More Americans than ever before are investing in the stock market. It's estimated that over half of American households own stock, which is in stark contrast to even a few decades ago, when the stocks were primarily traded by institutional investors and the wealthy. In the 1990s alone, the number of investors increased by over 50 percent.
Why the shift? According to a Congressional report, a number of factors caused more people to become investors, including the increasing popularity of mutual funds and the advent of the IRA and 401(k) retirement plans. Essentially, mutual funds present individuals with minimum risk stock market investing, while retirement plans enable households to accumulate wealth by placing their money in financial instruments that have a greater rate of return than traditional savings accounts.
That same Congressional report asserts that, "The first lesson to be taken from the broadening of stock ownership is that Americans want access, control, and choice over their retirement and other saving options." Access, control, and choice are all wonderful, but many individual investors still don't understand how to get a maximum return for a minimum risk or no risk at all. After all, reckless investment does not a fortune make.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compares investment risk and return by noting that savings accounts, insured money market accounts, and certificates of deposit are federally insured and, therefore, safe. "But there's a tradeoff for security and ready availability," they say. "Your money earns a low interest rate compared with investments."
The SEC also notes, "Over the past 60 years, the investment that has provided the highest average rate of return has been stocks," but stresses diversification. According to the SEC, "If you buy a mixture of different types of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, your savings will not be wiped out if one of your investments fails."
All well and good, but the fundamental question remains: how does the average individual who wants to invest in the stock market engage in profitable trading? The answer lies in techniques often used by institutional investors but that is almost unknown and certainly underutilized by private investors.
The two techniques can be characterized as a minimum-risk strategy that can be used in any market with any broker, and a no-risk strategy that is limited to certain stocks and brokers. When you use these techniques, which are outlined in reports available online, some of your profits will be modest, while others will be significant.
It's important to note that the reports that outline these techniques aren't those that promise "get rich quick" schemes, or that tout trading in the Forex (foreign currency exchange) or options markets. These markets are volatile, risky, and not for the inexperienced or the faint of heart. Rather, these strategies employ techniques that can generate a 50 percent annual return or more, but that center around minimum risk stock market investing.
The bottom line is that most people seek a maximum return on their investments with a minimum risk or no risk at all. By utilizing techniques employed by institutional investors, individuals can achieve their financial goals.
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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