to advance, that is paying increasing dividends from rising profits, and with a p/e ratio ( that is payment/earnings) less onerous than its peers.P/e ratios are only relevant when comparing companies within the same sector. Another approach to picking a company whose share price is likely to advance is to pick a large company with good prospects when it is temporarily out of favor with the market. Both AIG Group and Pfizer have been in the doghouse over the last couple of years enabling astute investors to profit from their short-term unpopularity.With the latter strategy timing is of crucial importance.

If you segregate, say, $20,000 as starting capital for investment purposes from other funds required to live from month to month, the best place to initially put it is into a high-interest bank account until such time as you are ready to invest. This account should pay 4% or better interest per year.You would then limit your investment in any one share to 15% of the total, or $3,000 including dealing expenses per investment. It is inadvisable,especially in jittery markets, to have more than 70% of the total invested at any one time.The market has moods and when everything looks black on the horizon good shares will fall back with the mediocre and bad ones giving you a chance to buy a good share at cheap prices for recovery.

If you do your own research, it is best to use and execution- only broker who are cheaper than those offering investment advice. Pick a large broker with many years service in the market. If you want a broker offering investment advice, go for one who has a proven record of offering impartial advice in the market as recommended by a friend or acquaintance.
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