It used to be only institutions and other high rollers played the stock market. Then, towards the middle of the 20th century the game began to open up. Today, with the advent of technology including the Internet the stock market is open to anyone. So being one of the new players you took the plunge and bought some shares. Now, you ask, how do I sell my stock?

These days, odds are you have an online brokerage account. If not, you should seriously consider moving to one. The old fashioned way of calling in a given order to your broker can be arduous and time consuming. Everyone knows that on Wall Street time is money. You snooze, you lose.

Going through the time and hassle of dialing a number, waiting to be transferred, then having your broker enter the same order into his computer that you could enter into your's is an unnecessary process. Additionally, they actually charge you more for this route. Online brokerage accounts allow you to immediately enter your order yourself at a far less expensive commission.

Some of you might feel intimidated by using on online brokerage yourself, or maybe even by the Internet itself. Relax. It is far easier than you may imagine. Most online brokerages offer free "play money" practice trading accounts. This allows you to make your entry mistakes and typos at no cost only going to real money when you have the process down. It can't hurt to try with a practice account.

Once you have opened your online account you will have the quickest route to either buy or sell stocks. So let us assume you've done your due diligence, selected the right stock for you, and made the purchase. The more difficult question then comes when to sell it. Many buy stocks to hold for the very long term. They buy the stock then figuratively forget about it. They do not constantly check quotes nor care about short term movements.

Others are more in it for the immediate trade and profit. You have to determine which trading style best suits your personality and how much time you have to devote to trading. Those who desire to buy and sell stocks rapidly need to be able to closely watch their positions. The rigors of work and family often disallow this for most. This is a critical requirement should you decide to be constant trader of stocks.

If shorter term investment strategy is for you, the decision when to sell is a hard one. Often it is best to determine your risk tolerance and pick a price on the downside which is the most you are willing to lose. You would then sell if the stock dropped to that price. On the upside it becomes more difficult when greed kicks in. Euphoria watching a stock soar can prompt you to hold it too long only to watch it plummet back down. Often it is best to sell at least some shares on a strong run up.

Everyone needs to ask themselves, "When and how do I sell my stock?", before the time comes. Making decisions on the fly can often prove costly. Devise your strategy in advance and maintain discipline. These basic tips will put you on the path to being a great trader.

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You've decided to explore the exciting world of trading stocks. At first blush, it appears nothing but a mishmash of letters, numbers and symbols. To a novice the market can certainly appear quite intimidating and scary. There is much to learn. Let us start off with the basics by first discussing finding stock symbols.

The three or four letters you see many times flashing across the bottom of the screen of your television are a symbol which represents a given stock. There are many variations, but most commonly a stock symbol has either three or four letters. One can decipher an initial tidbit of information from this.

Those with three letters typically trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). After a recent merger with a European counterpart this exchange is actually now called NYSE Euronext. Many major corporations trade on this exchange including some of the largest in existence. Many large NYSE stocks have been commonly referred to as "blue chip stocks" signifying the highest quality.

Stocks with symbols containing four letters typically trade on what is called the NASDAQ. This exchange mostly exists in cyberspace. It is an electronic exchange matching buyers and sellers without the assistance of a human in between. The NYSE many times has a person in the middle facilitating the given trade.

NASDAQ traded stocks can also be large multinationals, or they can range down to the tiniest of "microcap" stocks. A "microcap" stock is generally defined as one worth under 100 million dollars in totality. There is a very large universe of stocks to select from. Most of the new and "trendy" technology stocks mostly all trade on the NASDAQ as opposed to NYSE.

So you notice a hot new product at the store, or a great service you saw online, and you now want to know about that company's stock. The first step is to figure out the symbol which represents it. Today, online, this is easily done. You can go to virtually any finance web site or portal and use what is commonly termed the "symbol lookup" function. This allows you to type the company's name in a box and the system will respond with the appropriate symbol.

Keep in mind, some stocks can have multiple symbols for different classes of stock. You need to pay attention to which one you desire to select. Once you have the right symbol you are then able to enter it into your "watch list". This is a list provided by most brokerages on your account that you can use to track the price of your stock as it moves hopefully up.

There are many difficult parts to the markets. However, finding stock symbols is an easy step. Anyone can do it. Go to a few sites, pick a few companies and see if you can find the right stock symbol. Once you are fluent in this exercise you are ready to move to the next step towards profiting in today's markets.

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Everyone wants to make money in the stock market. There are millions of participants in the markets today, and along with that millions of different styles. It ranges from the most daring risk takers all the way to the most conservative among us. For each individual there exists a corresponding type stock. Many seeking a balance between risk and income often look to high dividend stocks.

Some stocks are called growth stocks. These are aptly named in that the companies they represent are thought to have excellent prospects for greatly increased revenues and profits. Consequently, the stock is expected to rise rapidly. Those drawn to growth stocks are seeking a high return from the price of the stock going up dramatically. Growth stocks tend to have a high price to earnings ratio.

The price to earnings ratio (PE) is a simple calculation which divides the earnings per share into the current stock price. A stock with a high PE is said to be "expensive". The problem lay with the fact that something which is now expensive can quickly become "cheap" if expected earnings do not materialize.

This transition from expensive to cheap translates to your growth stock going down significantly incurring a loss. Hence, whereas growth stocks can have high rewards, they can also have significant risks. Those who can do without this high level of risk have the opportunity to select instead high dividend stocks.

High dividend stocks are termed "income stocks". A dividend is a payment sent out by the company, usually once a quarter, to all of its shareholders. Think of it as profit participation. If a given stock has a dividend of one dollar, and you own 1000 shares, you will receive $1000 a year from the company, usually in the form of $250 every three months. You therefore make money in two different ways.

You can profit from the stock going up as always. Or, you can also profit even if the stock stands still cashing your dividend check each quarter. Even better, current tax rates provide for a very low 15% federal tax on dividends versus the 25%+ paid by most of us on earned income. This higher rate is also paid on stocks bought and sold within the course of one year. Many "hyperactive traders" end up making more money for Uncle Sam than they do for themselves.

Dividends are measured as a percent of a stock. For example, if a stock is at $50 and it pays a $2.50 dividend that stock is said to have a 5% dividend. This is also referred to as a dividend yield. All yields over 3.5% are considered high dividend stocks. Some yields can go all the way up above 10%, however, be careful. Very high yields can be deceptive and signal and impending dividend cut. Do your due diligence.

There are many different stocks in the large universe of the markets. If you want a stock which can quintuple you best look to growth stocks. If you want a steady stream of income with far less risk than high dividend stocks are for you.

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