Despite its popularity and presence in the news, the stock market is just one of many potential places to invest your money. Investing in stock is often risky, which draws attention to the huge gains and losses of some investors. If you manage the risks, you can take advantage of the stock market to secure your financial position and earn money.
One of the primary benefits of investing in the stock market is the chance to grow your money. Over time, the stock market tends to rise in value, though the prices of individual stocks rise and fall daily. Investments in stable companies that are able to grow tend to make profits for investors. Likewise, investing in many different stocks will help build your wealth by leveraging growth in different sectors of the economy, resulting in a profit even if some of your individual stocks lose value.
Some stocks provide income in the form of a dividend. While not all stocks offer dividends, those that do deliver annual payments to investors. These payments arrive even if the stock has lost value and represent income on top of any profits that come from eventually selling the stock. Dividend income can help fund a retirement or pay for even more investing as you grow your investment portfolio over time.
For investors who put money into different types of investment products, a stock market investment has the benefit of providing diversification. Stock market investments change value independently of other types of investments, such as bonds and real estate. Holding stock can help you weather losses to other investment products. Stock also adds risk to a portfolio, as well as the potential for large, rapid gains, helping investors avoid risk-averse or overly conservative investment strategies.
Buying shares of stock means taking on an ownership stake in the company you purchase stock in. This means that investing in the stock market also brings benefits that are part of being one of a business's owners. Shareholders vote on corporate board members and certain business decisions. They also receive annual reports to learn more about the company. Owning stock in the company you work for can be a way to express loyalty and tie your personal finances to the success of the business as a whole.
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- new york stock exchange image by Gary from Fotolia.com