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Understanding & Investing in Stocks

 

What is a stock?

When you invest in stocks, you own shares in companies. The value of your 体育平台apps reflects how well those businesses perform. Stocks tend to react faster and longer to market swings, so investors willing to accept more risk may gain more capital appreciation.
Stocks:
  • Have historically realized higher rates of return over longer holding periods, though past performance is no guarantee of future results
  • Are generally appropriate for long-term investors
  • Carry higher growth potential and more risks than other 体育平台apps
 
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Investing in stocks
Learn about ownership in public companies, stocks and how they are categorized.
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体育平台app Investing
Classroom
Learn at your own pace with online courses that include:
  • Stocks versus other 体育平台apps
  • Investing for the long run
  • Learn the lingo — Basic ratios
 
 
 

How stocks fit into your portfolio

Though past performance is no guarantee of future results, the long-term growth potential of stocks can grow the value of portfolios and outpace inflation, which are common objectives of clients who want to invest for college and retirement.
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Asset allocation and
your portfolioFootnote 1 (1:48)
When deciding how to allocate your money among different 体育平台apps, be sure to consider your goals, 体育平台app experience, time frame, liquidity needs, and your comfort level with risk.
 
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Tactical asset allocation:
Fine-tuning a longer-term strategy
Learn about this technique that helps you maintain an asset allocation strategy while making specific adjustments based on what you think will happen in the markets.
 
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体育平台app Investing
Classroom
You can take online classes that include:
  • The magic of compounding
  • Interpreting the numbers
  • A profile of investor Warren Buffett
 

How to choose a stock

Whether you're just starting out or seeking fresh ideas, Merrill provides timely and relevant tools and resources to help you along each step of your investing journey.
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Moving ahead:
Building a better
equity portfolio
Ways to take a more strategic approach to building — or rebalancing — your equity portfolio.
 
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Investment risk (1:28)
Investing in the stock market is like riding a roller coaster. Realizing long-term gains can be rewarding, but sudden drops and wild market swings can be a little scary. This video can help you prepare for the ups and downs of stock market investing.
 
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Stock definitions
View stock definitions from our Glossary that include:
  • Day's price change
  • Marginable equities
  • Price/earnings ratio
  • Reinvest dividends and capital gains
 
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体育平台app Investing
Classroom
Advanced courses include:
  • The balance sheet
  • The fat-pitch strategy
  • Psychology and investing
 

Action items for equity investing

Identify your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon
Decide which stocks match your investor profile
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Explore the top equity performers
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View equity research and insights from BofA Global Research, BlackRock, CFRA (powered by data from S&P Global) and Morningstar
 
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Search for stocks
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Apply search criteria to thousands of stocks with our Stock Screener
 
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Learn what influences stock prices with the Trefis® analysis tool体育平台app,kok体育平台app
 
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Consider trade opportunities with Recognia Technical Insight®体育平台app,kok体育平台app
 
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Save the search results in your Watchlist体育平台app,kok体育平台app
 
Carefully review company information
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Read more about market capitalization
 
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Analyze your portfolio with our 体育平台app tools and calculators
 
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Get price, ratings and earnings alerts体育平台app,kok体育平台app
 
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Access your accounts and market information anytime with our mobile app
 
 

Related resources

Let us help you narrow your choices
Merrill Guided Investing — Get a professionally managed portfolio aligned to your goals that's built, monitored and rebalanced by Merrill 体育平台app professionals.
 
体育平台app MarketPro®
Use this powerful market analysis and trading tool to monitor your portfolio in real time, easily place trades and view interactive charts on a customizable dashboard.
 
Stock Screener
You can filter a vast universe of stocks based on specific criteria you choose and adjust.
 
More you can do
 
 
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Investor education overview
You can learn about all of the 体育平台apps we offer based on your level of experience, topic, or the resource format in the Investor Education learning center.
 
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Articles
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Videos
 
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Calculators
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Courses
 
Ready to get started?
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Call 24/7
 
 
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Footnote 
Asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Investing involves risk. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

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