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Understanding Proper Portfolio Allocation

No matter your trading experience you know that proper portfolio allocation is a crucial element that is often overlooked. It's overlooked by everyone, from professional to newbie. So don't feel bad. But what we need to do is nail down what we should be doing and that's why I invited Blain Reinkensmeyer owner of StockTradingToGo.com to give us some tips and tricks that we can use in our own portfolio. If you have any feedback please leave a comment and he'll get to you!

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New and experienced investors alike should have a set strategy for portfolio allocation as far as the number of total holdings. The key to determining how many stocks should be held at once lies in knowing how much money is in the portfolio. This guide will breakdown the best rules for portfolio allocation.

Here on StockTradingToGo we support a more focused portfolio versus having a list of different holdings. Even for investors that want to remain diversified there are great ways to do so through ETFs so that the overall number of holdings can remain minimal. A simplified portfolio also supports investment success through discipline.

[Read more...]

What makes a worthwhile forum?

After visiting the forum of Blain Reinkensmeyer, one of our frequent guest bloggers, I started thinking about forums. So I started searching. There are hundreds, if not thousands, that I came across. Some free, some paid, and all different. I ran across some that were very niche, only covered "edible futures" (YES EDIBLE FUTURES). After looking through as many as I could manage in a 3 hour time window...I decided to go to our amazing user base to see what they think makes up a worthwhile forum.

Blain and StockTradingTogo have a forum that I spent a good bit of time reading, and learning from. Take a look at the StockTradingToGo Forum, analyze the posters and moderators, look over the content, and see how it compares to YOUR favorite forum.

There are many things that make up a good forum...but what do you think are the most valuable tools?

Please post in the comment section what YOU think makes up a good forum. There are no right or wrong answers as everyone trades differently, thinking differently, and needs different info.

OK...COMMENTS ARE OPEN!!

8 Great Ways to Fight Stock Market Stress

Good Wednesday to everyone! Today's guest article comes from Blain Reinkensmeyer of StockTradingToGo.com, a site that provides free investment tips for online stock trading. You can read over 100 free stock education articles and share investment ideas on his stock forum with over 5,000 other investors. Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Blain about the market's current state and his words really conveyed an air of confidence. His post below covers 8 keys...that we all fall short on. So read and apply!

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We all know that stress is bad. As an investor, it is very important to stay balanced while trading because Monday - Friday you are in the game whether you like it or not. So how do you fight stress?

The key is to stay calm and be disciplined with your investing. Market induced stress can be caused by you being too involved in your daily routine and the second by second moves versus staying focused on the bigger picture.

How do you fight stress from the stock market? Here are 8 ways:

1. Use stop loss orders. Stop loss orders are like insurance, they are stock orders that will automatically sell your position at a pre-determined price if that price is hit anytime during the trading day. They remove the “do I sell now? Should I hold instead?” drama of investing and replace it with a disciplined strategy. They are also perfect for maintaining a strong profit vs loss ratio.

2. Don't watch your streamer live all day every day. The real time ups and downs of the market can really cause some temporary stress. If you are like me you have your real-time streamer streaming live quotes from your favorite stocks and the market all day. If you know you aren’t in the right mind frame it sometimes is better to just close the streamer for a few hours or the day and bring it back on tomorrow.

3. Refresh your portfolio balance only once a day. Are your stocks losing ground fast? Instead of refreshing your portfolio every 5 seconds and seeing fresh losses, wait till after the market is closed and then refresh your portfolio balance. Remember, your stop loss orders will minimize your losses for you so you don’t have to.

4. Have a investment strategy. Not having an investment strategy is like trying to play a sport blindfolded. Don’t be disorganized, trade with a plan. Every buy and sell should be part of that plan and as a result will greatly reduce any stress you may have. In fact, a well assembled investment strategy can mean the difference between daily stress and no stress at all.

5. Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy can help keep your body well balanced. I personally enjoy an Apple almost every day while watching the stock market. Eating junk food doesn’t help stress because if your body isn’t happy your mind typically won’t be happy.

6. Get enough sleep each night. Adults should sleep on average 6 - 8 hours a night. If you are getting 5 hours or less of sleep and are wondering why you are more sensitive when your stocks open down take a look at your alarm clock. Getting that extra hour or two of sleep will make a big difference in how you react and respond to different situations throughout the trading day.

7. Don’t surround yourself with stressed individuals. You act like those who you spend the most time with. Take a look at your colleagues, and if they are investors themselves assess how they handle their own stress. If they are emotional investing evangelists screaming at the computer screen and breaking keyboards like Jim Cramer you may want to take a step back and reconsider how much time you spend with that person.

8. Stay calm in intense situations: stop, think, then act. Perhaps the most affect way to fight stress is to take those stressful times head on with a calm mindset. Remember always to stop, think, then act. This applies with everything from making a tough call with a unknown earnings report coming up to finding your portfolio down several percent on the day.

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Take some time and visit StockTradingToGo.com, read over 100 free stock education articles and share investment ideas on his stock forum with over 5,000 other investors.

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