By Jeff Reeves of InvestorPlaceNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Trading strategies for many sophisticated investors involve technical analysis, exhaustive investment research and years of experience in the stock market. But there's no reason that everyday investors just looking to plan for retirement or protect their 401(k) investments have to feel like second-class citizens on Wall Street. Investing money in mutual funds or stocks is a serious business, but that doesn't mean it has to be overly complex. Yes, online stock trading can be affected by a host of variables. And yes, all trading strategies need to adapt to the current stock market conditions. But by following these five simple rules for buying stocks, you can dramatically improve your chance of investing your money wisely. Simple trading strategies, after all, can sometimes be the most effective.