Do you wish to increase your shareholder knowledge or know the best ways to track your stocks? Indeed, you do. Investors in mutual funds may get away with checking their holdings every two years, but stocks need more attention. Let’s discuss the stock market, its operation, and the best ways to track your stocks.
What Is the Stock Market?
The phrase “stock market” describes several marketplaces where shares of publicly traded firms can be purchased and sold. Such financial transactions take place on official exchanges and in over-the-counter (OTC) markets that adhere to a predetermined set of rules. “Stock exchange” and “stock market” are frequently used interchangeably. In one or more of the stock exchanges that make up the broader stock market, traders purchase and sell shares of stock.
Understanding the Stock Market
Stock buyers and sellers can connect, communicate, and conduct business on the stock market. The markets provide price discovery for stock in firms and act as a gauge for the state of the national economy. When market participants compete in an open market, buyers and sellers may be sure they will receive a fair price, a high level of liquidity, and transparency.
The London Stock Exchange was the first stock exchange, and it got its start in a coffeehouse where traders gathered to trade shares in 1773. Philadelphia hosted the country’s first stock exchange in 1790. The Buttonwood Accord, which gave its name after the buttonwood tree under which it was signed, opened New York’s Wall Street in 1792.
How the Stock Market Works
Market participants can trade shares and other qualifying financial products in a secure and regulated environment with little to no operational risk on the stock market. The stock markets serve as primary and secondary markets, respectively, and operate under the regulator’s prescribed guidelines.
The stock market, which serves as a main market, enables businesses to issue and sell their shares to the general public for the first time through an IPO (IPO). This practice aids businesses in obtaining the funding they want from investors. Investors can purchase and sell securities they already hold on stock exchanges, known as the secondary market.
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The 5 Best Ways to Track Your Stocks
Below are the best ways to track your stocks:
1: Set up a free portfolio tracker
One of the best ways to track your stocks is to set up a free portfolio tracker. You can add a list of your stocks, funds, and ETF holdings to several websites’ customizable trackers. For instance, Google Finance and Yahoo Finance have simple tools that allow you to enter the number of shares you purchased and their price. The trackers also include links to stock-specific corporate data, recent news, historical share prices, and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. You can also find blog entries that mention your stock in Yahoo’s case.
2: Sign up for automatic alerts
Signing up for automatic alerts is one of the best ways to track your stocks. Check to see if your portfolio tracker has an alarm system. Whenever one of your stocks or your entire portfolio falls below a predetermined level, Yahoo and MSN will notify you via MSN MoneyCentral’s Portfolio Manager by email or text message.
3: Keep up with market trends
Visit a financial news website at least once every week (or read it in print, if you prefer) to get an update on market developments that might affect the investments in your portfolio. The idea is to understand the big picture or the trend and then adjust your portfolio as necessary. One additional excellent source of financial news is investing podcasts.
4: Check in each quarter
You shouldn’t miss the company’s quarterly results call if you invest in individual stocks (check the “investor section” of its website to find out when the next call will occur). You can listen to corporate executives discuss the quarter’s financial performance and fill in any gaps not covered in the earnings release during this teleconference, which is typically televised live several hours following the earnings announcement. Occasionally, individual investors may dial in and ask questions during the question-and-answer session after the call. If you missed anything, Seeking Alpha has the complete call transcripts available.
5: Read the annual report
An excellent resource for stock market research is a company’s annual report, which usually appears in April. The firm president’s letter, which is often featured at the start of the report, is very valuable, according to Bob Auer, manager of the Auer Growth fund: According to Auer, whose Indianapolis-based fund invests in businesses of all sizes, “sometimes it offers you a glimpse of what’s in store for the future year, and many times, it provides a tidbit that has never been revealed and isn’t in the news.”
Stocks need attention, and it is important you know the best ways to track your stocks. What do you think of the five best Ways to Track Your Stocks? Let us know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below.