Stock Market Investing

Think back to Friday 13th January, Christmas was a distant memory, Spring seemed way off and the paranoid were expecting something bad to happen. It was in fact a historical day as the FTSE 100 Index topped 7,350. Trump was rewriting the history books in the USA but surprisingly the Dow Jones topped 20,000 just a few weeks later.

A few months on and the daffodils bring us cheer and the FTSE 100 is continuing to do great things. So what does this mean to you the investor and that hard earned pot of money? Are great times ahead, can we trust these record highs or should we exercise caution. The Indexes are followed all over the World, day and night we study them like stars, hoping for an answer. In this article, we will look at the Index and help bring greater clarity to this bewildering subject.

The Share Index can be defined as “a statistical measure of change in a securities market”.

The FTSE 100 or footsie is a share index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with highest market capitalization. A staggering 81% of these companies have international status.

The Top 5 at time of writing are as follows :

  1. Royal Dutch Shell – Shell
  2. HSBC Holdings
  3. British American Tobacco
  4. BP
  5. GlaxoSmithKline

There is also a FTSE 250 Index, which itself is making historical highs. It encompasses far more familiar household names and so is often more popular with the average investor as the progress can be more readily accessible.

Of course, these 350 top performers are just part of a very complex financial puzzle, where we try and gauge what is happening in the financial world and whether our own portfolio is on a par with the rest or lagging far behind and in need of a review.

But the Index is just a snapshot of the one second in time…..it is not a crystal ball and cannot determine if it’s a good or bad time to buy, hold or sell. The answer is and always will be to understand your own investment goals and confidence with risk as part of an evidence-based investment strategy.

The Stock Market measure of the UK and the worldwide alike can bring both excitement and devastation to the news but it will never replace the long-term planning of a Financial Adviser and a yearly review of your own investments, values and goals for the future. We spring clean our homes, the car gets a wash and wax, even the family dog gets a regular grooming. Our finances aren’t so transparent but they can be turned into wonderful things if we also give them time and attention.

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