3 Ways to Start Earning More Money on the Side

If things have been a little tight recently, you’re in need of a boost to your income. Your first option is to ask your boss for a raise. But they decline, even though you ask politely.

So what are you going to do? First of all, don’t give up. More money is in your future when you check out these three simple ways to make extra cash on the side.

1. Start freelancing

With more than 56 million people in the U.S. freelancing, the gig economy is booming. You can join their ranks by offering up your services as a freelancer.

In other words, you can take on individual contracts outside of your full-time job and offer your skills as a designer, accountant, or consultant to clients online. There’s really no limit to the kind of work you can find online.

If you aren’t sure where to start, these apps can help you find your first job:

  • Indeed
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • CloudPeeps
  • Freelancer

One of the bigger perks of a freelancer is being able to choose jobs that fit your schedule. However, one of the downsides is how these jobs may affect your taxes. In the eyes of the IRS, you’ll be considered self-employed, so you’ll have to make your own tax deductions from your earnings.

Most financial advisors suggest you save as much as 30 percent of each invoice for tax purposes. You should put this into a separate savings account used solely for taxes, so you’re prepared for when you owe these deductions in April.

2. Become a rideshare driver

If you own your car, becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft is an easy way to make some extra cash. All you need is a vehicle that passes basic safety tests and a smartphone, and you can find passengers in your area.

Most ride-sharing apps operate 24/7, so you’ll be able to fit in time behind the wheel regardless of what your day job is. You can choose to work days, evenings, and even overnights to pick up people in need of a lift.

If you can manage to drive during peak travel times, you’ll be able to cash in on surge pricing. Since there will be more passengers looking for a ride, you’ll be able to charge higher fares during these busy times.

While most rideshare services will pay you like a regular employee (i.e., you’ll see tax deductions from your earnings), they won’t cover any maintenance you’ll need on your vehicle.

Whether due to a collision or simple wear and tear, repairs can be expensive. You should contribute some of your earnings towards an emergency auto fund in case you need to bring your car into the shop for work.

If your emergency fund isn’t enough to cover these essential repairs, you can find an installment loan online to help cover the bill. Online installment loans are easy, convenient alternatives to personal loans distributed by mainstream banks.

Their online applications are quick to fill out, and they have less stringent approval criteria. While you’ll have to produce contact and financial information, you may not need a prime credit score before you’re accepted like you would with most mainstream personal loans.

For more on what to know before you borrow, do some research on the online options in your state. You’ll be able to see if you’re eligible for these fast-acting loans.

3. Hold a garage sale

With the arrival of spring’s warmer weather, there’s never been a better time to hold a garage sale. The conditions are perfect. If you choose a weekend free of rain, you’ll be able to hock your wears for an entire day without feeling too cold or too hot.

In all likelihood, you have a lot of stuff to sell, too.

That gives you a prime opportunity to go through closets and cupboards to find items that you don’t need anymore. Go through your entire house with this mindset and start collecting duplicate or unnecessary items you can sell in a garage sale.

Don’t worry if where you live makes a physical garage sale impossible. With the right app, anything’s possible. You can find consignment stores to sell your clothing and online auction sites to sell everything else, including:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • thredUP
  • eBid
  • Swappa
  • Letgo

While most of these apps will take a cut of every sale, you’ll still earn money while decluttering the house. Now that’s a win-win!

Whether you’re a skilled IT technician, an expert driver, or a collector, you have the opportunity to make more money without relying on a raise. Forget about your boss and rely on yourself to boost your paycheck. Choose the option that works best with your skills and schedule, and you’ll be raking in more dough each week.

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Six Ways To Save Yourself From Financial Ruin

Financial Ruin

Financial Ruin

As we all know, life can be unpredictable and no one knows what may happen next year, next month, or even tomorrow. Financial crises, poor investment decisions, or an overly extravagant lifestyle may undermine your financial situation. These six tips will help safeguard you from financial ruin and let you create a cushion against hardship.

1. Don’t overextend yourself financially.

It’s always best practice to manage your debt rather than allowing it to manage you. If you notice yourself in situations where your spending habits outweigh what you’re able to pay off, or just having a difficult time paying your month to month bills, then consider curbing your spending patterns down to a level that is more manageable for you financially. Think, maybe you spend too much on things you don’t need? Perhaps, there is a decent alternative to expensive things and services? Extravagant spending patterns are potentially red flags to upcoming financial problems.

2. Utilize employment benefits to the max.

Many employers offer benefit plans that, when properly taken advantage of, can be worth their weight in gold. Medical and dental insurance and even profit sharing are becoming more commonplace practices among larger companies as a way to retain loyalty, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. Be sure to utilize these benefits as they can substantially reduce out-of-pocket expenses in addition to lowering future tax liabilities. If you’re currently stuck in a lower paying position offering little or no benefits, consider the help of a job placement or resume writing service to kickstart the process of moving up the corporate ladder.

3. Consider getting health insurance.

Insurance no doubt will increase your expenses even more. Then how can it save from financial problems? It’s simple, if any trouble happens to you, instead of paying hospital bills from your own pocket, an insurance company will pay them for you. Of course no one wants to think about bad things happening to them, but we’re not immune to diseases and accidents. In countries where there’s no free medicine, health insurance will save you from potential hefty debts. It’s great if insurance is provided by your work, but if not, then it’s better to pay a little every month rather than risk being broke.

4. Choose Your Bank Wisely.

Many people don’t give it much thought, but bank fees bite off a significant portion of the family budget every month, especially if you happen to have a loan. Before signing a bank agreement, you should carefully study all the details, specifically what’s written in fine print. There may be hidden fees or sky-high fines if you don’t pay on time. If you don’t have the best credit history, most banks automatically offer more expensive loan rates. In this case, it makes sense to opt for second chance banking with reasonable rates despite previously having a less than perfect financial history.

5. Save money for a rainy day.

Everyone understands that saving money is a good idea, but not every person sees the right opportunities. Meanwhile, there are countless ways to put aside some money each month for those “just in case” situations. For example, you can open a savings account and automatically deposit into it with each paycheck. The most important thing is that this money is not too easy to access so that you don’t have the temptation to spend it.

6. Don’t trust questionable ventures.

Quick enrichment with minimal effort — isn’t that what each of us dreams of? Unfortunately, more often than not it’s just a pipe dream. If you’ve fantasized of riches from the internet, or a friend has pitched to you “the secret” for making easy money, take this information with a grain of salt. Because it’s more likely than not, it’s just another shady financial pyramid / get-rich-quick scheme. Is the opportunity to earn a few dollars worth the risk of losing everything? If you wish to invest some spare money, it’s better to contact a reputable broker or purchase government bonds. Profits may not be big, but the risks are going to be way less.

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Keeping One Eye Open: These 8 Red Flags Will Help You Spot Fraudulent Transactions

While e-commerce has greatly grown within recent years, the threat of fraudulent transactions is also unfortunately higher. In fact, according to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a survey of 700 finance and treasury professionals found that a whopping 78 percent of organizations received at least one fraudulent transaction.

As one can imagine, fraudulent transactions can cause immense losses for business big and small. Although you can never be so safe, there are fortunately ways you as the merchant can spot fraudulent transactions before they occur:

1. Faster shipping requested for high-value items

Especially when purchasing valuable items, fraudsters will want the items as quickly as possible. That said, they may pay for the fastest method of shipping. This ensures that the products ship out and get in their hands before the cardholder even realizes there’s a suspicious transaction on their card and has it removed.

2. Abnormally large orders

While it’s possible a large order is genuine, sometimes this is may be a result of a fraudulent transaction. From a fraudster’s perspective, they’ll want to purchase as much as they possibly can within a short period of time they may have.

3. Several small orders

As an alternative to placing a suspiciously large order, fraudsters might instead place several smaller orders. However, some credit cards will automatically shut off if there are several items purchased within a slim time frame. Of course, not all cards have this level of security.

4. Orders placed to different addresses from the same card

Because it looks suspicious to place a very large order or multiple small orders, fraudsters might think they’ll get away with their fraudulent act if they send orders to various addresses. Be wary of this.

5. Delivery to an office building or P.O. box

To avoid having their personal address on file, thus making if harder to track down them down, fraudsters might have their order delivered to an office or P.O. box instead. Especially if they are placing a large order, having their items sent to an office building might initially look less suspicious as it might merely seem like they would resell the items to the public legally.

6. In-store pickup

There are two reasons a scammer might opt for in-store pickup after placing an order: 1) to get the items they purchased before the cardholder cancels the transaction, and 2) to ensure there isn’t an address tied to their purchase.

7. Mismatched billing and shipping addresses

If a customer’s billing and shipping addresses don’t match up, this is one sign that the transaction is suspicious. Additionally, multiple orders to multiple addresses may share the same billing address or incorrect zip codes.

8. Inability to confirm customer information

If you cannot confirm a customer’s information, or they intentionally fail to provide it, you might also have a fraudster on your hands. Non-scammers should have no problem sharing general shipping and payment information.

While businesses can’t truly eliminate the risks of potentially fraudulent transactions, they can still do everything in their power to avoid such. Fortunately, Netverify offers a total solution to know and trust your customers.

Conclusion

Although at times, fraudulent transactions can be inevitable, one of the best things you can do as a merchant is keeping your eyes peeled for any suspicious orders. By spotting and reporting fraud, you can save your business, and potentially others’ businesses, from dealing with heavy financial losses.

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A Modern Way to Sell Your Items: Are You Familiar with These 4 Types of Online Auctions?

Auctions

Auctions

Auctions have been around almost as long as mankind. The earliest auction sales can be traced back to 500 B.C. when early civilizations sold goods to the highest bidder. But today, with the advent of the digital era, we are increasingly taking auctions online, drastically widening the pool of potential buyers.

Over the centuries, we have refined and streamlined the auction process. Today, there are several types of auction available online, each with their own specific benefits both to the buyer and the seller. For more information on online auctions and to sell your own used equipment, visit: www.equifyauctions.com/

Absolute Auction

An absolute auction sometimes called an English auction, is the most common type of auction that takes place online. It is exactly as you would expect, with no twists or frills.

A reserve price is often fixed for the goods up for sale. This is the lowest price the seller will accept and is where the auctioneer begins the bidding. Then the prospective buyers bid larger and larger amounts.

The product goes to the bidder who bid the highest amount. This buyer pays the amount they bid, and the product is then sent to them, or they can arrange to pick it up themselves. This is one of the most popular auction methods because of its simplicity. Every bidder knows what they will pay because it is the amount they bid.

Sealed-Bid First Price Auction

In this format, all bidders bid simultaneously on the product, however, their bid amounts are not publicly disclosed. This means it is not always apparent what the top bid is. Once the allotted time for the auction has ended, the bidder with the highest bid wins the auction and pays the amount they pledged.

Sealed-Bid Second Price Auction

This is similar to the format used by eBay and other online auction sites. It is similar to the sealed-bid first price auction in the sense that everyone bids simultaneously on the product and nobody knows the exact amount of the highest bid.

Except, in the sealed-bid second price auction, the highest bidder that wins the auction, does not pay the amount of their highest bid, they pay the amount of the second-highest bid. This removes the element of “winner’s curse” when the winner placed a bid far higher than the second-highest bid and is then forced to pay more for the product than they perhaps needed to.

Dutch Auction

A Dutch auction functions somewhat like an auction in reverse. Instead of starting low and having prospective buyers make larger and larger bids, the auctioneer starts with a very high price for the goods and subsequently brings it down until the buyers are willing to pay the pre-determined amount.

This format favours the sellers as they know they received the highest price available for their product on that day with those group of buyers.

These four types of auctions can be found online and in operation across the world. Which one is best for you will depend largely on your product and the nature of the sale.

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The Perfect Plan for Selling Your Business

If you own a company and have operated it for many year, the prospect of selling it can be quite daunting. One really difficult part for entrepreneurs is to separate the emotions aspects of wanting to sell with the business realities. This is why it is often advised that a business owner seeking to sell the business should being in experts like BCMS who have helped hundreds of business owners successfully sell their businesses for the right price and terms.

Engaging a company like BCMS is a smart decision and as you prepare to discuss with them your company do some things that help you gain a better understanding on the process and what you can expect. Here are a few tips.

Put Everything about Your Business on Paper

Companies like BCMS advise that any business wishing to have the best chance of selling itself, put all of the important details about the business in an easy to review document. This should include all details about the business incorporation, its history, current status, financials past and present. Future projections for the business with assumptions for those projections and all liabilities listed plainly. And you should never bury or hide and problems or issues that have occurred or are current with the business. This type of document provides and easy summary that interested investors can review without much interaction with the owner. They can then pull their questions and comments together if interested in proceeding with the purchase.

Always be Available to Potential Buyers

The aspects of your business will seem obvious and easy to understand to you and you will be able to easily decipher any details about what you have built, how and why. For others though, there will be lots of questions that only you as the business owner can answer. These questions get cannot be detailed fully enough on paper and in some cases hearing the tone and sincerity of the owner can make a great difference in the interest level of the buyer.  So be sure to make yourself available to all serious buyers to answer key questions about the business. You should put parameters around how this occurs so you do not end up losing all of your time, but by making yourself available to them it makes you look more authentic and shows you are considerate of their needs.

You should also be prepared to discuss the future potential of the business. New buyers love to know where past owners think future growth will occur, so prepared to have this conversation.

Working with an expert team to sell your business gives you a professional team to help you make the sale you want. #sellsavvy

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How the stock markets can help a business grow

In the public mindset, investing in or making use of the stock market is something that only small-scale, individual investors do. However, it’s also possible for companies and organizations to make the most of it: whether it’s by offering your own firm to other investors through an IPO or using company cash to buy shares in other firms, there are a lot of options.

Initial public offerings

Perhaps the main way that the stock market can be used to a company’s benefit is through a market float, or an initial public offering (IPO). Most American companies are owned by private investors, which means that the general public or wider investor market can’t simply buy shares in the way that they usually can for one on the stock market. An IPO changes that: it means that a company offers some or all of its value for the public to buy, which in turn means a big cash injection.

The key to a successful IPO is research, as it’s only by doing this that a firm can find out the right time to strike. In almost every case, a company will choose to employ a specialist who can manage the IPO process for them – but company staff should still be as aware as possible of market movements. A stock events calendar should be used to locate occasions and dates to be avoided, while keeping a keen eye on news stories about previous IPOs in publications such as the Financial Times will help you build up some perspective on how it works.

Cash investment destination

For businesses that aren’t quite ready to float their value on the stock market just yet, one alternative is to invest any spare cash they have in the stock market. It’s not just retail or individual investors who invest in stocks and shares – companies can also do it. Beware of any tax implications of doing this, though: speak to your retained accountant first before making any moves.

Perhaps one of the most obvious ways that a company can invest in the stock market is through its pension funds. When employees pay into a pension pot, it needs to be invested somewhere in order to grow – and the stock market is one option. Whatever your reason for investing company cash in the stock market, though, you should always seek professional advice to mitigate the risk of losses – and when it comes to using employee pension cash, you should only do it through a pensions professional who can manage it all for you.

While it may seem at first glance like investing in the stock market is simply something that only retail investors do, firms can also use this asset class to their advantage. Whether your firm puts its cash to work by buying shares in other companies for speculative purposes or it goes as far as adding its own value to the stock market for general sale, there are plenty of ways you can go.

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Start-ups: Don’t buy into all of the myths

Over the last few years it would be fair to say that the start-up culture has really come into its own. Whether it was the economic dip, or a completely unrelated reason, we’re not going to speculate. However, start-ups are popping up in all sorts of places, and entrepreneurs are constantly being bred.

At the same time, the surge in start-up culture has led to a lot of misinformation being published about new businesses. Myths have been developed and as the title of today’s post might have already suggested, we are today going to scrutinize some of these misconceptions and reveal the real truths behind them.

Myth #1 – You need too much capital

Once upon a time, this was completely true. After all, most new businesses were started in a bricks-and-mortar form, and this in itself added more costs. However, through the power of the internet there is no doubt that this myth has been reset so to speak, and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of capital to get going.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a bricks-and-mortar store is going to be at the forefront of your enterprise, you do need some form of funding. However, don’t be put off by the suggestion that items such as point-of-sale terminals are going to hike up your costs – these are low cost, or even free, to install with vendors making their money on small transaction fees (that will barely touch your bottom line).

Myth #2 – Customers will flock to your great store or product

This next misconception is at the other side of the spectrum. A lot of new businesses are under the belief that customers will flock to their new product, under the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Without trying to be party-poopers, this isn’t going to happen. Sure, you may have released the best product of its kind on the market, but if nobody knows about it this is all for nothing.

You need a solid marketing plan in place long before your product hits the shelves. People need to be aware of it and without this awareness, you really will be on a hiding to nothing.

Myth #3 – You can do it all yourself

With funding low initially, this next myth is hardly surprising. However, as much as you might want to carry out every task yourself, we would advise exercising caution. Sure, you’re not going to be in a position to afford full time staff, but the rise of the freelance economy means that there are a whole host of skilled, temporary workers out there who can help you with everything from marketing to product design.

Remember, if you do it yourself you might save money, but by just having one extra pair of hands you can effectively double your output.

Myth #4 – Big companies eat start-ups for breakfast

It can be hard to not be scared by the big competitors in your field, but this should only occur if you can’t differentiate yourselves from them. If your service is the same, you are destined to fail. If you can offer differences, and ultimately an advantage to the customer, this is where you can prosper.

Remember, some customers are just scared and put off by big brands – and this is a unique advantage that you hold in itself. You can give a personal service, which is something that is greatly appreciated in the modern-day market.

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5 Things To Spend Your Inheritance Money On To Guarantee That Your Fortune Grows

If you’ve been fortunate enough to come into a large inheritance, it goes without saying that the question of how do I spend all this money, is a very good problem to have. It’s crucial that you think before you spend and get advice from professionals. That means no big impulse purchases during your celebratory phase when you first receive the money, even if it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Every single purchase beyond your regular daily expenses should be carefully thought about. There are also clever things you can do with your inheritance money, such as smart investments, that will guarantee that your fortune not only lasts, but that it also grows.

Spend money on a reputable financial advisor. The best way to hold onto sudden wealth is long term, strategic planning. Your fortune will erode much faster than you expected if you don’t get that cash managed. People often overspend to the point where they’d have to actually have inherited three times that amount in order to be able to spend that much. Financial planners often have people come to them years after they inherited their fortune, because they’re shocked at how quickly it’s depleting and they get scared into seeing a planner. So, why not just spend some good money hiring a good financial advisor from the very start? Seems wise. They can guide you as far as what funds to invest in, and how to plan strategically for the long term growth of your fortune.

Invest in home real estate. Yes, when you have money, you should invest in an asset such as home real estate, in a location that is in predictable demand. You shouldn’t necessarily live in your investment. Home owners can often profit off tenants paying rent that is higher than their mortgage, all the while having their tenants pay off an asset that they own.

Invest in a franchise. Investing in a franchise can really pay off in the long run, and it’s an investment you can safely profit off of. One of the reasons why so many people who want to do this end up not doing it, is because investing in a franchise does requires some significant upfront costs. If you have the money, however, it can be a fantastic investment. Being a franchise owner offers consistent income, and the sales at your location are yours to keep aside from a royalty fee paid to the franchise corporation. If your franchise is a reputable business with strong brand loyalty (such as a Checker’s franchise or a Quiznos franchise) and your location is a good location with lots of foot traffic, you could see your investment grow far past the point of breaking even, into some serious profits. You’ll be strategically supported by the franchise corporation for the entire time you are in business, and you’ll be investing in a tried and tested market that already is doing well. This is a clever investment and a good way to spend some of your inheritance.

Put some of it in an RRSP or 401(k) plan. If your goal is to put a chunk of the inheritance away, saved for retirement, then you should contribute a large chunk into your RRSP or 401(k). One of the smartest things you can do with inheritance money is put a large portion of it into your retirement account. Your retirement fund is tax-sheltered, and the contributions you make to it are tax deductible. The fact that your contributions into your own savings account can actually lower the amount of tax you owe at the end of the year makes it a very intelligent investment.

Pay off debts. Having debt will only hurt you in life, which is why you should use some of your inheritance money to pay off your debts. First of all, you’ll be happier once your debts are gone. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll feel less stressed because that huge weight is off your shoulders. Secondly, being debt- free puts you in a position of having good credit, which leads to more opportunities. Considering how much interest costs on your debt, by paying it down to zero, you’ll ultimately save yourself thousands and thousands of dollars in interest you’d otherwise pay over the years. Just because you can’t see the savings, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Receiving inheritance money can be quite exciting, depending how much money you receive. But just spending it willy nilly is very silly, investing it into a reliable source like investor shield bonds, is very sensible and extremely smart.

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What a 401K Can Do For You

When you get a job straight out of college it is important to find the right mix of salary, benefits and experience to launch your career. And if you can find a company with a 401K plan, that is even better. You want to make sure that your employer will match your 401K contribution and you want to max out your contribution in order to get to that match. Get as much money from the company as you can. That is free money. You can’t do better than free money.

When you take the match from your 401K, you are growing the base of the account that is going to grow and grow and grow and provide you with real money in your golden years. And when you get enough money in your 401K, you can start trading it on your own. As long as you roll it into your own IRA style account. Or even if you want, you can trade your own stocks in the 401K that you own. You just might lose the match.

So you have to make your own decisions about how you want to manage your 401K. You can take the passive investor approach, where you let your company’s 401K plan administrator manage all the money. And you check it quarterly. Or you can take a more active approach and go on your own.

But the most lucrative and smart approach may be to create your own brokerage account on the side and start day trading. That way you keep your day job, contribute to a 401K and learn how to day trade on the side. If you put in a lot of effort and learn the right strategies and techniques, you can become a profitable day trader. You just have to take the online classes and stuff your head full of the terminology. It is helpful to be able to spend a lot of time in front of screens, learning the trends and patterns.

Day traders are hunters of volatility. You are always on the lookout for more stocks making big moves throughout the day. You need to have the right plan to be able to take advantage of these opportunities. The best way to do that is to learn risk management. Have a plan for each and every trade that you make and make sure that you have a stop-loss on each trade. So that if a trade goes south, you have a built in mechanism to sell the shares before you lose a lot.

The best way to get good is to start paper trading. That means practicing in a simulated trading environment where you are trading virtual currency. That gives you a chance to learn on the job without risking your real money. You can practice trading and learn risk management in a simulator that trades at the speed of the regular market. It is invaluable experience.

So that is your choice. Take the passive approach, get a good job and keep giving to your 401K. Or do that, and get yourself a day trading gig on the side.

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Finding Stocks To Trade

When you start out day trading, one of the first things that you need to learn is about finding stocks to trade. That is the first step to becoming a day trader that makes money and not one of the masses that lose money. More than 90% of day traders lose money. That is a fact.

But you don’t have to be one of them. The 10% of day traders that do turn a profit do it with smarts, technique and strategies taught to them by experts. And it all starts with finding penny stocks to trade and capitalizing on those hot stocks.

What is going to be key is a daily watch list. When you get involved with a day trading education site, you can get the benefits of a bevy of instructors that can teach you about momentum day trading strategies, how to spot gappers and more. But one of the most valuable aspects is being in a day trading chat room that offers a daily watch list.

Because following a daily watch list and interacting with veteran traders, in a chat room, is, especially for aspiring traders, a great way to get experience. You can see the stocks that are featured in the daily watch list, see the veterans take positions in the stocks and explain their positions and learn why and how those stocks make the daily watch list.

What you want to look for in a daily watch list is ideas beyond the typical penny stock lists of many other sites out there. You need to be looking at the market each day for opportunities to make 5-10% in profits and rack up more and more of those each day. That is how you end up with real profits at the end of the week. Building up small wins gradually, rather than taking long positions and hoping they pay off big.

And when you get very good at that, you can start looking at a gap & go strategy. That is where you see stocks that are trending up in the early morning before the opening bell, with prices above what they closed at yesterday.

You search for a catalyst in the news, like an earnings report, make sure the number of shares out on the market are low enough that they might all be traded that day and you take your position. That is a slightly higher level of strategy and one that you would wise to learn thoroughly before you begin to implement it.

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