Have you been thinking about trading stocks through a mobile trading app? Or are you already trading stocks through one of these platforms? If so, you’re not alone. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that offer mobile trading apps have reported significant growth in both the number of individuals trading through these apps and the amount of funds invested through them.
Users may be attracted to using these apps based on the convenience of mobile phone apps, the ability to place trades without commissions, the ability to buy a fraction of a full share that may be trading in the hundreds of dollars, free stock giveaways, and other sign up promotions. Some of these apps make the experience of trading stocks seem like playing a game with cartoonish graphics and push notifications that may encourage users to make trades.
While investing is a goal everyone should pursue and these apps have their allure, it is important for users to keep in mind some investing basics when using these apps or any other traditional investing platform.
- First, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. No one should use money they need for their current daily living expenses to invest in stocks. Save your rent money to pay your rent!
- Second, make your investment decisions with an understanding of the risks of each investment. Some investments are much riskier than others and the potential returns are generally reflective of the risks of the investment.
- Third, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Diversify your investments so that your risk of loss is spread across a number of investments. Some types of investment products, such as mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), allow investors to invest in a ready-made diversified portfolio of investments.
- Fourth, invest for the long term. Research has shown time and again that investors who succeed invest for the long term. Those that attempt to time the market or profit from rapid trading strategies are rarely successful.
- Finally, these are just a few of the most basic investing principles that you should follow. Take the time to learn about investing and to investigate opportunities before you dedicate your money to particular investments. You can find additional investing resources on our website at https://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/information/investing.