As CEO of the PBS SA Capital Group (“PBS SA”), Alexander Christodoulakis guides an international corporate group that spans a wide range of sectors. With an emphasis on financial services and tactical corporate management, his companies primarily invest in the financial, shipping and the transportation sector. PBS SA provides management and investment services for a number of shipping companies, including the worldwide activities of Portland Marine Group, where he maintains today the Presidency. The operations also include discretionary investments and asset management via PBS SA Capital Group which also covers a large range of major stock market and alternative market holdings across the globe.

In stock market investing, in a nutshell:

“It’s all about buying low and selling high, and knowing when to get in and knowing when to get out”.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.40.41 PM

The stock market is essential for companies that want to gain exposure, raise money, grow and expand, by publicly selling shares to investors. The function of the stock market is very important for the investors-shareholders, the companies that raise capital and generally demonstrates the economic activity dynamics of a developed or an emerging market economy.

From the investors’ point of view, investing in the stock market has always been associated with higher risk than other types of investments like for instance bond investing, but at the same time with higher returns. Understanding the investor’s profile is one of the most important things that should be considered when entering the stock market along with the type of investments can that be typically made.

Stock market investing is a whole process that directly relates to the level of sophistication of each investor which is influenced by many factors such as stock investing experience, education, income, personal wealth etc. It can become a highly technical and scientific function or it can take a more basic approach. There are several factors that significantly can affect the success or failure of stock market investing.

Each and every investor should clearly define the goals he/she has from investing in stocks. This will also be combined with his investment horizon (short-term or long-term) and his/her risk tolerance. The above will help the investor better define the overall investing strategy, the trading style (active vs passive investing) and of course the selection of the sectors and industries that fit in his risk-return profile.

Secondly, everyone investing in the stock market should conduct an assessment of the economic and financial environment both on a microeconomic and a macroeconomic level. On the microeconomic level, a fundamental financial analysis of the stocks under consideration along with a technical analysis should be performed in order to assess the financial health of a stock or a sector as well as the upside or downside potential for a stock price movement. In order for the investor to do this, there must be a fair understanding of the different financial metrics. On the macroeconomic level of analysis, the stock market investor should consider all these macroeconomic factors that affect the performance of the economy and the stock market. These factors have to do mainly with leading indicators of the economy, unemployment rates, weekly jobless claims, inflation, trade balances, industrial production, foreign exchange reserves, manufacturing orders, retail sales and consumer and business confidence indices amongst others.

A stock market investor should acknowledge the impact of three other elements. The first has to do with the controlling of the leverage exposure when investing. The second has to do with the correct and timely utilization of the different types of market orders, and the third is the importance of the investment diversification. All these are tools in the hands of every investor that could increase the return on investment and protect his position when executing a market strategy but on the other hand, they could hurt the investors’ returns if not used properly.

There are various types of investments in the stock market. A stock market investor can usually go for investing in common or preferred stocks, ETFs (Exchange Trade Funds), index funds, and stock mutual funds. These choices have different risks, returns, and costs as well as include different engagement levels from the investor’s side. Most of the times, these types of decisions are sorted out early in the process of formatting the investment profile of the stock market investor. In all cases, professional advice and guidance are invaluable.