Most of us that have even a speck of good sense would never sit down to take an exam without studying. Studying is the most important discipline for those that aspire to do well. However, there are some that will go in without ever browsing any study materials.

The Stock Market: No Pain, No Gains

When there’s money at stake or a chance to profit off of an investment, it is always wise to study before making a foolish decision. Investing requires the use of as many resources and tools that you may find helpful to assure that the investment is not only worth your money but has the potential to make your money grow. It’s also common to hear people say that they don’t have time. A good investment is worth the time.

Most investors start their day and end their night by watching world news. One example that would absolutely catch an investor’s attention would be to hear that one of his current investees wants to enhance it’s stock’s trading appeal by lowering its market price. The corporation will declare stock splits. This is when the corporation announces that they are increasing the number of shares outstanding by exchanging a specified number of new shares for each outstanding share of stock.

These announcements are generally made public during a broadcast on world news. Why? Because most major corporations that largely impact the U.S. economy also operate abroad and partner with other global corporations. These relationships open the door for a variety of opportunities that can equate to stock market profits or gains.

World news plays a major role in providing investors with information on current economic, business, political events, and world trade. This allows investors to make their best decisions. Most often than not, when an investor hears something of interest, they begin further research. If it is a potential investment, it is expected for the investor to look into the company’s financial statements and other current news pertaining to the company.

A good old newspaper is still a great source to find leads on new investments or make a decision on a corporation that may be reorganizing or restructuring. There was a time in society when a household got their morning newspaper and everyone would hurry to grab the section of their choice. Most of the time the business and finance section was left for mom to clean the windows with—unless there was an investor in the house.

Major metropolitan areas publish widespread newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. These papers provide a wealth of financial information to investors as well. The daily newspaper devotes at least a few pages to economic, finance, and business news. The Sunday paper includes some world news. Both daily and Sunday editions include stock prices for major exchanges and a summary of the stock market averages and indexes.

In addition to those publications, there’s also the Wall Street Journal. WSJ publishes a number of global and foreign stock market indexes summarized in their “International Stocks & Indexes” section. They include countries in North and South America, Africa, and Asia. The Wall Street Journal offers information on about 35 foreign stock market indexes for major countries including a World Index and the Europe/Australia/Far East (EAFE MSCI) Index.

Choosing stocks to invest in is not an easy task. Nevertheless, we live in a time where the power of the internet has enabled us to access information that used to be unavailable to the public or to the average investor. Today, the internet is an information highway and major force in the investing environment. This has introduced the world of trading too many individual investors by providing access to tools that were formerly restricted to only industry-specific professionals.

Whether you have a stock portfolio that is managed by an investment firm, or you would like to start swing or day trading on your own, researching and studying is the best way to make informed decisions. Yes, the stock market is a gamble that can bring pain. However, with research, the odds of realized gains on your investments are much better than deciding on red or black at a roulette table.