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Reading the Financial Pages for Dummies® by Michael Wilson

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Chapter 3. Relating the Financial Pages to the Stock Market

In This Chapter

  • Visualising how the stock market is structured

  • Defining shares

  • Introducing indices

  • Considering market sectors and macro factors

  • Introducing the buzzwords

Knowing what you want to achieve from your investing – get rich, work less, and feel more secure probably sums it up for most people – is all very well, but fully grasping the mechanisms you have to use to get there is another matter.

All of a sudden, 'phoning my broker to buy some shares' becomes a lot less simple than it sounds. Today's stock markets don't just link into each other, they compete viciously for your business. The share you think you're buying in London may have crossed three continents and eight time zones to be on your portfolio – silently, electronically, efficiently. And the things that make it move up or down may depend on factors in places you hardly know exist.

The financial press has had to adapt to meet the needs of today's international investment generation. Not only has it had to learn new tricks and acquire new buzzwords along the way, it's also having to widen the scale of the news it brings you to accommodate the new international dimension. A government decision in India, an earthquake in China, or a coup in Latin America are now part and parcel of the essential information the financial pages need to bring you if you're to make the best of your portfolio. Thank goodness, then, for the Internet, which at least gives you the tools ...

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