Looking into investing in the stock market? Here are some great tips for doing so.
1. Growth Stocks
Growth stocks are a very appealing option for investors. As the name implies, these stocks should see significant growth, which means the return on investment will be higher. Many growth stocks are in the tech sector, but there are other options as well. Typically, profits go straight back to the business. That means that dividends aren’t paid out until after the growth starts to slow down.
There are definitely risks associated with growth stocks. Typically, the cost of these stocks is high when compared against the company’s earnings. If a recession hits, or if there’s a bull market, it won’t take long for these stocks to build value. The popularity of these stocks can evaporate overnight. Still, it’s common for growth stocks to perform very well.
If you plan on buying growth stocks individually, you’ll need to investigate the company before making an investment. This can be time-consuming. Furthermore, it’s important that your risk tolerance is high enough to compensate for the volatility of these stocks. Alternatively, you should make sure you’re willing to hold the stocks for a minimum of three years.
How the Risk compares to the Reward: Since investors pay a premium for growth stocks, they tend to be high risk. When the stock market is on the decline, these stocks can lose significant value. Still, many of the most successful companies in the world, like Amazon and Facebook were high-growth. If you’re able to invest in the right stocks, you could enjoy massive rewards.
2. Stock Funds
If you don’t want to put time and energy into investigating stocks individually, you may want to look into some sort of stock fun. Both mutual funds and ETFs are worth considering. If you’re able to invest in a highly diversified fund, you’ll be able to put money into a number of high-growth stocks. However, since you’ll be investing in a set of companies, you’ll be taking on less risk than you would with individual stocks.
This is one of the best options for investors that want to see significant returns, but don’t want to spend all their free time on investing. There are other benefits associated with stock funds as well. Since you’ll receive the weighted average of all stocks within the fund, you won’t have to deal with the same level of volatility you’d experience if you put money into a handful of stocks or small investment trust.
Your stock fund will be subject to more volatility if you choose a fund based on a single industry. As an example, if all of the companies in your fund are a part of the automotive sector, the value of your fund will rise and fall along with oil prices. Diversified stock funds are generally your safest bet.
How the Risk compares to the Reward: It’s easy to invest in a stock fund, and it’s a great way to mitigate risk. Still, it’s not unusual for funds to see significant movement throughout the year. In years with more movement, gains or losses could be as high as 30%.
Overall, a stock fund is much easier to keep track of than individual stocks. Furthermore, since you’ll have investments with different companies, you’ll see more reliable returns. There are many benefits to putting money into a stock fund. Take a closer look at some of the top index funds in the post covid landscape.
3. Bond Funds
Bond funds consist of bonds from several different issuers. ETFs and mutual funds can both be bond funds. In most cases, these funds are distinguished by the kind of bond within the fund. Factors like the issuer, the risk level, and the duration are all considered. If you want to invest in a bond fund, you’ll have many different options.
If a bond is issued by the government or a business, the owner will receive a specified amount of interest each year. When the bond reaches the end of its term, the principal will be repaid by the issuer. The bond can then be redeemed.
Bonds are already a low-risk investment, and a fund provides a greater level of security. Funds could include bonds of many types and from a range of issuers. This diversity means that a portfolio won’t see a significant decline if a single bond defaults.
How the Risk compares to the Reward: Bonds can see changes in value, but with a bond fund, there’s much more stability. There may be some movement along with interest rates, but bond funds aren’t very volatile. When compared against stocks, bonds are already a much safer investment option. You should keep in mind that certain issuers provide more security than others. Corporate bonds carry more risk than government bonds.
Bond funds generally have lower returns than stock funds. An annual return of 4 to 5% is common, but the return could be lower for government bonds. Of course, the risk levels are lower as well.
4. Dividend Stocks
Growth stocks have a lot of allure, but more dependable options, like dividend stocks, also have a lot of appeals.
What are dividend stocks? They’re a type of stock that provides a cash payout on a consistent basis. This is an option for a number of stocks. Dividends are more commonly seen from well-established businesses that are less reliant on cash. Older investors are often drawn to dividend stocks. Since payments are provided on a regular basis, they can be a source of income. It’s also possible to earn more than a bond would provide if you opt for stocks that increase the dividend across a period of time. One option with a lot of appeals is REITs.
How the Risk compares to the Rewards: Dividend stocks provide much more stability than growth stocks do. However, these stocks can still see dramatic increases and decreases, particularly when the stock market is turbulent. Still, since companies that pay dividends tend to be well-established, these types of stocks tend to be safer. Of course, if a company fails to earn the money needed to pay dividends, the payout will be cut, which could cause the stock’s value to drop dramatically.
What makes dividend stocks so alluring is the payouts. The best companies offer upwards of 2 to 3% in dividends each year. Beyond that, it’s possible to increase payouts by 8 or 10 percent annually for a period of time. This means you can expect a yearly pay raise. You’ll often see high returns from these stocks, but they’re still below what you would see with growth stocks. If you want a more diversified portfolio, you could also look into a dividend stock fund.
5. Target-Date Funds
If you’re not interested in managing your stock portfolio, you might be drawn to target-date funds. Since these funds become less risky over time, you can ensure that you can depend on your portfolio when you’re ready for retirement. In most cases, your funds will be invested in aggressive stocks initially and will be moved over to more stable options, like bonds, when your target date draws closer.
These options are commonly seen in 401(k) plans from employers, but it’s possible to buy them outside the workplace. Just specify the year you plan to retire in, and your fund will do everything else.
How the Risk compares to the Reward: With a target-date fund, you’ll see many of the same risks you would see with other investment options, like a bond fund or stock fund. The main difference is that your fund will become more conservative as time goes on. Initially, your fund may be more volatile, and your earnings are likely to be higher. Later on, it will be more stable, which means your earnings are likely to decrease.
Eventually, it’s likely that your fund will underperform the stock market. You’ll see less in returns, but you’ll know that your money will be safe. However, since yields for bonds are lower than ever, there’s a chance that you could outlive your funds.
To reduce your risk, it’s often recommended that you set a date that’s at least five years past your planned retirement. That way, you’ll be able to see more returns from stocks, but you’ll still benefit from the stability target-date funds provide.