Know when to Hold ‘em Know When to Fold ‘em- Buying and Selling Stocks

Do you have  crystal ball to inform you when the best time is to buy and sell your stocks? If you do, great! For the rest of us, the ability to buy and sell stocks can be even more difficult than flying in a plane that’s flown off course, skydiving into a desert of a country that you don’t know the language to- all alone.  Should you turn left or right?  Will there be water over the next sand dune to quench your thirst, or are there ferocious cannibals waiting for their next meal? Does this sound fun to you?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like having a “wishing well” sort of investment strategy; one in which you throw all of your money in and “wish” for the best. I like to know what I’m doing, or at least be aware of what I’m getting myself into.

The point of the matter is this: If you are familiar with the dealings of stocks, and enjoy this type of roller coaster ride with your finances, then have a ball.  There is absolutely no way in which you can make your fortune by picking stocks out of the proverbial hat unless you have a great broker, a lot of time and patience to learn the ins and outs of the trading trade (including, but not limited to books, magazines, classes, a mentor), a lot of luck, or all of the above. 

If the idea of this type of financial amusement park sounds like something you might enjoy, do yourself a favor and educate yourself.  If not, here are a few options to stocks that can yield a great return without all of the related stress:

  • Index Funds are basically a mutual fund that is based on and follows the S&P (Standard & Poors) 500 group of stocks.  The fees are substantially lower than mutual funds, but they don’t yield as high of a return as the stocks in the S&P 500 (fees, salaries, etc.).
  • CD’s , also known as  Certificates of Deposit, are “bought” at banks and credit unions, so they are guaranteed to earn a return and are insured by the feds.
  • U.S. Savings Bonds have been gaining in popularity, noted for their guaranteed return and worry-free seven years.

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