If you’re starting up your own business you are by default entering into the world of finance so it’s important to understand how that works. That doesn’t just mean things like knowing how to get the best value business loan or how to be on good terms with your bank manager, though of course, those things are important as well. It means having a good grasp of how the stock markets work and how you can be involved with them successfully.
Why you need to understand the market
You might say that as an entrepreneur the only market you need to be interested in is the market for your product. That viewpoint overlooks several factors however. One is that you may want to sell stocks and shares in your company to raise seed money and operating capital. Another is that you may want to invest in stocks and shares yourself to raise finances or to have a portfolio of investments that can act as an alternative source of income to your main business.
Getting to grips with the financial world
If you’re completely new to the financial markets, there are numerous books and courses that can teach you the basics. Essentially you need to understand that the value of stocks and shares can go up and down and that knowing when to buy and when to sell is the key to success in the markets. Being able to predict share value and the movements of the markets, however, is a complex science that it can take years to grasp and a lifetime to master.
Keeping up to date
Once you understand the basics the best way to keep on top of the markets is to stay well-informed. That means buying a reputable financial paper like the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal and making time to read them. There are also numerous useful websites and podcasts covering financial news, as well as TV shows. Signing up to a subscription stock analysis service will also give you an invaluable combination of live news, professional discussion and the latest proprietary index levels.
Filter the information you want
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by news in this day and age, and as a busy entrepreneur you can’t be giving over all of your time to studying the financial market. Setting up an RSS feed and using a smartphone app to give you just the information you need can be extremely helpful, and Google alerts or a ticker tape at the bottom of your screen can help you follow the market without having to make specific checks. You can stay on top of the latest market news while getting on with your real job.
Balance is crucial
Just as it’s vital to have a balanced portfolio of varied investments, so you should make sure you harvest information from a variety of different sources. Hard facts, opinion and analysis from a range of newspapers, websites, TV shows and podcasts, with differing geographical and political bias, will allow you to see the real picture more clearly and to make up your mind about your financial investments.
Staying informed about the financial markets will be the best entrepreneurial decision you’ll make.