Stock market trading refers to the buying and selling of the stock of companies that are publicly traded on the stock market. Each time that an investor buys stock in a company, she is essentially buying a small ownership share in the company. There are many different types of stock market trading, including simple stocks or equities, futures, or options trading, as well as several much more complicated investment vehicles. The goal of trading depends on the investor, and all investing is attached to some level of risk.
Many people wish to attempt stock market trading, but it can be intimidating to try and learn the ins and outs of what can be a complicated process. Luckily, there is no shortage of qualified investment professionals who can help potential investors every step of the way. Their job is to take the capital invested by individuals and help it grow. Investors can turn the decision-making process over entirely to these stock brokers, or they can make the decisions themselves and just use brokers to execute the trades.
The most basic level of stock market trading is the trading of equities, or common stock. This process involves an investor buying a stock at a price that is determined by how much it is bought and sold by other investors. As more people buy the stock, its price will rise, and the shares that the investor originally purchased become more valuable. If the investor sells the stock at a higher price than the price at which it is sold, then he will make a profit. Such is the basic buy-low, sell-high premise of trading.
There are more complicated methods of stock market trading available to investors, which should be attempted only by those with a little more expertise. For example, options trading requires the ability to determine not only which way the price of a certain stock is headed, but also the timing of such a move. Many investors may wish to achieve diversity in their portfolios, which means they are exposing themselves to many different types of securities. These investors might seek out mutual funds, which pool the funds of many different investors and invest those funds in multiple securities to mitigate risk.
Risk is indeed a big part of stock market trading, and any potential investor willing to put money into the stock market should be ready to accept that risk before proceeding. There is no such thing as a sure thing in the market. At the same time one investor is making a profit on a particular trade, another is losing money as a result of that trade. Investors should attempt to lessen this risk by learning as much as possible about potential investments before going forward.