Investing in stocks has been a proven means to accumulate wealth for decades. However, given the current market conditions and the intricacies involved, forging a start for yourself, or improving an existing position, can be challenging. Keep reading to find out more about successful investment strategies to get you started.

Watch the markets closely before beginning to invest. Prior to your first investment, research the stock market, preferably for quite a long time. A recommended time period to observe it would be for three years. This way, you will have a better idea of exactly how the market works, and will have more chance of actually making money.

Educate yourself about basic accounting principles, the history of the market, and how to read and understand annual reports. While you don’t need to be a professional accountant to participate in the market, this kind of knowledge will help you make the smartest investment decisions, based on your goals for investing.

One way to reduce your risk with investing money in the stock market is to practice diversification. You can do this by investing in a wide range of companies from tech stocks to blue chips. Also invest some of your money into bonds. The easiest way to practice diversification is to purchase mutual funds.

Be mindful of a stock’s history, but do not count on it as a future guarantee. No matter how good a track record a stock might have in the record books, the future is unwritten. Stock prices are determined by estimations of company earnings in the future. Strong historical performance is a good indication, but even the greatest of businesses can slide.

Remember that your portfolio does not have to be perfect overnight. Ideally, you are aiming for only about 15 to 20 stocks, spread across seven or more sectors or industries. However, if you are unable to do all this from the start, choose something safe in a growing sector that you know first. As you get yields to reinvest, you can expand your portfolio across the suggested spectrum.

Avoid discount brokers. These brokers lie somewhere between the expertise and advice of full-service brokers and the low prices and fees of online brokers, but do not really offer the advantages of either. It is better to be at the ends of the spectrum to find true value for your time and money.

For the novice investor in the stock market, you should be aware that sometimes success is gained in the long term and not immediately. People looking for overnight results can get frustrated and give up before a company’s stock has time to become valuable. Patience is a good thing, and that goes for investing, as well.

Use rating systems cautiously in a bear market. These rating systems may be untrustworthy during this time, and you could wind up losing a lot of money if you rely solely on them. Instead of using them as a guide, use them a means of secondary information and factor the rating into your decisions with a grain of salt.

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, stock market investing can mean both great reward and significant intimidation. Keep this article in mind, as you start or continue to invest. Applying what you have learned will help you to make more money in the stock market.