"An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adeguate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative" Benjamin Graham
The first thing you should do when you are thinking about making an investment is to keep in mind that day trading-holding stocks for a few hours is probably the best way for you to commit financial suicide. Most of so-called "investors" don't fully understand or refuse to understand that there is a big difference between investing and speculating.
Basically above mentioned "investors" think that you can easily make money if you buy the "right" stock because you have the "right" information and sell it after a few hours/days. Yes, you can get lucky and make some money this way, but most of your trades will lose money. Your broker will always make money even if you don't because you will be charged everytime you make a transaction, so at least you will make your bank happy, though.
This wrong way of thinking comes from two main reasons: the first one is the myth that in finance everybody can quickly make money without taking risks (if this was true, I wonder why do actually people wake up at 7:00am and go to work if they could easily make money with a few trades per day). The second one, is that some people think that they are smarter than the average. They think that they can do better than the market and can make money without even working on it: the "right" information, their "unique instinct" and some sort of "technical analysis" will beat the other investors. Wrong. If even most professional mutual fund managers can't beat the market, you really think you can do it with a few trades?
But what is the difference between investment and speculation? And what does investor mean? As Benjamin Graham said, "an investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative". The word "investor" cannot apply to everyone who buys or sells a security. The risk of speculating when you think you are investing is that you may be risking more money in speculation than you can afford to lose.
I am not saying that you should not engage in speculative operations, which can be a lot of fun. But if you want to try your luck at speculation, separate a very small amount of your funds from your account, and enjoy your trading operations. But don't operate with the same account for your investment and speculative operations and never confuse the two words. When you are engaged in a speculative operation remember that you are gambling, you are definitely not investing. And never forget that a long-term investor is the only kind of investor there is.