Short-term vs. Long-term stock investment
There are many persons that run towards stock investment as a means to make some quick money. This is perhaps however not the best investment option for persons with short term rewards in mind. The best option when thinking of investing in stocks is if you are interested in accumulating funds over a long period of time. One such example is the investment for future needs such as a nest egg for retirement and so on.
In stock investment both short term and long term investments come with risks attached and therefore nothing is truly guaranteed in the stock market. Today could be very good and tomorrow very bad resulting in great gains or great losses as the case may be. However, in terms of long term investment, it is shown according to statistics that there are no 20 year portfolios that have lost on the stock market. The average returns have averaged about 10 percent and these accounts all have a broadly diversified portfolio of stocks.
In the short term the market is very risky. The market will go up and then go down so if you are only thinking of investing for a short period then this is not the best option. If you are nearing retirement age and now beginning to invest in stocks this is not a good option. The best option in these cases as a protection against inflation, rather than stocks, is to invest in stable investments such as bonds and other cash instruments. This offers more security than stocks in the short term.
So how long is considered short term? Many persons are under the misconception that short term means less than a year but this is in fact not so. In terms of stocks short term is considered to be five years or less and some persons will recommend more years rather than the minimum of five years. A good rule is that if you are going to need your funds in the next five years then stay away from stock investment. Another point to note is that unless you are an active trader then short term investments make no sense. If the funds being used are for retirement investment then being an active trader is also not recommended.
The average down time for some markets is a year but this has been seen to last much longer a well so though for a long term investor this downtime may seen to be a lifetime it will pass but if you are a short term investor you will lose a lot depending on the market fluctuations. Stock investment will offer many great opportunities but can be devastating for a short term investor. If you know that the funds you are investing will be required for use in a short time then choose investment options that are more secure and protected. It is true that you may get lucky and make a fortune but it is also true that the risks are high and that you can lose everything.