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3 things all expat investors should do

Living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or anywhere else in the UAE as an expat is a lot of fun and a great way to save for your future.

Whether you spend your Fridays brunching, crashing round the desert in a white Land Cruiser, paddle-boarding round the Burj al Arab or jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane above the Palm Jumeirah (Spoiler alert: the plane lands at the end, despite what your instructor tells you) you should be thinking about how best to make the money you earn work for you.

Investing in the stock market can be a great way to make your nest egg grow during your time in the Middle East.

There are many ways to pick stocks and a whole horde of people eager to share their methods with you. I won’t be dealing with specific stock-picking techniques in this article though; today I’m simply interested in helping newcomers get started.

Becoming an investor can seem like a daunting process, especially from overseas. I’m here to show you that it can be simple and painless.

There are 3 main things you will need to do to get started; get access to good research tools, read some good books and open a trading account, preferably in that order.

Get access to good research tools

Online trading accounts will sometimes give you access to live stock prices and some even have basic tools for charting and other bits and pieces.

Ideally though, you should register on a website like ADVFN.com that is dedicated to providing market data, analysis tools and discussion forums. Unlike trading platforms that are mainly focussed on tools for buying and selling stocks, information sites like ADVFN provide tools to make your investment decisions easier and better informed.

Quality tools like streaming charts and financial data analysis as well as reliable live prices and Level 2 can make a big difference. The more information at your fingertips, the more empowered you will be, hopefully leading to better investment decisions.

Possibly the most important aspect of a site like ADVFN is its discussion forums. These allow you to chat about companies with other investors, gauge the opinion of the market and increase your knowledge about a stock. They are also a lot of fun to read and take part in.

DYOR – Do Your Own Research – is the mantra of online stock discussion forums and is some of the best advice you’ll receive. Don’t take someone’s excited recommendation for a stock to buy or sell on faith, have a look into the details and make your own decision. A site like ADVFN lets you chat about stocks and get ideas, but also gives you everything you need to do your own research.

Read some good books

A lot of people start investing with no strategy or with poorly formed ideas about which stocks to pick. These are generally the guys who are flat broke and no longer investing 6 months later.

There is no shame in seeing how other people have made a success out of investing and emulating them. Learning from the mistakes and successes of others is fundamentally sensible. Rushing headlong into trading with no plan is not.

Read a few books, don’t just get one and blindly follow it. Every investor has different goals, so one successful person’s rules and ideas might not be completely applicable to your situation. The more you read, the more you will understand about what is involved in investing and what strategy will work best for you.

Books like 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners by Clem Chambers and The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns are good places to start your reading.

Take ideas from your research and mould them to your own personal investment needs. Use the ideas of successful investors to create your own plan.