You are now versed in the functionality of the stock market and have decided that you are willing to accept the risk factors involved. However, you want to know everything you can about balancing that risk with intelligent investment options. How can you be sure that the risks you take are more likely to be rewarding in the long run than destructive?
Long and Short
One of the most important parts of making money on the stock market is to determine your position. The long position is basically the purchasing position – you are about to take on a long-term commitment for ownership of some stock, security, or other traded commodity. The short position, by contrast, is the selling position – you are shortly going to dispose of the same sort of ownership and any responsibility toward it.
The best time to take up the long position is when stock prices are low. This will get you into the market at a reasonable price and increase your chances for profitability as new offerings go up in price and older investment options recover or rebound. In fact, as others take the long position and purchase at the same time you do, this will actually drive the value of securities up through the standard rule of supply and demand, causing the beginning of what could be a bull market.
You may equate this with the end of the month at a car dealership. The prices tend to drop on any cars left on the lot for sale, and the dealer is more often willing to bargain because he or she wants less inventory on the lot. Likewise, when stock prices are low, some will panic and dump all of their holdings at these low prices, thinking that their shares will never recover the value. This can only be of assistance to you.
When prices are high, it is likely time to turn around and sell your shares to bring in a profit, not losing anything on unrealized gain (profit that cannot be counted in liquid assets or cash because it is still invested in a volatile stock option). You should never sell for a price that is below your cost, as this brings negative equity and loss of funds. You should always sell for the greatest amount of profit that you feel is safe.
In other words, if you buy a security at fifteen dollars per share, and it quickly rises to twenty-five dollars per share, you may very well feel that it could hit thirty dollars per share within a week. However, you must determine if you are willing to risk losing your already secured earnings of ten dollars per share to wait that long, should the price actually fall, so you may decide to sell at the current high price.
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