What are stocks?

Stocks, also called shares, represent a partial ownership of a company.
When buying a share of e.g. Amazon, you hold a certificate of ownership of Amazon and are entitled to the proceeds of selling your share at a profit in the future.

Types of stocks

Individual shares
Stocks can be purchased individually. You do this when properly vetting a specific company and then deciding it has a bright future.

Indexes & ETFs
You can also purchase ‘baskets’ of stocks that are combined in indexes. 

Stock investor


Some companies strategically decide to pay out a dividend for holding a share. They do this to incentivize and retain shareholders.
Not all companies opt for paying a dividend. Especially younger companies strategically decide to fully invest all of their funds into growing their business and paying a dividend would slow this growth.

As an investor, you must decide whether you want to focus on companies that rapidly grow their business, on steady companies that enjoyed their exponential growth in the past and now have steady yet slower growth, or a combination of both.

A dividend is typically paid quarterly or monthly.
A well-known example of a company paying a quarterly dividend is Coca Cola. And Realty Income is a well-known monthly payer.

ETFs may also pay out a dividend.


Where and how do you trade stocks?

Stocks are traded on an exchange, like the New York Stock Exchange, located on famous Wall Street.

The actual trading of stocks is facilitated by an online or offline broker.

Online brokers are easily accessible to the general public, enable you to place orders 24/7, and usually charge lower fees for their services.

Be very careful when selecting your broker, as some (mainly those online) do not allow you to own the actual stock of a company, but instead provide you with a certificate of purchase or deposit. This means that when the broker goes bankrupt, you do not hold the physical stock.

Online stock broker

Does Happy Inspirer have skin in the game?

Yes. Take a look at our current asset allocation to find out more.

Skin in the game

Where does Happy Inspirer trade stocks?

Interactive Brokers & DeGiro.

Our preferred brokers

Getting started with stocks

  1. Educate yourself by reading these curated books from our Library
  2. Check out our Resources page to compare online brokers
  3. Decide whether stocks are a good match with your definitions of Success, investment timeline, and risk tolerance.
  4. Select your preferred broker
Getting started

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent Stock investing questions and answers

What are stocks?

Stocks represent shares of ownership in a company. When you buy stock, you become a partial owner of that company. Stockholders may benefit from dividends and potential capital gains.

How do I start investing in stocks?

To begin investing in stocks, open a brokerage account. Research stocks that fit your investment goals and risk tolerance. Start with diversified investments to manage risk.

What factors should I consider before buying stocks?

Evaluate a company’s financial health, growth potential, and industry trends. Consider your investment timeline and risk tolerance. Diversification across different sectors can mitigate risk.

How do I know which stocks to buy?

Conduct thorough research on company fundamentals, such as earnings growth, debt levels, and competitive position. Consider macroeconomic factors and industry trends. Consult financial experts and analysts for insights.

What are the risks associated with stock investing?

Stock investing carries risks, including market volatility and potential loss of principal. Economic downturns, company-specific issues, and unexpected events can impact stock prices. Diversification and a long-term investment approach can help manage risks.

When should I sell my stocks?

Determine your investment goals and monitor stock performance against those goals. Consider selling if a company’s fundamentals deteriorate or if you need to rebalance your portfolio. Avoid making decisions based solely on short-term market fluctuations.


Welcome to!

We want to make it clear that none of the content we create should be construed as investment advice. Everything shared on this platform reflects our personal experiences, knowledge gained, and the actions we’ve taken. Our insights have been earned through real-life experiences and the “school of hard knocks.”

It’s crucial to understand that each individual’s life circumstances are unique and cannot be replicated. Our primary aim is to inspire through our content.
However, it’s important to note that all investments involve risks, including the potential loss of capital.
If you choose to leverage your investments excessively, you could stand to lose more than your initial principal.

At Happy Inspirer, we take full responsibility for the investment decisions we make.
However, as a reader, you are solely accountable for the actions you take in life, whether it’s managing your calorie intake, allocating your time wisely, or making investment choices.

The outcomes of our intentional decisions, including gains from investments, belong solely to us.
Please be aware of the risks involved in investing and always seek professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any financial decisions.

Remember, your life choices and their consequences are entirely yours to own.

Thank you for visiting Happy Inspirer and being part of our journey to inspire and empower!