The stock market refers to a market where stocks (or shares) of publicly traded companies are bought and sold. It is a platform for companies to raise capital and for investors to buy ownership of these companies and potentially benefit from their growth. The value of the stocks is determined by supply and demand and is influenced by various factors, such as company performance, economic conditions, and investor sentiment.
The two largest stock markets in the world are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. f you are looking to invest or get into share trading, then you may also be wondering how the stock market works. Despite stock trading and investing becoming more accessible and popular with retail traders, most people still cling to common myths and misconceptions.
Here, we break down a few of those common myths and tell you the nuance and truth behind them, so you can be more effective when you trade or invest. There are several myths about the stock market that are widely believed but are not entirely true.
Table of Contents
Some of the most common stock market myths include
Stock Market is exclusive to brokers and rich people
While this was mainly true in the past, since those who had the fund could hire experts to help trade and invest on their behalf, this is no longer the case now. Due to the advance of technology, has made the stock market more accessible than ever before, with traders being able to buy and sell stocks online via their mobile phones, or through Robo-Advisors.
In fact, anyone can technically make a trade with just a small amount of funds. Most data and research tools that were only previously available to brokerages can now be used by just about anyone. All in all, the stock market is becoming more transparent and inclusive than ever.
Stocks that go up must come down
Unfortunately, the laws of physics do not really apply to the stock market. Meaning that if you see a stock going up, it may not come down to the same price it once had. For instance, a stock price can sometimes continue to rise or remain constant over the years.
That being said, sometimes stocks do undergo a correction. On the whole, though, a stock price is just a reflection of how the company is doing. If the company is running well and has a booming business, then it makes sense that its stock price will continue to rise.
A little knowledge is better than no knowledge
The consensus is that knowing a little about something is better than knowing nothing at all. However, when it comes to the stock market and trading, it is vital that traders have a clear understanding of how it works and what they are doing with their funds.
Generally speaking, investors and traders that have done their due diligence tend to be the ones to do well in the long term. That being said, some people may not have the time to thoroughly research how the stock market works, but still want to participate in the stock market anyway. As such, it would be unfair to gatekeep them from doing so.
In this case, it would be best if they considered employing the services of a financial advisor or account manager. While these are hefty costs upfront, using these services will save you a lot of grief in the long run. It is also a hassle-free way to start trading or investing without needing to constantly monitor how the markets are doing.
You can time the stock market
Despite what some tutorials, videos, or experts will tell you, nobody can fully predict and time what the market is going to do. What most traders generally do instead is decide when to enter a trade and when to exit it. This is because the market can severely fluctuate, especially in response to economic or current events.
So, instead of trying to time the market, traders should instead keep to their trading or investing strategies. Experts recommend that one should avoid getting wrapped up in the news cycle and let your strategies play out.
The more stocks in your portfolio, the more diversified it will be
While this saying is technically true to a certain extent, there needs to be nuance regarding it. Again, it all depends on how uncorrelated the stocks are to each other. For instance, uncorrelated stocks tend to move in opposite directions, while correlated stocks usually move up and down together.
So if your portfolio only has high-growth tech stocks, not only are they all in the same industry, but they would likely move in the same direction with each other, so it is actually not very diversified. You would still technically be putting all your eggs in one basket because if the tech industry does not do well, it could severely affect how your portfolio is doing.
The key to actually having a diversified portfolio is to pick financial instruments that are across multiple asset classes (so these can be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or more), and in other industries as well. So if any industry or a certain financial instrument is not doing so well, your other assets will make up for it.
Stocks that fall have to rise
This is a common myth about the stock market. While it may be true that some stocks that have fallen in price will eventually rise again, there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. The value of a stock is determined by various factors such as the company’s financial performance, economic conditions, and investor sentiment, and it can be influenced by both positive and negative news.
Additionally, some stocks may fall in value and never recover, so it is important to thoroughly research and understand the risks before investing in any individual stock. Technically speaking, this is true, but it is not as simple as it would appear. While the market can drop and rebound, there are different levels of growth and decline. Most experts would categorize these levels into certain patterns.
These include accumulation, markup, distribution, and downtrend.
- Accumulation: This phase happens after the stock market has reached rock bottom. This is also when innovators, investors, and early adopters begin to start buying stocks again, as they believe the worst is behind them.
- Markup: This phrase occurs when the stock market has been stable for a period. As such, stocks begin to start increasing in price.
- Distribution: This phase starts when there are more sellers in the market, and the stock has reached its peak.
- Downtrend: As its name suggests, this trend happens when stock prices start falling.
The stock market is the economy
Not true at all. Although the stock market and the economy have some kind of connection – as they generally tend to move in the same direction in the long run, they are actually two different things. The stock market is where investors and traders go to buy and sell stocks.
The economy is defined as the relationship between consumption and production activities to decide how certain resources are assigned. While the stock market can help indicate how the economy is doing, it is only one indicator experts use. Additionally, the stock market is driven by what an investor feels, while the economy shows the wealth and resources regarding the production and consumption of goods.
That being said, there is a symbiotic relationship between them. The stock market can impact the economy as it impacts the confidence of consumers, while economic conditions can also influence how the stock market is doing.
Stock Market Benefits
The stock market provides several benefits for both companies and individuals and can play an important role in the economy. Here’s a more detailed explanation of the benefits of the stock market:
- Capital Raising: Companies can raise capital by issuing stocks to the public and listing them on a stock exchange. This allows companies to access a large pool of capital to fund growth and expansion, and can also increase their visibility and credibility in the eyes of investors.
- Investment Opportunities: The stock market provides individuals with the opportunity to invest in a variety of companies, including start-ups and established businesses, and potentially benefit from their growth. Stocks can provide a way for individuals to build wealth over the long term, as investments have the opportunity to grow and compound over time.
- Diversification: Investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks, as well as bonds and other assets, can help spread out risk and provide more stability compared to investing in a single stock. Diversification can also provide the opportunity for higher returns, as investments in different sectors and industries can perform differently at different times.
- Liquidity: Stocks are highly liquid, meaning that they can be easily bought and sold, providing investors with the ability to access their funds quickly in the event of an emergency or opportunity. This can be especially important for investors who need to access their funds in the short term.
- Long-term Wealth Creation: Investing in the stock market over a long period can provide the potential for significant wealth creation, as investments have the opportunity to grow and compound over time. The stock market can also provide a hedge against inflation, as investments in stocks can increase in value over time, helping to offset the decline in purchasing power caused by inflation.
- Economic Growth: The stock market can contribute to the growth of the overall economy by providing companies with the capital they need to invest in research and development, create jobs, and expand their businesses. This, in turn, can lead to increased economic growth, as companies are able to invest in new products, technologies, and services, creating new jobs and boosting the economy.
In conclusion, the stock market provides numerous benefits for both companies and individuals, including the opportunity to raise capital, access investment opportunities, diversify portfolios, provide liquidity, create long-term wealth, and contribute to economic growth. However, as with any investment, investing in the stock market comes with risks, and it is important to thoroughly research and understand the risks before making any investment decisions.
Stock Market Example
An example of a stock market would be the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The NYSE is one of the largest stock markets in the world and is home to many well-known companies, such as
- Johnson & Johnson
When you buy stock in a company listed on the NYSE, you are essentially purchasing ownership in that company and have a claim on a portion of its assets and profits. The value of your stock will increase if the company performs well and the demand for its stock rises, or decrease if the company performs poorly and the demand for its stock falls.
Let’s take a hypothetical example to explain the stock market:
Suppose there is a company called XYZ Ltd. which is a technology company that produces software for enterprise clients. The company wants to raise capital for its growth, so it decides to go public and issue stock to the public through an initial public offering (IPO). The stock is listed on a stock exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Once the stock is listed on the NYSE, individuals, and institutions can purchase shares of XYZ Ltd. As more people invest in the company, the demand for its stock increases, and its price will probably rise. The price of the stock is determined by supply and demand and is influenced by several factors, such as the company’s financial performance, market trends, and investor sentiment.
For example, if XYZ Ltd. releases strong financial results, such as increased profits and revenue, its stock price might rise as investors become more confident in the company’s future prospects. On the other hand, if the company announces negative news, such as declining profits or a new competitor entering the market, its stock price might fall as investors become less confident in the company’s future prospects.
If an individual invests in XYZ Ltd. by purchasing 100 shares at $50 per share, they will have invested $5,000 in the company. If the stock price increases to $60 per share, the value of their investment will have increased to $6,000, representing a 20% return on their initial investment.
In conclusion, the stock market provides a platform for companies to raise capital and for investors to buy ownership of these companies and potentially benefit from their growth. However, investing in the stock market comes with risks, as the value of the stock can fluctuate based on various factors, and past performance does not guarantee future results.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about stock market myths:
Is it possible to time the stock market and make consistent profits?
No, timing the stock market is very difficult, and trying to do so can often lead to missed opportunities or losses. The stock market is influenced by a multitude of factors and predicting its movements is nearly impossible.
Is investing in the stock market a get-rich-quick scheme?
No, investing in the stock market is a long-term strategy for building wealth and should not be considered a get-rich-quick scheme. The stock market can be volatile in the short term, and it takes time for investments to grow and compound.
Is it true that the stock market only goes up?
No, the stock market has ups and downs and can experience periods of volatility. While the stock market has historically trended upward over the long term, there are no guarantees for future performance.
Is it a good idea to follow the “hot tip” from a friend or relative?
No, relying on “hot tips” or inside information is not a reliable way to make investment decisions. It is important to do your own research and make informed decisions based on facts and analysis.
Is it better to invest in individual stocks rather than a diversified portfolio?
Not necessarily. Investing in a diversified portfolio that includes a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets can help reduce risk and provide more stability compared to investing in individual stocks.
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