Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Whether you’re a professional caregiver or you’re caring for your own loved ones, you are susceptible to caregiver stress and burnout. Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience. It allows us the opportunity to truly impact and improve the quality of life for someone else. However, it can also be a very demanding job, both emotionally and physically. In order to maintain caregiving as a rewarding experience, it is important to understand the primary causes of caregiver stress and burnout, know what symptoms to look for, and to learn preventative measures. Being aware will allow you to provide the best care and keep yourself healthy while cultivating your personal relationships.

What Causes Caregiver Stress and Burnout?
There are several factors that contribute to caregiver stress and burnout. Whether you are getting paid to do so or not, caregiving is just like any other job in the fact that it can be quite demanding, stressful, and draining. Below, we’ll discuss some of the key causes of stress and burnout.

Optimistic Expectations
Throughout our life, we are taught that if we work hard at something, we’ll succeed; that if we do everything right, things will get better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when caring for someone with a progressive or terminal condition. It can be extremely frustrating to do everything you can for someone and see no improvement. The best way to manage expectations is to determine what you have control over and what you don’t. Many times, we need to try and understand what the best outcome is and simply provide the best quality of life possible at that time.

Forgetting About Yourself
Because caregivers are by nature selfless people, they tend to focus on the needs of the ones they are caring for and sometimes forget to understand their own needs. Caregiving can be just as demanding as a full-time job, sometimes more so. It is quite common for caregivers to start feeling an absolute sense of responsibility for the well-being of the one they are caring for. This leads to feelings of guilt when taking time for themselves away from the care recipient. In order to provide the best care, you must realize your limits, not be afraid to ask for help, and take time for yourself to recoup, focus on your interests, and everything else we do when recovering from a demanding work week.

Taking on Too Much
Both professional caregivers and family caregivers are susceptible to taking on too much responsibility. The full-time caregiver may often feel that they can work 7-days a week, much like a family caregiver often does. This doesn’t allow for adequate personal time and is highly discouraged. Now add on the stressors of family dynamics, disrupted lifestyles, and added workload and it’s easy to see how a family caregiver can quickly become overburdened. Allowing this to happen can severely impact personal relationships within the family when it is of the utmost importance to have a strong supportive environment. Realize that it’s okay to share the burden and ask for help.

What Are The Symptoms of Caregiver Stress and Burnout?
While “caregiver stress and burnout” may simply appear to be a label for a job-specific stress, there are some very serious symptoms associated with the condition that should be considered. Due to the heightened level of emotional involvement, physical demand, and propensity for the caregiver to put others’ needs in front of their own, caregivers should be very aware that they are at risk for the following:

Anxiety and Depression
Caregivers may become very sensitive to common minor irritations, causing them to overreact and threaten the relationships they have with the ones they are caring for and those around them. These irritations can significantly drain the caregiver of energy and can make them feel run down. American Association of Retired Persons and the Commonwealth Fund have found that 91% of family caregivers in declining health report depression as a major problem. Be aware of feelings of resentment, helplessness, and reduced energy.

Sleep Disorders
The many stressors associated with the responsibilities of being a caregiver may make it difficult to disassociate from the daily routine when it comes time to go to sleep. Unfortunately, this feeling becomes heightened when you need sleep the most. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and American Association of Retired Persons, more than 80% of family caregivers report not having enough sleep. This can seriously impact alertness and your ability to concentrate on tasks. Be aware of forgetfulness, irritability, and chronic tiredness.

Increased Frequency of Common Ailments
Absorbing all these stresses and not taking proper care of your body can significantly weaken your immune system. If you aren’t eating right, resting, and enjoying some of your own extra-curricular activities, you may find yourself more susceptible to common ailments. Be aware of increased frequency of common colds and flus. It stands to reason that the National Alliance for Caregiving found that caregivers identify their health as fair to poor at a rate nearly double compared to the U.S. population as a whole.

Other Signs and Concerns
You may witness other habits forming that are strong indicators of stress and burnout. Some may start drinking or smoking while other fill their need by eating more and ignoring their responsibilities. If you find that the role you once found fulfilling to now give you little satisfaction, it is a good time to reevaluate your approach.

It is important to keep an eye on your health and consider the symptoms described above. If gone unchecked, the result could be more severe, such as an increased risk for heart disease and other serious conditions. The National Institutes of Health have presented many studies that have linked caregiving to psychiatric morbidity, lower perceived health status, elevated blood pressure, and poorer immune function. Needless to say, the care for caregivers is as important as the care they provide to the care recipients.

How Do I prevent Caregiver Stress and Burnout?

We discussed some solutions above, but avoiding caregiver stress and burnout is as simple as the following three steps:

Understand your limits and your abilities to influence the situation
Take time to yourself and maintain your health, energy, and stress level
Ask for help and don’t feel guilty about spreading the responsibilities

Rethinking Caregiving Strategies for Today’s Organizations

Introduction

There is an increasing need for individuals to provide caregiving services. Social changes, such as financial crises, growing unemployment, job loss, homelessness, family break-ups, relationship issues, and other problematic concerns, place huge demands on government and community-based support services. Pastor Richard S. Brown, a community advocate in Tennessee, talks about the pressing need of churches and other service organizations that are reaching out to the needs of people: “Everyone at one time or another will face giants in life. Giants represent those insurmountable problems, challenges, and obstacles in life.”

Often times, these giants of life cannot be solved without direct intervention from others. For example, the aging population is a growing problem for organizations providing caregiving services. According to the U.S. Census, 13% of the population is over 65 years old. The average life expectancy is 77 years. Women live longer than men. Seniors over 85 years old are the fastest growing segment of the population. Seventy five percent of people over 65 have one or more chronic health conditions.

Today’s organizations need to rethink the concept of caregiving in today’s society. First Lady Rosalynn Carter noted the importance of caregiving: “There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” A caregiver can be defined as ‘anyone who provides assistance to someone who is incapacitated and needs help.’ Caregiving can be performed informally via unpaid (family members and friends) or formally (volunteer or paid caregivers associated with a service system). Currently, there are over 50 million caregivers. By 2020, caregivers will number 80 million. If one was to profile the typical caregiver, it would be described as the following: female (75%), over 50 years old (51%), sole provider (37%), and a relative (I.e. adult children- 57%).

Many organizations seek to address caregiving with generic solutions for their constituents instead of applying holistic approach to the specific person. The generic approach is faster and cheaper in many cases. However, Dr. Kenneth Haugh, author of Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life, argues the importance of understanding the needs of those individuals you are serving. Dr. Haugh observes, “Treating people as objects, as territory to be gained, is not only bad manners, but also completely fails to meet their unique needs and to respect their spiritual dignity before God.”

Retooling Caregiving Strategies

Organizations should value the welfare of the caregiver. Many people who provide care to others are overworked, stressed out, and on the verge of quitting. However, the organization that they are serving does not see this taking place. Some organizations treat their caregivers like objects. Caregivers suffer a variety of problems associated with caregiving. In fact, caregivers have higher levels of stress, depression, fatigue, burnout, and lower levels of well-being and physical health. Furthermore, 49% of females and 31% of males experience depression as a result of caregiving.

High performing organizations understand that they must continuously re-assess their processes in order to sustain success. Yet, many nonprofit organizations and community-based organizations like churches that serve society forget about the mental and physical welfare of their caregivers in offering needed services to the area. Here are some methods to use: (a) communicate the objectives of your organization and the desired outcomes, (b) train the caregivers so that they deal holistically with clients, (c) determine what the caregivers needs in order to perform an outstanding job and sustain this performance, (d) look for creative ways to prevent caregiver burnout and fatigue, and (f) provide an mechanism where caregivers and clients can provide feedback on continuous improvement in the caregiving area.

Conclusion

The pressures of life will continue to be problems for many people. Some individuals cannot overcome these giants in life without interventions. Caregivers play a critical role in assisting people in solving their problems. However, today’s organizations cannot continue to take caregivers for granted. Many caregivers are stressed out and underpaid; perhaps even on the verge of giving up their jobs in caregiving. Therefore, this article maintains that today’s organizations must rethink their strategies for administering caregiving in the near future. Organizations that can make the necessary changes will be better prepared to sustain future success.

Hired to Care – What Character Traits to Look for in a Caregiver for the Elderly Or Disabled

What do you do when you are a senior who is struggling with the day-to-day activities at home but no family member is available to help?

What do you do when your elderly parents insist on living in their home, but it is no longer safe for them to live alone?

What do you do when you are worn out by providing care to a disabled family member and you need some time to take care of yourself?

The answer to all of these is: you get help – you hire a professional caregiver. Caregivers come in a variety of backgrounds, skills sets and credentials. Most caregivers are CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) or sitters who work for homecare agencies or in long-term care facilities (nursing homes). Some homecare agencies are approved to bill insurance providers, like Medicare, for all or a portion of the expense. Some agencies depend on people paying the total caregiving cost out-of-pocket (these agencies often charge a lower hourly rate than those that bill insurers).

Regardless of a caregiver’s employer, training, or background, there are certain characteristics that a caregiver must possess to do this job well. Most hired caregivers do not administer injections or other medical treatments; they are not permitted to do so unless they are LPNs or RNs, which is usually considered nursing care rather than caregiving. Their professional credentials, therefore, do not play as significant a part in their effectiveness as their temperament.

One homecare agency in Douglasville, Angels Touch LLC Home Assistance Services, promotes compassion as the primary quality a caregiver must demonstrate in order to work with their clients. The agency’s owner, Mrs. Bakare, listed the top ten qualities that she demands in an employee, and that she assures all Angels Touch clients will benefit from with her caregivers. These top ten are listed here in the order of their importance.

1. Compassion

Compassion is empathy in action. It is more than just feeling for someone and sympathizing with their situation; it is a willingness to extend yourself to that person in order to help bring about a positive change. Sometimes that means simply holding someone’s hand while she cries and talks. Sometimes it means sacrificing your own needs in order to serve someone else’s needs.

2. Integrity

Caregiving is a position of trust. People who hire caregivers are opening their homes and habits and lives to people who are usually unknown to them. Therefore, a caregiver must demonstrate integrity toward her clients – respecting their feelings, their privacy, their needs and their property. There is no acceptable compromise of this element; it is absolutely essential for caregivers to have integrity. This is the foundation of professionalism.

3. Honesty

Honesty is integrity’s companion, both are related to trust. If a caregiver is dishonest with a client in any way, then she has damaged a relationship of trust. This can be very painful to someone who is in need of help to manage the day-to-day activities of life. They have enough to manage already. If they have to be constantly on guard because they are not able to trust their caregivers, then this can have a lasting and damaging affect on the people who need assistance.

4. Reliability

Help is effective only when it is given at the time that it is needed. People who hire caregivers must be able to depend on that care in order to maintain life-sustaining schedules and routines. Therefore, caregivers must be entirely reliable – showing up for work when scheduled, completing assigned tasks, maintaining necessary paperwork, etc. When a caregiver is unreliable, it is disruptive and sometimes dangerous.

5. Patience

There are many elements that may be frustrating to people requiring care: chronic pain, medication affects, mobility challenges, communication problems, loneliness, memory loss, depression and many others. It is necessary for caregivers to be patient with people who are receiving care. A good caregiver is able to put her own feelings and ego aside and focus on the welfare of her client, being as patient as possible with that person’s moods and behavior. This does not mean that caregivers should stand for abuse; that is never advised. But caregivers can remind themselves that their clients are struggling with many things and it is difficult for them sometimes to control their feelings and their frustration.

6. Discretion

It is a caregiver’s duty to respect and protect the privacy of his clients. Caregivers must refrain from giving unsolicited or personal advice, or commenting on issues that are not within the limits of the professional services. Also, caregivers must not reveal information about their clients of a personal nature to anyone who is not approved by the clients to receive that information. The exception to this would be a situation that could endanger the client. The caregiver would then notify someone in authority that was relevant to the protection and care of the client. Caregivers should never gossip to or about the client.

7. Dedication

It is imperative that a caregiver be dedicated to the people for whom she provides care. This dedication means a sense of diligence in the work as well as the willingness, when necessary, to do more than what is assigned. It is a commitment to do everything possible to ensure the client’s wellbeing, safety and comfort. This may mean spending extra time to get the pillows just right behind his back; or preparing a meal that the client will enjoy and that also fulfills his nutritional needs; or willingly assisting him to the bathroom, no matter how many times he has to go. It means giving the kind of care that anyone would want to receive, even if it requires extra thought, extra energy, extra effort.

8. Loyalty

A true professional demonstrates loyalty to both her employer and to her clients. If the caregiver does not invest something of herself into these relationships, then she will not have a sense of loyalty. But loyalty is a quality that is universally desired and admired. The caregiver’s clients and employers alike will have a greater sense of loyalty and appreciation for the caregiver if she demonstrates the same towards them. This makes a stronger and more fruitful relationship.

9. Courage

It is a tremendous task to be responsible for the wellbeing of another person. A caregiver must be able to handle daily life-sustaining tasks as well as emergency situations. CPR and First Aid training are required for all caregivers. But, it takes more than training to be able to deal with unforeseen occurrences or the daily strain on the caregiver’s own body and mind caused by the demands of caregiving. It takes a strong will and determination that are fueled by courage.

10. Stability

Stability in a professional caregiver is extremely helpful in that it supports all the other characteristics listed above. A stable, secure and mature caregiver is invaluable because she is less likely to have needs and demands that conflict with those of her client. A stable caregiver is more likely to be dedicated, patient, honest, trustworthy, discreet, loyal, brave, reliable, and compassionate. For those who need a shoulder to lean on, stability makes all the difference.

These ten qualities are immeasurably valuable in a professional caregiver. Though they may not be the most obvious characteristics upon first introduction, they will appear over time and during the course of service. If not, then the affects of their absence will be difficult to ignore.

So, who is taking care of Mom and Dad? Whether you and other family members assume this responsibility or a professional caregiver takes this role, the quality of care your loved ones receive will be linked directly to the qualities that the caregivers possess. If they are people rich in these ten qualities, your answer is, “the best”.

Lorrie Tabar is a freelance writer, caregiver and a licensed massage therapist in Georgia. Lorrie has 12 years of experience with caring for loved ones who suffer from serious illnesses and chronic pain issues.

The Rewards and Challenges of Caregiving

I had the pleasure of presenting on the rewards and challenges of caregiving at St. George parish in Tinley Park, IL recently. I was glad to see such a good turnout, especially in the midst of Chicago’s first winter storm this year.

REWARDS OF CAREGIVING
We often hear about the difficulties of caregiving, but not so much about the rewards. Of course there are very challenging aspects of caregiving, but I felt it was important to emphasize the rewards, which are so often overlooked.

We can categorize the rewards of caregiving as follows:

Positive Emotions: Research has found that caregivers report approximately three times more positive than negative emotions related to caregiving. 96% report feeling “loving”, 90% report feeling appreciated, and 84% report feeling proud.
Relationship Rewards: Caregivers can experience increased closeness with their care recipient, other caregivers, and their own support network. Caregiving provides an opportunity for meaningful discussions, resolution of old issues, and expression of forgiveness and love.
Sense of Purpose and Meaning: People find it meaningful to care for someone, to reduce someone’s suffering, to fulfill their role as a family member or friend, to rise to a challenge, and to achieve important goals. Therefore caregiving can be a very life-enriching experience.
Spiritual Growth: Caregiving can help clarify one’s beliefs and deepen one’s sense of their own values, compassion, and patience. It can cause one to reconnect with their spiritual community or spiritual practice. Also, seeing the care recipient coping in a spiritual way can be inspiring.
Logistical Savvy: While caring for someone, the caregiver learns how to help with medical care and activities of daily living. They also learn about dealing with various helping professionals, about services and resources and how to access them, about legal and financial planning, and about managing their own time and delegating. These skills can come in handy in the future.
Self Confidence and Self-Esteem: All of the above rewards can help the caregiver to improve their self confidence and self-esteem.
Posttraumatic Growth: Even traumatic events can be followed by posttraumatic growth – a positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with a highly challenging situation.
CHALLENGES OF CAREGIVING
Ironically, many of the above rewards would not be possible if caregiving were not challenging in the first place. No matter how well you cope with a caregiving situation, its very nature is challenging – because it involves the loss of independence, comfort, ability, health, and ultimately, life. Here are some examples of the challenges of caregiving:

Logistical Challenges: Finances top the list of logistical challenges for many people, especially with the recent changes in the economy. Additionally, it can be a challenge to manage time, coordinate care, learn about options, and make difficult decisions.
Relationship Challenges: Caregiving can be an isolating experience, especially if you are the primary caregiver and are not getting any help. Also, relationships may be strained due to disagreements with other caregivers or unresolved family conflicts, and friends may pull away because they feel awkward or don’t have the time to help. In the case of dementia, the caregiver also gradually loses their companionship with the care recipient him or herself.
Emotional Challenges: More than half of caregivers experience significant worry and anxiety. Over a quarter report feeling depressed or sad, and almost a quarter feel overwhelmed. Caregivers may also struggle with denial, over-involvement, anger, and guilt.
Physical Challenges: Caregivers take worse care of themselves by eating poorly, exercising less, skipping their own doctors’ appointments, and sleeping poorly. Eventually, the chronic tension of caregiving can impact your health, diminishing your immune system, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, and (for elderly caregivers) even increasing the risk of mortality.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that caregivers can decrease their stress, increase their effectiveness, and reap more rewards if they educate themselves about coping, utilize their support system, and access community and health-care resources. Positive ways of coping and helpful ideas include:

Active Coping and Problem Solving: learning logistical skills
Positive Re-Focusing: focusing on meaningfulness or positive aspects of caregiving
Communication: clear and open communication with care recipient and other caregivers
Self-Care: taking breaks, delegating, attending to own nutrition, exercise, and sleep
Informing Yourself: about services, the illness, coping, legal issues
Spiritual Community: emotional support, volunteers, guidance, spiritual perspectives
Counseling/Support: individual or family counseling, support groups, classes, community
Geriatric Case Management: professionals who help you with logistics and resources
Respite: finding ways to take breaks from caregiving and to relax or enjoy yourself
Supplementary Services: home alterations, home delivered meals, volunteers, etc.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Shares Intelligently

Practically everyone takes a flawed approach to buying stocks. So, practically everyone ends up with a rotten loss-making portfolio.

So here’s a beginner’s (or for that matter, even an expert’s) list of dos and don’ts…

But remember… you have to do lots of “donkey” work to become a successful “bull” on the stock markets. You must also have monumental patience and play stocks with a long-term perspective. Hoping to multiply money in quick time is a definite recipe for disaster.

1. First and foremost, you have to understand and appreciate that when you are buying stocks you are NOT buying some symbols on the screen. Instead, you are buying an underlying business. You are becoming a partner in that business. Therefore, you share its profits and its losses. That is why the term… shareholder.

2. It is but obvious that you have to buy sunrise businesses. If the products and services of any industry are not in demand, it would be foolhardy to become a partner in such businesses.

3. However, quite often, two companies in the “same industry” follow diametrically opposite paths… one profitable and the other losing money. The answer to this oddity lies in the quality of entrepreneurship. Good managements make good businesses. Bad managements fail frequently. Backing proven managers is, therefore, the most sacrosanct and inviolable principle of investing in stocks.

4. Sometimes even good managements and good businesses go through tough times. Therefore, apart from ascertaining that the company is running a good business and managed by a good team, you have to ensure that it makes good sales and earns good profits. Never invest in a loss-making company, unless you see strong signs of a turnaround in the near future.

5. Operational performance is one part of the story. The other significant aspect is its financial foundation. All businesses have to withstand the vagaries of the economy. For example, too much debt may not be an issue during good times. But it can seriously threaten even the existence of the company when economic conditions turn bleak. As such, strong balance sheets always make a dependable choice.

6. Wait… a company with excellent business, excellent management, excellent financial strength and excellent profits, is not the green signal to cut your cheque. No. There is one more critical parameter – its market price. If the price is too high relative to its underlying valuation, even excellent shares will not make money for you. A reasonable PEG ratio determines a reasonable stock to buy.

This is the safe, sensible and steady approach to buying shares. It would surely give you a lot more winners than losers. And, to succeed you don’t need ALL the players to do well. A few good performances, backed by at least average play from others will definitely win you most matches.

Buying Shares – Tips For Beating The Stock Market

In the present uncertain economic climate, many investors are wary of investing in the stock market. Some are even asking whether they should stop buying shares, and invest in items that are traditionally viewed as less risky, such as gold or government bonds. While it is true that investing in stocks and shares is risky at the moment, it should be remembered that such risk always exists, even in the middle of a stock market boom. There is no reason why the astute private investor cannot buy shares today and secure a handsome return overall in the long term, and this article offers tips on how to achieve that.

It is important to say that profit can’t be guaranteed on individual share purchases. For a variety of reasons – wider market conditions, global recession, issues specific to the company or group in question – it can happen that the price of a stock falls below the level at which it was purchased, and stays there. In this case, a classic strategy by small investors is to hang on to the stock until they can receive how much they paid out. This is wrong, as it can lead to an investment tied up long term in a moribund stock: it would be much better to sell at a loss and invest in shares that are likely to rise and make a healthy profit, over and above the money originally paid out. When buying shares it pays not to be too inflexible in strategy, but to be open to opportunities to make money, even at the risk of taking a temporary loss.

When buying shares initially, or when selecting which shares to buy, research is the key to avoiding losses. Never buy on a whim: always thoroughly research all of the issues surrounding any purchase. There are a number of different areas it is essential to research.

The first is to conduct general research on the stock market as a whole. Is the recent market trend for shares to rise or fall in price? Are any sectors performing better than others? Will any recent national or international events affect the performance of the market as a whole, or of individual sectors? All of these can determine which types of shares may be ripe for purchase. Places to research this information can be national newspapers and magazines, financial and political websites, and publications and websites particular to the stock markets themselves.

Once a sector or even individual company worthy of investment has been selected, then the relevant sector of the economy must be researched. Who are the big players? What are the trends in that sector? Is any new technology imminent that will change how the sector operates, bringing in new companies? Are any companies in danger of failing, and if so what is the cause? An effective analysis of these factors is of great use in finding a company to invest in whose stocks are undervalued and likely to rise. Sources of information can be trade magazines and websites, trade association publications, specialist scientific/technical magazines, and the usual financial publications and sites.

Finally, once a company has been selected it must be researched in detail before shares are purchased. What is the company’s trading record over the last five, ten or even twenty years? Is it profitable? Are there any potential threats to its income? Are there any new innovations it is developing that could boost income? How does it perform in relation to comparable companies in the same sector? All of these factors must be researched in detail before a decision is made to buy shares: a large amount of money could be lost if any corners are cut.

So it can be seen that many factors can influence the decision on which shares to purchase. Here are some key points to remember:

Be prepared to make a loss on individual stocks to ensure long term profits.
Never buy stocks and shares on a whim.
Research the stock market as a whole. What sectors are ripe for investment?
Research the target sector. Which companies’ share prices are undervalued compared to their potential?
Research the target company in detail. Are there any hidden problems? How does it compare to the rest of the sector?

Buying Shares

There are two different ways you can purchase shares; the first is from the actual company right when the shares are first being offered. This is when the company is trying to raise money by offering out shares to be bought by the public. The second way is to buy shares from other investors through the share market.

Before buying shares, you will probably need your funds available, as this will be required by most firms when buying shares of stock. In addition, you should also set up a trading account before trading as most brokers require this. Shares are always bought through stockbrokers, so before you start buying stock shares, you’ll need to find a stock broker.

There are many different types of brokers, some deal over the phone, some use post, and many use online services. Online dealing is the cheapest and most brokers use that nowadays. When choosing a broker, make sure that they are suited to fit your specific trading requirements, and that they provide you with quality information and quick execution when buying and selling stocks. Also, they should be well versed on the markets available and the different costs of services and shares.

When buying shares, many people like to do their own research on which shares to buy, they educated themselves and research on certain shares and then make well informed decisions on which ones to buy. People who do this will only need a broker to execute the actual act of buying the shares; these brokers are called execution-only brokers. These brokers will not provide you with any types of advice on which shares to buy, because the decision is yours, they’re only job is to buy or sell the shares for you. They may, however, offer a variety of different types of research tools and online tools to help get a background on the market.

The second type of share buying service is called the Rolls Royce service. These brokers will offer you a large amount of advice, they will help you to form trading strategies and try their best to suit your personal financial plan. These brokers will also help to advice you on buying shares and help monitor your investments, although the final decision rest on the client. There are some broker services however, which enable a broker to buy or sell different shares without having to ask for approval from the client. To do this, one must have a high amount of trust in the skills of the broker, this service can also prove to be very expensive as it is very highly tailored to the individual and require a lot of research from the broker.

For those who are very new to the market, you may need a broker that can help to advise you on which shares to buy or sell. Execution-only brokers are much cheaper services, however, and some brokers will not accept you as an advisory client unless you have a large amount of money to invest.

Shares Trading – How to Buy Shares

A share is defined in the world of finance as a unit of account for various financial instruments including stocks, mutual funds, limited partnerships, and REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trust). In the English language the use of the word share to refer solely to stocks is very common and it has come to be synonymous with the word stock itself.

In laymen terms, a share or stock is a document issued by a company that entitles its holder to part ownership in the company. A share can be issued by a company or may be purchased from the stock market via a stock broker. We often hear the term “dividend” in the news media but people new to share trading can be sometimes be confused as to what exactly a dividend is. Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholders. It is the portion of profits that the company has earned paid out to shareholders. Corporations can either re-invest their profits in the business, or pay profits out to the shareholders as a dividend. Often times, corporations will retain a portion of their earnings and pay the remainder as a dividend.

Dividends are one reason why share trading is so popular amongst investors and traders. If the company you own shares in makes a profit and pays out a dividend, you will earn the dividend and still hold your share position. If you choose to sell your shares you will make a capital gain in addition to the dividends you have earned over the years, a capital gain is the money you gain if your shares have increased in value since the time of purchase. However, it is also possible to incur a capital loss if you sell your shares at a price below what you bought them for. Proper research before buying shares in a company is crucial; if you find a company with good long-term growth prospects you can reap the benefits of increasing capital gains while simultaneously collecting dividend pay outs.

Buying shares is very easy today with ease of access that the internet has brought about. There are a few different ways in which to buy shares however, some people prefer to use a stock broker, this is a person or a firm that trades on behalf of the client, you tell them what you want to invest in and they will issue the buy or sell order. A full service stock broker will provide various services, at a fee, some of these services include investment research advice, tax planning, and retirement planning. There are also discount brokers who will allow you to buy and sell shares at a low rate but don’t provide any investment advice. Finally, for people who do not need or want assistance from an actual stock broker there are online brokers that allow you to buy and sell shares entirely over the internet with no need for a human stock broker.

Share trading has exploded in popularity recently with the advent of wireless internet and ever expanding Wi-Fi “hot spots”. It is entirely possible to now buy and sell shares in a company over certain cell phones that are internet enabled. For most retail traders and investors who spend the time to do a little extra research on shares of companies they are interested in buying, share trading is very lucrative and is a great way to diversify your finances. Share trading allows people to participate in all kinds of sectors, brands, and services. The ease and simplicity of internet share trading has made it possible for anyone who is interested in buying shares to do so.

Buying Shares – A Simple Share Buying Strategy

Have you been wanting to buy some shares but haven’t been sure when to take that leap? Taking the leap to buy shares can be hard to judge. So when do you buy into the market? It can be especially difficult for you if you are new to share trading. I think it is always a good idea to watch your chosen share for at least a week, maybe even a month if possible before deciding when to buy your chosen share. If you can stretch the watching out to the month it will be worthwhile as you will have a better idea of how the share works, and what price would be fair to buy the share at. If you wait much longer than the month you may miss an ideal buying opportunity.

This strategy is simple to execute and will ensure that you’ve bought at a fair price, it may not be the best price to buy the share but it will be fair. So here is a simple share buying strategy that you can use anytime regardless of how the market is tracking.

Divide the purchase of your chosen share into three parts. You will be buying your shares at three different prices. When buying shares this way it doesn’t matter when you get into the market, as it will even out the purchase price of your shares. If after your first share purchase the market goes up you have gotten you first share purchase at a discount, if it goes down then your next share purchase will be at a discount.

So while this may not guarantee that you will buy your shares at the best price it will give you an even buy every time. It doesn’t matter whether the stock market is bullish, bearish or even neutral you will have a high price, a low price and a price somewhere in the middle.

Tip: Set up a watch list

If your not sure what shares you would like to purchase set up a watch list of five to ten shares that you are interested in and watch how they perform. Most trading platforms will allow you to do this free of charge.

One Last Tip: Check the last five days

The Australian Stock Exchange website gives you the details of the last 5 days closing prices, high & low prices. It’s a great way to review where the share has been and if there are any trends. Most other stock exchange websites should be able to provide you with the same information.

Buying Shares Online

Post, telephone or online are just some of the media used to purchase and sell shares. These days however, people are taking more interest in buying shares online because it is the cheapest, fastest and most convenient way of dealing shares. Internet share dealing is considered as “execution only” which can be described as a system in which it is up to a broker who carries out instructions on your dealing like selling and buying shares online.

Some companies who offer internet share services, the activities are done in real time so that the client, in this case, you, are aware of the stock prices that you are paying for. There are many companies, however, that bundle up buying shares online, and most of them choose to trade during the end of the business day when the costs are down.

In and online share purchase, yours will most likely be a nominee account, which pertains to accounts held by another person for a beneficial owner. It is usually held by a stockbroker on your behalf. This is way your name won’t appear on the company’s register. However, since you are not registered, you will not receive company reports and any other perks associated to registered accounts. All the activities will involve a broker who will charge an agreed upon fee per stock that you buy and sell.

One important thing to remember when buying shares online is to always compare prices on the board. It will be towards your benefit to inquire about the current prices for basic trade and services applicable to those who trade daily called frequent trader service. There may be extra service fees like the cost of ISA wrappers that are self-selecting. Being familiar with these rates will help you become aware of the going fees and will also help you avoid hidden costs being attached at times when the offer is suspiciously low.

Buying shares online have gained wide popularity over the years because of the convenience it offers. For people who are busy and do not have the time to update, buying shares online is the best option for them. Aside from convenience, the internet offers numerous options in companies offering online share trading, this way; an interested buyer or seller can compare companies and what they have to offer.

There are many resources one can find on the internet regarding buying shares online. One of the most reputable companies that offer offline and online share trading is TD Waterhouse which is based in UK. The company offers convenient and inexpensive options for share dealing services and regular trading as well.

Learning the ropes of buying shares online is basically uncomplicated and easy even for those who do not have the experience. The rates are much lower than that of a broker who will buy and sell stocks for you, so you save more money which you can then use to buy more shares. Buying shares online is the most practical way when it comes to share trading.