Getting involved in the stock market is an exciting opportunity. Depending on your long-term financial goals, there are many different methods by which you can get into the stock market. No matter what investments you make, it is a good idea to have a solid understanding of the basics of the market. Continue on for some helpful investing tips that can be a guide to get you started in the market.

Keeping things simple is applicable in all areas of life and especially in stock market investing. Trading, making predictions or examining data points should all be kept simple.

Stocks are more than a piece of paper that is bought and sold. While you own them, you are a member of a collective ownership of the company in question. This grants you rights to company earnings. You are also generally given the chance to vote for who should be running the company, and what actions they may take that affect shareholder value.

Look for stock investments that can return higher profits than 10%, as this is what the market has averaged over the last 20 years, and index funds can give you this return. To figure the potential stock return, add the dividend yield to the growth rate of projected earnings. A stock that yields 2% and has 12% earnings growth might give you a 14% return overall.

If conducting research on your own is something that interests you, look into hiring an online brokerage firm. The fees charged by full service brokers are steep. Online brokers charge a fraction of that, but you will be essentially on your own. Since profits are your goal, lower trading and commission costs definitely help.

After gaining some experience, you might be interested in learning how to short sell. This is done by using borrowed stock shares. An investor will borrow shares through an agreement of delivering the same quantity of those shares at a future date. The investor will re-sell the shares at a later time once the price in the stock falls.

Know your areas of competence and stay within them. If you are going into investing alone then make sure that you know all that you can about the companies you plan to invest into. If you have first hand knowledge of your landlord's company, it can be useful information for determining future profits, but an oil rig may be beyond your understanding. Let a professional advise you on stocks from companies that you are unfamiliar with.

Keep it simple and small when you are first starting out. A big mistake beginners make is trying to apply everything they have heard of at once. You will eventually see that you are saving a lot of money this way.

Invest in damaged stocks, but avoid damaged companies. A short-term fall in a company's stock is a great time to buy, but just be sure that it is a temporary downturn and not a new downward trend. For example, a downturn is probably temporary in the event that a reversible error occurred in the company's supply chain. Companies that have been tainted with some kind of financial scandals may not have the ability to recover.

Take unsolicited investing advice with a grain of salt. You should, however, listen to what the financial advisor you've chosen has to say, considering part of the reason you probably made that choice is because the advisor has done well for himself and/or his clients. Ignore everyone else. No one has your back like you do, and those being paid to peddle stock advice certainly don't.

Always try to remember and understand that cash does not equal profit. When running your life or a business, having enough cash on hand is important to keep things going. It is a good idea to reinvest your earnings, but make sure you have enough money to pay your bills. Stash away enough money to pay your living expenses for a minimum of six months to be safe.

Don't buy stock in a company you haven't thoroughly researched. People are often too quick to decide that a new company is a good investment after reading about it's existence. Remember, there is always a certain amount of risk involved in a company that does not have a proven history.

When you first start trading, only consider buying stock in well-established companies. If you are new to the market, these options can fill your portfolio with stocks that offer lower risks for their investors. You can then branch out a little, choosing stocks from midsize or small companies. Although there is considerable risk, the small company stock can offer a significant potential for fast growth, especially if the advisors consider it a hot stock.

Trading stocks online is a good way to save money. Stock trading firms can be found online, which are a lot more affordable than typical brokerage firms. Take the time to do a little online comparison shopping to find the most affordable broker available. Fidelity and TradeKing are two good choices.

Seek the services of a broker. Brokers have experience in the markets and will help you avoid the common mistakes that novice investors make. A lot of brokers have information you can use about mutual funds, stocks and bonds; you can use that information to better choose your investments. They can also assist with the management of your portfolio, to help you stay on track toward reaching your goals.

If your choice of investments is unwise in the beginning, don't lose heart. Often, novice traders are discouraged when their first investments do not do as well as they hoped. It requires research, experience, knowledge and practice to invest successfully, so keep that in mind before you quit.

The stock market can be fun and exciting. Regardless of whether you decide to invest in stocks, stock options, or mutual funds, you should utilize the advice that has been given to assist you in earning the high returns that you desire.