A Guide to High-Yield, High-Risk Stocks

The classic image of the stock market is that of a place where fortunes are made and lost throughout the course of the day, and where those who take the biggest risks are rewarded by a hefty payout when all is said and done. Of course, this is the movie version of the market… no matter how thrilling the day-to-day dramas of investment trading become, they’ll never compete with the images of the stock market that have been created for the silver screen.

There is a small grain of truth to those images from the movies, however… those individuals who choose to deal in high-risk stocks can make a lot of money if they handle the risks correctly. If they don’t, however, then there’s a good chance that they could lose their entire investment.

Below you’ll find more information on the world of high-risk (and high-yield) investments, including ways to help insure yourself against major losses when dealing with higher levels of investment risk.

Defining High-Risk Investments
The first thing that needs to be covered when talking about investing in high-yield, high-risk stocks is exactly what is meant by the terms “high-risk” and “high-yield.” The risk of the investment is usually due to the very fickle nature of that particular stock… though it may be growing in value rather quickly, it’s obvious that the growth is going to stop soon and a very rapid and severe descent is going to begin.

The yield of the investment, on the other hand, refers to the money that could potentially be made by buying stocks early on in the increase in price, and then selling just before the value starts to plummet. Fortunes have been both made and lost (sometimes in the same day) with high-risk trading; the key is knowing exactly when to start buying or selling.

How to Trade High-Risk Stocks
When trading high-risk stocks, it’s almost essential that you have access to your brokerage account and that you’ll be able to buy or sell shares as soon as the price begins to fluctuate in one direction or the other. This can be done online, via the telephone, or in person if you don’t use an online brokerage firm.

You can also usually set up hold orders which will start buying the stock when the price reaches a certain level (up to the amount that you’ve specified) and that will begin selling shares as soon as the price drops below a certain point. Many online brokers allow these types of hold orders, and they can allow you to go about your regular day without having to watch the market ticker the entire time.

Guarding Against Loss
Of course, even with hold orders or a dedicated broker you can still end up losing money when dealing with high-risk stocks… that’s how they earned their name. In order to minimize this potential for loss it’s important to have a well-diversified stock portfolio to fall back on.

If your high-risk investments begin to fall in price too quickly and you end up losing money by the time the shares have been sold, the relatively stable value of some of your core portfolio stocks and indexes will help to even out your losses.

The fall of the higher-risk stocks might even stimulate some other portions of the market, causing an increase in other stocks in your portfolio. This will help take some of the sting out of your loss, and may end up giving you a greater long-term gain than you might have had from your short-term investment that went sour.

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