What Is Share ? – How to trade in shares ? – Why to Invest ? – When to Invest ? -Saving Vs Investing ? – Trading Vs Investing

Q. What Is Share?

A. In finance a share is a unit of account for various financial instruments including stocks, mutual funds, limited partnerships, and REIT’s. In British English, the usage of the word share alone to refer solely to stocks is so common that it almost replaces the word stock itself.

In simple Words, a share or stock is a document issued by a company, which entitles its holder to be one of the owners of the company. A share is issued by a company or can be purchased from the stock market.

By owning a share you can earn a portion and selling shares you get capital gain. So, your return is the dividend plus the capital gain. However, you also run a risk of making a capital loss if you have sold the share at a price below your buying price.

A company’s stock price reflects what investors think about the stock, not necessarily what the company is “worth.” For example, companies that are growing quickly often trade at a higher price than the company might currently be “worth.” Stock prices are also affected by all forms of company and market news. Publicly traded companies are required to report quarterly on their financial status and earnings. Market forces and general investor opinions can also affect share price.

Quick Facts on Stocks and Shares

  • Owning a stock or a share means you are a partial owner of the company, and you get voting rights in certain company issues
  • Over the long run, stocks have historically averaged about 10% annual returns However, stocks offer no guarantee of any returns and can lose value, even in the long run
  • Investments in stocks can generate returns through dividends, even if the price

Q. How does one trade in shares?

A. Every transaction in the stock exchange is carried out through licensed members called brokers.

To trade in shares, you have to approach a broker However, since most stock exchange brokers deal in very high volumes, they generally do not entertain small investors. These brokers have a network of sub-brokers who provide them with orders.

The general investors should identify a sub-broker for regular trading in shares and place his order for purchase and sale through the sub-broker. The sub/broker will transmit the order to his broker who will then execute it.

Q. What are active Shares ?

A. Shares in which there are frequent and day-to-day dealings, as distinguished from partly active shares in which dealings are not so frequent. Most shares of leading companies would be active, particularly those which are sensitive to economic and political events and are, therefore, subject to sudden price movements. Some market analysts would define active shares as those which are bought and sold at least three times a week. Easy to buy or sell.

Q. What are Investments?

A. Judging by the fact that you’ve taken the trouble to navigate to this page my guess is that you don’t need much convincing about the wisdom of investing. However, I hope that your quest for knowledge/information about the art/science of investing ends here. Read on. Knowledge is power. It is common knowledge that money has to be invested wisely.

If you are a novice at investing, terms such as stocks, bonds, futures, options, Open interest, yield, P/E ratio may sound Greek and Latin. Relax. It takes years to understand the art of investing. You’re not alone in the quest to crack the jargon. To start with, take your investment decisions with as many facts as you can assimilate.

But, understand that you can never know everything. Learning to live with the anxiety of the unknown is part of investing. Being enthusiastic about getting started is the first step, though daunting at the first instance. That’s why my investment course begins with a dose of encouragement: With enough time and a little discipline, you are all but guaranteed to make the right moves in the market.

Patience and the willingness to invest your savings across a portfolio of securities tailored to suit your age and risk profile will propel your revenues and cushion you against any major losses. Investing is not about putting all your money into the “Next big thing,” hoping to make a killing. Investing isn’t gambling or speculation; it’s about taking reasonable risks to reap steady rewards.

Investing is a method of purchasing assets in order to gain profit in the form of reasonably predictable income (dividends, interest, or rentals) and appreciation over the long term.

Q. Why should you invest?

A. Simply put, you should invest so that your money grows and shields you against rising inflation. The rate of return on investments should be greater than the rate of inflation, leaving you with a nice surplus over a period of time.

Whether your money is invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or certificates of deposit (CD), the end result is to create wealth for retirement, marriage, college fees, vacations, better standard of living or to just pass on the money to the next generation or maybe have some fun in your life and do things you had always dreamed of doing with a little extra cash in your pocket.

Also, it’s exciting to review your investment returns and to see how they are accumulating at a faster rate than your salary.

Q. When to Invest?

A. The sooner the better. By investing into the market right away you allow your investments more time to grow, whereby the concept of compounding interest swells your income by accumulating your earnings and dividends. Considering the unpredictability of the markets, research and history indicates these three golden rules for all investors

  • Invest early
  • Invest regularly
  • Invest for long term and not short term

While it’s tempting to wait for the “best time” to invest, especially in a rising market, remember that the risk of waiting may be much greater than the potential rewards of participating. Trust in the power of compounding. Compounding is growth via reinvestment of returns earned on your savings.

Compounding has a snowballing effect because you earn income not only on the original investment but also on the reinvestment of dividend/interest accumulated over the years. The power of compounding is one of the most compelling reasons for investing as soon as possible. The earlier you start investing and continue to do so consistently the more money you will make.

The longer you leave your money invested and the higher the interest rates, the faster your money will grow. That’s why stocks are the best long-term investment tool. The general upward momentum of the economy mitigates the stock market volatility and the risk of losses. That’s the reasoning behind investing for long term rather than short term.

Q. How much to invest?

A. There is no statutory amount that an investor needs to invest in order to generate adequate returns from his savings. The amount that you invest will eventually depend on factors such as:

  • Your risk profile
  • Your Time horizon
  • Savings made

Remember that no amount is too small to make a beginning. Whatever amount of money you can spare to begin with is good enough. You can keep increasing the amount you invest over a period of time as you keep growing in confidence and understanding of the investment options available and So instead of just dreaming about those wads of money do something concrete about it and start investing soon as you can with whatever amount of money you can spare.

Q. Saving Vs Investing?

A. Traditionally, saving has been viewed as quite different from investing. In most savings alternatives, the initial amount of capital or cash remains constant, earning guaranteed rates of interest.

The capital value of investments can go up or down. Returns are not guaranteed. However, creation of money market funds and deregulation of the banking industry have resulted in a variety of savings options that earn variable rates of return.

Savings provide funds for emergencies and for making specific purchases in the relatively near future (generally within two years). The primary goal is to store funds and keep them safe. This is why savings are generally placed in interest-bearing accounts that are safe (such as those insured or guaranteed by the federal government) and liquid (those in the form of cash or easily changed into cash on short notice with minimal or no loss).

However, these generally have low yields. Because of the opportunities for earning a higher return with a relatively small pool of funds, some financial experts suggest that savers consider slightly higher risk (but liquid) alternatives for at least part of their savings.

Saved money is insurance. It is insurance against risk, against losing your job, against having a major unexpected repair bill or medical expense in the family. It is the backbone of you and your family’s financial well-being. Saved money grants you financial security. And the more you save, the more financial secure and independent you will be.

The goal of investing is generally to increase net worth and work toward long-term goals. Investing involves risk. Risk of your stocks losing money, or even going bankrupt (Enron, MCI, the airlines, etc. etc.). Risk of interest rates rising, and bond prices falling.

Risks of your broker swindled you, or coerced you though his sales pitch to buy speculative investments. Risks of the economy. Risks of a particular industry. Risk of losing your principal. Risk of losing it all, and then some (such as with margin calls).

Q. Trading Vs Investing

A. Many people confuse trading with investing. They are not the same.

The biggest difference between them is the length of time you hold onto the assets. An investor is more interested in the long-term appreciation of his assets, counting on that historical rise in market equity.

He’s not generally concerned about short-term fluctuations in prices, because he’ll ride them out over the long haul.

An investor relies mostly on Fundamental Analysis, which is the analytical method of predicting long-term prospects of a particular asset. Most investors adopt a “buy and hold” approach to assets, which simply means they buy shares of some company and hold onto them for a long time. This approach can be dangerous, even devastating, in an extremely volatile market such as today’s BSE or NSE Indexs Show.

Let’s consider someone who bought shares of XYZ Company at their peak value of around Rs.650 per share at the beginning of the year 2000. Two years later, those shares are worth Rs.100 each. If that investor had spent Rs. 65,000/-, his net loss would be Rs.55000/- ! I don’t know about you, but losing Fifty Five Thousand Rupees would be a relatively big loss for me.

Many investors suffer such losses regularly, hoping that in five or ten or fifteen years the market will rebound, and they’ll recoup their losses and achieve an overall gain.

What most investors need to remember is this: investing is not about weathering storms with your “beloved” company – it’s about making money.

Traders, on the other hand, are attempting to profit on just those short-term price fluctuations. The amount of time an active trader holds onto an asset is very short: in many cases minutes, or sometimes seconds. If you can catch just two index points on an average day, you can make a comfortable living as an Trader.

To help make their decisions, Traders rely on Technical Analysis, a form of marketing analysis that attempts to predict short-term price fluctuations.

Q. What is the function of the Capital Market?

A. Capital Market enhances capital formation in the economy and comprises of –

  • Primary Market is a place where new offerings by Companies are made either as an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or Rights Issue.
  • Secondary Market is a market where securities are traded after being initially offered to the public in the Primary Market and/or listed on the Stock Exchange. Majority of trading is done in this market which comprises of equity market and debt market.


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