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No matter where you live, 2022 provides some very solid opportunities for stock investing. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned at the game of earning a profit from the markets, it’s an opportune time to get involved. Why? Because nearly every major securities index is at an all-time high or very close to being there. All opportunities include downside risks. Individual stocks and indices, like the FTSE 100, are performing well across the board. With a few exceptions, most of the sectors are also out-performing their price levels compared to this time one year and five years ago.

If you trade or invest, what is the wisest way to move ahead and take advantage of what appears to be a very positive year for worldwide securities prices? First, examine the current performance of whatever instrument you’re interested in. For example, if the S&P 500 index is your favorite place to park trading-account money, study its chart on one-day, 30-day, 3-month, 1-year, and 5-year time scales. Pay attention to more than just the prices. Making smart decisions means watching volatility.

Some shares have moved up in value but with huge divergences in between those new highs. If you don’t like volatility or prefer to minimize it, consider trading an index. Indices, because they contain so many different companies’ shares, tend to flatten out the upswings and downswings that are typical of individual stocks. Finally, even if you’re optimistic about the 2022 outlook, remember to understand the hazards of unintelligent investing, the different types of trading, and how to select a market that’s suited to your risk tolerance and account size.

Current Market Performance

One of the fastest and most accurate ways to get a feel for the global securities markets is to study indices. These conglomerations of sometimes hundreds of component companies tend to deliver a clear picture of where prices have been, where they are now, and where they are headed in the near term. If you are trading volatility75 index in the UK, the US, Japan, or anywhere else, it’s easy enough to view the historical chart for the UK-based index. One year ago, values stood at about $6,700. Twelve months later, which is now, the FTSE 100 is hovering near the $7,500 mark, having posted a one-year gain of just under 12 percent. A one-year study can reveal much, but it says nothing about volatility.

In fact, during FTSE’s run up, values sank to the 6,400 level at least once. Even more instructive is the 5-year graph. It clearly demonstrates the potential for high volatility during times of crisis. In this case, the crisis was the COVID pandemic. FTSE 100’s prices five years ago were at the $7,300 mark and holding. When COVID hit the global markets, prices nosedived to well below $5,200.

Keeping an Eye on Price Fluctuations

The above analysis is a perfect example of why all traders and investors need to pay attention to volatility. Opportunities in today’s markets come with all sorts of pros and cons, wild price fluctuations being just one of them. How can individuals offset some of that erratic behavior? First, be open to using index funds to avoid the potentially huge gaps up and down that take place in particular stocks. Second, consider building a portfolio that includes assets of different types. Finally, try to stay on top of current events, both political and economic. An informed investor usually has the edge over those who randomly follow trends and buy whatever strikes their fancy at a given moment.

Reasons to be Optimistic for 2022

Why are so many people assuming 2022 will be, on balance, a very positive year for the markets? Despite the continuing COVID crisis, most major national economies appear to be dealing well with a resurgence of retail and investing activity. Manufacturing and housing sectors are moving back to normal in most developed nations, political turmoil is at one of its lowest levels in years, and millions of people are getting interested in investing activities like forex, shares trading, options, and index fund trading from their home-based computers.

How to Choose a Suitable Market

How can you decide what kind of investing is most suitable to your personality, risk profile, and account size? Try several markets and see what works best, beginning with individual stocks and considering others like index funds, options, CFDs (contracts for difference), forex, and precious metals. All those large groupings come with their own amounts of risk, long-term growth potential, and startup costs.

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