The stock market can be a profitable and exciting way to diversify your income and investments. It can also be a bottomless pit of confusion. Even if you have decided to hire a professional to trade on your behalf you will still want to be knowledgeable about the market on a basic level so that you can both understand your money moves and have your expectations managed along the way. It can be overwhelming thinking that you must understand every detail about the market to be able to enter it. Instead start slow and familiarize yourself with the fundamentals that are applicable to all types of participants.
The stock market is comprised of exchanges that bring buyers and sellers together and it acts as the market for the sharing of those stocks. However, this market is unlike the market you are used to, walk in business is not permitted here. As an individual trader you will be represented by a broker, live or online. You are still at the helm of the decision making but your broker is the one handling the exchanges on your behalf.
If you hire a professional, then they will handle the specifics of your goals and utilize technical analysis as it specifically relates to your bottom line. As you develop and grow your portfolio though you should want to participate in the process through information seeking practices. For example, you might often hear that the market is up, or the market is down, but flesh that out one step further and you will learn that those terms refer to one of the major market indexes. And that market indexes are what track the performance of a group of stocks.
On a basic level it will be a major benefit to any beginner to be familiar with both bull, and bear markets, and the difference between them. While these names may represent animals, you are familiar with that does not mean that you know all you need to. The bear was selected as the symbol to represent a market to be fearful of. A bear market means that stock prices are falling across several of the major indexes. When bear markets hit and investors being to pull back it can sometimes signal that the economy may do so as well.
The bull was chosen to represent a market indicative of a little more confidence. Typically bull markets are a signal of economic growth, and last longer than bear markets do. Having a working knowledge of these types can help you to remain steady emotionally during bear markets and hopeful during bull markets.
The differences between a market crash and a market correction also deserve your attention. Corrections refer to downward trends that happen when the market drops below a certain percentage. Where a crash refers to a more sudden and significant drop. Understanding these basics can help you to not make rash decisions during times of downward trends. If you are investing for the long-term doing nothing is often the best strategy when the market fluctuates in an undesirable fashion.