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Tips For Investing in 2012 »
2011 Investing Recap
2010 was a very rough year for most investors; many lost money as the market declined for almost the whole year. That was no fun for long-term investors!
But 2011 gave us a strong rally where over 50% of those losses were recovered by year's end. No, we're not back to where we were when the market peaked in 2007, but these two years served as an example of how volatile the stock market can be in the short term!
What Investing Lessons Should We Learn From 2011?
Investors learned a lot of lessons, including that markets cannot rise or fall forever. Markets are resilient and do bounce back. Over time, stocks have outperformed bonds as a whole, but that's not to say there weren't some scary declines in stocks.
2011 also taught us that value can be found in markets that seem to have no bottom at all. This past year also taught us that certain signals should alert us to changing market conditions, which should cause us to shift our investment strategies. Price moves in trends, and trends tend to continue.
When the prices of stocks start falling from high levels and then start breaking what we call support zones, or the 200 day moving average, or other averages that chart followers watch, it can be a sign to sell our stock, take our profits, and move into a more defensive posture.
Tips on How to Select Stocks
Part of being a winning investor is paying attention to information about individual stocks and their economic strengths or weaknesses. We can most easily monitor individual stocks by looking at certain ratios, such as. And we can also watch simple points on charts to help give us confidence in our decisions.
Going forward, being a winning investor might include only buying stocks with fundamental ratios better than their peer stocks, and buying when we can see a clear uptrend on the charts of the stocks. We might also want to check that the stocks we want to buy are above the 50 day or 200 day moving average as an extra source of confirmation.
Tips on When to Sell Stocks
We might sell our stocks when we see ratios get worse or prices breaking under these key moving averages - which we can locate on any website that shows us stock charts, like Google, Yahoo Finance, FinViz, MSN Money, StockCharts.com and so many more.
The first few Winning Investor episodes of the new year will be a part of a series where I'll revisit some of the best advice I've ever been given as an investor; and I'll share some of my experiences from my many years of investing.
Use these tips in the next few episodes to put together a plan for 2012 and beyond!
If you had a particularly difficult 2010 or 2011, don't give up! Don't quit investing! Start 2012 on a better footing with more experience, more education, and more tips for making 2012 one of your best years possible as an investor!