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Investing classroom: Stocks basics

Lesson 1.1: The first in our series of investment lessons discusses the ins and outs of investing in stocks

Morningstar 01.10.2009
Stocks versus other investments
We all have financial goals in life: to pay for our children’s education, to be able to retire by a reasonable age, to buy the things we want. Unfortunately, spending less than we earn is typically not enough for us to reach our goals. We have to do more; we have to invest our savings and put our money to work. Stocks are quite simply one of the best ways to make your investment pounds work the hardest.

Investing in stocks is not rocket science. The only real characteristics shared among successful stock investors are basic maths skills, a critical eye, patience, and discipline. Combine these with an understanding of how money flows and how businesses compete with one another, along with a dash of accounting knowledge, and you have all the mental tools needed to get started. This is the first installment in a series of investing ‘lessons’ that aims to teach you all these tools.

Although you don't need a university degree to invest in stocks, selecting stocks is nevertheless an intellectual exercise. It requires effort, but it can bear many fruits. After all, investing in stocks not only leads to potentially higher returns on your investment pounds, it also leads to a greater understanding of how the world works.

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