Buy Low, Sell High: The Stock Market
Ah, the wonderful stock market. You put money into it and you get more money back later. It’s that easy.
Except sometimes... it’s not.
Someone new to the stock market would probably take one look at it and run away to the safety of the nearest guide, which would tell him or her “put 15k a day into the stock market and sell at 60”.
Which does not, in all actuality, tell him or her anything.
So that’s why I’m here today. To explain that simple sentence above that boils down most guides on the subject. Why? Because the stock market is an awesome tool for making money. All you need is some money on hand and some patience (if you lack the former, play some Kass Basher. If you lack the latter, you have no place here at all. Go read a guide on Wingoball instead).
Let’s start with a general overview of some of the links at the stock market. The stock market is located here, and the easiest way to reach it without a handy link is via the Neopets homepage, under the marquee of recent and exciting news.
So once there, you see eight links. You’ll really only need two, possibly three if you really like message boards, and these are: Find Stocks and My Portfolio (and Message Board if you’re a chatter and/or become/are a stock nerd).
On the Find Stocks page you’ll see a happy green Quiggle with a chart and a dashing tie and a little box to type something in. Forget the box. Instead, click on the “here” that leads you to a full list.
And now you may actually be frightened. It’s quite an intimidating list, I know.
That’s because it’s a list of every single company in Neopia that you can buy stock from. In the “logo” column you’ll see a little picture that denotes the company’s, well, logo. The “ticker” column gives you three or four letters for each company that accurately or amusingly (in the case of Smuggler’s Cove) sums up the company’s name, which is listed in the next column, “company”. You can forget about the “volume” column, for the most part, but the next two are where it gets good.
“Open” is the price at which the company debuted earlier in the day. “Curr” is the current price of the stock, and the column that you’ll begin a long-lasting friendship with. The last column, “change”, simply denotes the percentage of change between the “open” and “curr” columns.
So let’s expound upon the “curr” column and look at the first part of that sentence I gave you earlier – “15k a day”. Where does the 15k come from? Well, you can buy 1000 shares of stock per day, and the lowest price at which you can buy a stock is 15 NP. Thus, in the “curr” column, you want to look for the number 15.
Often it is also okay to buy a stock at 16 or even 17 if there are no stocks for 15, but don’t buy much higher than that. The amount of profit can be decreased.
Anyway. 15k a day. 1000 shares. 15 in the “curr” column.
Suppose, as you browse the “curr” column, that you see three companies with stock at 15. Is there a certain one you should pick? Absolutely not. Some companies do seem to have better luck than others, but with enough time and patience just about everything will reap a profit, so just pick the one you have a good feeling about.
Say that SMUG (Smuggler’s Cove) has stock at 15, and that’s the one you’re feeling lucky with. How do you buy your stock? Simple: just click on the ticker for the company. Then click on the name of the company in the big table that shows up and enter “1000” in the “number of shares” box on the next page.
In the case of having several companies with good stock prices to choose from, you can always split your 1000 shares. However, this is not recommended, as it could potentially decrease the amount of money you could make.
Once you buy your 1000 shares of stock, you’ll be taken to your portfolio. In your portfolio you’ll see relevant information for every company you currently have stock in. You’ll see the company’s logo, ticker, prices, quantity, etc. The columns of your portfolio you want to become acquainted with are the “current price” column under the “today” header, the “qty” column under the “holdings” header, and the “mkt value” column under the “overall” header.
The “current price” column is probably the most important, and it’s where the second part of my sentence comes into play – “sell at 60”. Because you want to make more money than the money you put into the stock, you want to sell at a price higher than you paid. Technically you could make a profit selling a stock you spent 15 NP per share on by selling when the current price is 16, but we’re aiming for higher stakes here.
So why 60?
Well, why not? It’s a nice round number and it just so happens to be four times 15. So for every 15k you sink into a company’s stock, selling for 60 per share will net you 45k profit.
Not bad, eh?
You can, of course, always sell at a different price, whether it be higher or lower than 60. 45 and 75 are good choices too, and for the extremely patient 100 might be something to wait for.
Keep in mind, however, that these changes do not happen overnight. Often you may hold onto a stock for weeks, even months, before you find a company’s current stock price inviting. Don’t abandon your poor stocks after three days if you find they’re not doing well – just keep buying stock regularly and build up your portfolio. The larger and more diverse your portfolio, the more frequently you can sell and make a profit.
To sell a stock, perhaps the SMUG you bought at 15 earlier that is now priced at a lovely 68 NP per share, click on the small arrow to the left of the company’s icon. A table will appear below that company’s stock information, in which you’ll see a record of the shares you’ve bought at one time. If you like the price at which you’re selling, you can skip over most of the table and simply enter the amount you want to sell to the right of the table, in the little boxes. You can sell one share or every single one you’ve ever purchased – it is completely up to you.
If the price is nice (such as 60), but you want more and are simultaneously worried that your stock will plummet overnight, you can sell some of your shares, maybe half, to collect a decent profit and keep the rest in hopes that the stock will go up even more. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t; but when it doesn’t, at least you sold some of your stock and got money you didn’t have before.
Once you select the amount of shares you want to sell, scroll down to the bottom of the page, insert your PIN if necessary, and click the “sell shares” button.
Nigel will collect 20 NP per transaction, but that’s a small fee to pay for the 60k you just gained.
See, that’s not so bad, is it? :D
Stock prices change about every half hour, at :28 and :58 of the hour, so if you don’t find a stock at 15, check back later if you can to look again. You just might find something. The changes are completely random; there is no known way to vastly influence the market.
So to recap, look for a company selling stock for 15 (or 16-17) NP per share in the “curr” column of the Find Stocks page, buy 1000 shares, and sell via your portfolio when the stock hits a good price.
That said, the best way to get the hang of the stock market is to actually use it. It can be quite confusing at first, but after a couple days it’ll feel like second nature.
And soon, the extra bank interest will too.