Stock Market for Dummies

Are you beginning to invest in the stock market? Do you struggle to comprehend the jargon of the stock market or how financial markets function? This information on the stock market is intended for you. As a newbie investor, you must have a worldwide perspective on the stock markets. To successfully buy and speculate in stocks under the correct conditions, one must begin with the fundamentals. This includes studying the various stock market procedures, how to trade on the stock markets, how to purchase shares, how your stock market order is relayed to the market from your securities or trading account, what the various securities transactions are, how to obtain leverage, etc.
This part on stock markets for beginners will not make you a better investor, but you will be able to debate the topic with other investors and grasp their terminology. Before you can earn money or make your money grow, you must first comprehend the stock market. Learning is a lengthy process, but if you are motivated, you can successfully speculate.
stock market for dummies
Stock Market for Beginners Guide


Stock markets can be intimidating for novice investors due to their abundance of figures, flashing screens, and incomprehensible jargon. A long cry from placing pennies in a piggy bank or depositing funds into a traditional savings account.
If you are saving for a future that is at least five years away, investing in the stock market has the potential to generate bigger returns than cash deposits. In addition, it can mitigate the corrosive effect of rising prices.

What is it to Invest?

It is important to begin by defining what investing is and why people do it. Investing is the process of employing capital to earn a profit (although it should be noted that investing carries with it the risk of loss, except where holdings are kept as cash). The process of investing entails putting money into a variety of assets.
What do these “investments” entail?
There are four primary sorts, often referred to as “asset classes.” They consist of:
  • Cash – the money accumulated in a bank or building society account 
  • Bonds – also referred to as ‘fixed-interest securities’ A bond is a promissory note that pays interest to its holder in exchange for a loan to the bond issuer. If the issuer is the United Kingdom government, the bond is called a “gilt.” Corporate bonds are also issued by corporations.
  • Real estate is an investment in bricks and mortar with the expectation that a building’s value will increase or that rental income will be realized. Or a mixture of the two.
  • Equities are another name for stocks and shares, which are interchangeable concepts. Equity investing entails purchasing a stake in a firm either directly or indirectly through a fund (a form of collective investment, where your money is pooled with that of potentially thousands of other investors). As a shareholder of a company, you will partake in both its financial achievements and failures.
Other asset types include exquisite wine, art, and historic automobiles. However, conventional financial products tend to concentrate on the preceding list.
A portfolio is commonly used to describe a collection of assets. There is nothing preventing an investor from concentrating on a single asset class, but there is a risk involved with doing so.
Diversification is a prudent investment strategy that entails spreading your funds across many asset types.


Risks linked

Some investments carry a larger degree of risk than others. In general, the bigger the possible return of an investment, the greater the risk of loss.
As you read down the preceding list of asset classes, the risk associated with each one tends to increase.
For example, the danger of UK depositors losing their money on savings accounts is essentially nil due to rigorous compensation provisions in place should a provider ever become insolvent (see our article on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme).
The trade-off, however, is that returns are at best moderate, ranging from almost nothing to roughly 2% per year.
With UK inflation exceeding 10% in August, the real value of money held on deposit declines annually as a result of rising prices.
Bonds are riskier than cash due to the possibility that an issuer will fail to pay interest and ‘default’. Again, the trade-off is a somewhat higher interest rate than cash, often within the range of 2% to 3%.
Therefore, stocks and real estate are at the top of the risk-reward hierarchy.
As shares are frequently an investor’s initial step into the stock market, we will focus on them for the remainder of this article.

Why buy stocks?

Historically, the return on equity investments has outpaced other asset classes, according to Credit Suisse, by between 3% and 6% each year going back over 120 years (although past performance is no guarantee for the future).
However, before parting with any cash, it is prudent to carefully consider if investing in stocks is right for you and to ensure that you do it in a prudent and secure manner.

Prepare yourself for the ups and downs.

You must keep your long-term financial objectives in mind and be prepared to weather stock market fluctuations while investing in stocks.
Regardless of the strategy selected (see below), the cost must also be considered. Opening a deposit account with a high street bank is free of charge. However, additional fees will be charged when purchasing shares in addition to the cost of owning a piece of the company.
There may also be tax implications when investing in stocks, such as when selling a portion of your portfolio.
  • Before making any stock market-related investment, consider the following five questions.
  • Should I seek out financial counsel?
  • Can I afford to lose money and am I comfortable with the degree of risk?
  • Do I comprehend the investment in question, and might I readily withdraw my funds?
  • My investments are regulated?
  • Am I covered in the event that an investment provider or my advisor ceases operations?


Variety of investments

There are numerous investment options. You may choose one, multiple, or all of the following. It boils down to your investment objectives and desired level of portfolio management involvement. The primary choices are:
  • Purchasing individual stocks. This is likely the most time-consuming alternative. You must conduct extensive research and “own” your decisions.
  • Invest in exchange-traded funds based on shares (ETFs). ETFs are a compromise between direct stock ownership and mutual funds (below). ETFs, invest in a variety of individual shares to replicate an underlying stock index, such as the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom. Investing in ETFs is similar to investing in firms that comprise the same index. ETFs are traded on exchanges similarly to stocks, but they provide greater diversity.
  • Invest in mutual or communal investment funds. These are managed by professional managers that oversee investors’ portfolios of stocks and other asset classes. Funds target particular nations or areas (such as the United Kingdom or the Far East) or industries (such as technology). The managers of actively managed portfolios choose which companies to include in the portfolio. Using algorithms, passively managed funds mimic the performance of a specific stock market index.


How do I begin investing?

Open an online brokerage account
Self-directed investors must have access to a dealing account, such as those provided by online investment platforms and trading apps. These provide prospective investors a variety of share trading services.
eToro, Fusion Market, and TD365 are among the major names in stock brokerage and fund management that represent investment platforms. Multiple suppliers have assembled a selection of pre-made portfolios containing a variety of investments based on the investor’s risk tolerance.
Investors can also select from a growing selection of specialized share trading applications. Some platforms provide customers the opportunity to practice trading with virtual currency before investing in real funds.

Featured Online Brokers

eToro for Long-term Investing – Visit eToro
Fusion Markets for Forex Trading – Visit Fusion Markets
TD365 for Short-Term Trading – Visit TD365

//Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset platform that offers both investing in stocks and crypto assets, as well as trading CFDs. Please note that CFDs are complex instruments with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% (as of 25/11/2022) of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Past performance is not an indication of future results.