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  1. #1
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    Anyone else invest online?

    I just started messing around with it last year for fun. Not in a major way, just $500 which was the minimum for Scottrade. I have to tell you, it has been a lot of fun, but if you are looking for investment advice, don't come to me! I've bought into about four different companies, including one oil exploration company, and managed to lose money in every one!

    Two of the four went up significantly after I sold them. My latest fiasco is in a biotech drug company. It was a virtual certainty that their latest drug would be approved by the FDA yesterday, and the stock would skyrocket. Not only did they get declined, their main competitor got their equivalent drug approved. So now I am doing a Mortimer from Trading Places.......SELL......SELL........SELL! I'm expecting to be down to $250 by Monday if I am lucky.

    So the moral of my story is: hiring a professional to invest your money is a good idea. They are worth it.



  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    goto the local library and learn how to read valueline's and do some research. I used to be in a investment club, and the valuelines have all the info you need to get a good idea on how a stock is doing.



  3. #3
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    I just started messing around with it last year for fun. Not in a major way, just $500 which was the minimum for Scottrade. I have to tell you, it has been a lot of fun, but if you are looking for investment advice, don't come to me! I've bought into about four different companies, including one oil exploration company, and managed to lose money in every one!

    Two of the four went up significantly after I sold them. My latest fiasco is in a biotech drug company. It was a virtual certainty that their latest drug would be approved by the FDA yesterday, and the stock would skyrocket. Not only did they get declined, their main competitor got their equivalent drug approved. So now I am doing a Mortimer from Trading Places.......SELL......SELL........SELL! I'm expecting to be down to $250 by Monday if I am lucky.

    So the moral of my story is: hiring a professional to invest your money is a good idea. They are worth it.
    A professional is a salesperson first and foremost. If the "professional" was so good at investing they would have no need to be "advising" others where to park there money.



  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I just wanted to mention that there is a third alternative to stock picking on your own or hiring a financial advisor. And that is using a strategy of passive, index funds. Basically, you're buying funds that represent a whole market and the returns are indexed to the average market return. However, index returns are actually better than average since the fees are usually considerably less. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX for the mutual fund or VTI for the exchange-traded fund) has an expense fee of only 0.19%. Meanwhile, many other actively managed funds can be 1-2% or more. That means that every year you can be paying 5-10 times as much to the financial companies with the funds.

    Over time, the stock market is generally expected to go up (although nothing is for certain) However, every stock trade has a buyer and a seller and only one of them can be on the right side of the deal. Even if you go with a pro, it's been shown that it's nearly impossible to know which pros are going to be making the right moves.

    Sorry for the long post and don't think that I'm criticizing for trying to pick stocks (I have a small amount of money in a Scottrade account also), but a majority of my money is with Vanguard in passive, index funds.

    There's a message board (it's actually 2 boards) at Guide to the Vanguard Diehards Forums with a ton of information. Check out the Welcome! link in the upper left. It has your usual trolls and people who take themselves too seriously but overall it's a very helpful site. Also, two books I recommend:

    A Random Walk Down Wall Street - by Burton Malkiel
    The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing - by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael Leboeuf (this book is actually written by three regular posters to the diehards board)



  5. #5
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    A car salesman typically isn't the most informed person on how a car works or even which car may be the best buy. Their expertise is in "selling" cars as opposed to evaluating cars. Similarly a stock "professional" is good at "advising" others what to purchase and sell but may know little more than investment basics.

    If you are really interested in becoming an investor you might consider becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst, "CFA." If you achieve the CFA designation you will be armed with more knowledge than just about about stock professional.

    I have a lengthy equity investment track record, going long, shorting stocks, buying and selling puts and call options. For the most part my investment strategy would concur with LivntheCyLife; using a strategy of passive index funds.



  6. #6
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I use sharebuilder.com. No minimum trade amount or minimum account balance and it's only $4 a trade if you do scheduled trade or $16 a trade if you want to do a real time trade.



  7. #7
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I think a large part of my problem is that I am going for high risk, high reward, such as the experimental drug company. I've read a couple books on buying stock, but I haven't really been following their advice. It's been fun though!



  8. #8
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I use ameritrade. I really like their service. I do not buy many single stocks, and if I do it is only companies I frequent. My last two single stock purchases were Target and Costco. Target has about doubled since I bought it a few years back, and I am only into costco for a few months now.

    I pretty much stick to mutual funds. My big winner has been the Al Frank fund, it has been averaging me about 12% return for the last 4 years. This year so far it is up 40%, so I am thinking of dumping it soon and rolling my entire portfolio over to bonds. This market has got to cap soon.

    I think ameritrade is like $9.99 trades, not sure about the minumum, they are always doing deals where you get a free nano if you put in $10k or more.


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775

  9. #9
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    Most any individual company will be fairly high risk by themself, one big bit of news can cause very big short term changes. Some advice I would give is that if you want to get involved with individual companies to hold at the least 10 to 15 at a time. This isn't always possible for everyone, myself included, so I also use a strategy comprised of passive index funds which has done very well for me.


    When all is said and done, more is said than done

  10. #10
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I used to use Etrade but they started charging me if I didn't buy so many $$$ in stocks so I got rid of their service. I put most of my money in 401K and roth IRA but I also buy my company stock which gives me a 15% discount. It's hard to lose money on a stock when you get a 15% discount and you can sell it a few days after it's bought.

    My 401K is very diverse and my company stock makes up less than 5% of my total.

    The stock is more play money. If I lose the money it's not going to hurt.



  11. #11
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    A professional is a salesperson first and foremost. If the "professional" was so good at investing they would have no need to be "advising" others where to park there money.
    Okay . . . I am an investment professional. I spend my day doing research on investment ideas and implementing them for pension funds and mutual fund companies that have hired my firm to do so.

    There is a huge difference between being an investment professional and a financial planner at Edward Jones. I don't know how those company's operate, but I assume these guys do not pick individual stocks for their clients. If your financial advisor is doing that, they are providing a huge dis-service.



  12. #12
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    wasn't there an eric lamb who was president of the student body back in the 90's? Is that you?


    "95% of all quotes posted on Facebook are either made up or mistakenly attributed to someone famous." - Albert Einstien


  13. #13
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    I invest through Ameritrade, and I use MS Money, Yahoo Finance and the Motley Fool to track stocks, etc. Here's my Motley Fool CAPS page...
    Motley Fool CAPS: techvalu's CAPS Page

    I like reasonable PEs, but also go for a few high priced (or no earnings) techs.

    My 401k is very diverse mutual funds (small cap value, large cap growth, foreign and bonds) and is ~75% of my investments. I use my Roth IRA to play around w/ higher risk, higher reward items including many stocks on my CAPS page.


    Last edited by statman; 06-16-2007 at 01:00 PM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    Quote Originally Posted by tec71 View Post
    wasn't there an eric lamb who was president of the student body back in the 90's? Is that you?
    I've never been student body president of anything, so it probably isn't me.



  15. #15
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    Re: Anyone else invest online?

    Would anyone be interested in beginning a CF investment club. With some of the noted experience, and some like myself who have 401K's which track their noted investemts, may prove to be interesting.



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