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Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       07-25-2011, 12:15 PM Reply   
I'm looking to take a little more control over my finances and I'd like to start by getting my feet wet with some online trading. Any recommendations for online trading companies (eTrade, TD Ameritrade, Scott Trade, etc.)? Any tips for getting started? I plan to do a lot of practicing with small amounts to build my skills before I start gambling with the family savings!
Old     (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       07-25-2011, 4:26 PM Reply   
I don't think there is much difference in which format you use, probably no reason not to use the cheapest. When I did trade I was able to buy $500 worth of stocks, pretty simple, buy low and sell high, just make sure you put a stop loss order in when you buy in(no reason not to put a stop loss) . I was just learning how to sell short but never did so, I would like to know from some people that have done this on here how to make money when the stock is going down. The online company then started to charge me $25 a month to keep the $500 account, now I think you need $5000 in the account to not get charged a monthly fee, so I took my money out.
Old     (humboldt9)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-25-2011, 7:27 PM Reply   
Just remember pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered. Be careful of penny stocks on the pink sheets and OTB, stay away from pump and dump stocks, oh yeah and buy low sell high!! I use e*trade although you won't notice much of a difference in functionality from Ameritrade, Schwab, Scotttrade, etc. Research per trade costs to find the best deal.
Old     (95sn)      Join Date: Sep 2005       07-26-2011, 9:56 AM Reply   
Recent news on ETrade....

ETrade taps banker for sale
By KAJA WHITEHOUSE

Last Updated: 3:28 PM, July 25, 2011

Posted: 11:48 PM, July 22, 2011


Just two days after getting a public lashing from hedge fund honcho Ken Griffin for poor financial performance, online brokerage firm ETrade Financial said it hired an investment banker to explore ways to boost the stock price, including a possible sale of the company.

ETrade, known for its talking-baby ads, said yesterday that it retained Morgan Stanley to conduct a "broad review of strategic alternatives," submitting to demands from its largest shareholder.

Shares of the New York retail brokerage jumped 4 percent in after-hours trading to $16.30 after closing up 1.3 percent to $15.64. On Wednesday, the stock jumped 14 percent after Griffin's Citadel hedge fund sent a letter to ETrade slamming the company.

Still, ETrade refused to capitulate to another of Griffin's demands that it call a special shareholder meeting to oust two directors: Donna Weaver, a retired founder of a investor relations and corporate communications firm, and Michael Parks of Crescent Capital Finance Group.

"ETrade believes that Citadel's proposal to call a meeting to remove two highly qualified independent directors is inappropriate, and contrary to Delaware law," the company said in the statement.

Griffin's motives for booting the directors is unclear. In his letter, Griffin blasted ETrade CEO Steven Freiberg for "catastrophic losses." Griffin, who owns a 10 percent stake, insisted the board hire an investment bank and call a special meeting to replace the two directors.



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...#ixzz1TEOaLfGl
Old     (magic)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-26-2011, 10:51 AM Reply   
Anyone try www.kapitall.com?

I set up a practice portfolio with them a year back. Just messing around. This thread reminded me and I took a look at it. It's gone up over 20% in worth. Should have followed with real investment set with the same stocks Mostly the Apple and Toyota stocks I have in there drove the value up.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-26-2011, 11:56 AM Reply   
As a financial planner who largely discourages individual stock portfolios, I wish you luck. I make a living in this industry and refuse to make stock suggestions. I've been in this industry for 13 years and licensed for 8, if I don't like to pick stocks, that should tell you something.

Sean, that is pretty good. The last year has been great, some of my mutual funds I recommend have gone up 20-30% in the last 12 months (they've also done well over the last 10 years). I hear MFs get bagged on a lot, my opinion is that there is no better way to provide the diversity, professional management and global reach.
Old     (magic)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-26-2011, 12:37 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephan View Post
As a financial planner who largely discourages individual stock portfolios, I wish you luck. I make a living in this industry and refuse to make stock suggestions. I've been in this industry for 13 years and licensed for 8, if I don't like to pick stocks, that should tell you something.

Sean, that is pretty good. The last year has been great, some of my mutual funds I recommend have gone up 20-30% in the last 12 months (they've also done well over the last 10 years). I hear MFs get bagged on a lot, my opinion is that there is no better way to provide the diversity, professional management and global reach.
My real money gets goes via financial planner. I'm looking to be set $$$ wise for retirement, all of my focus is there. I find having a future goal and measurable means to track progress is motivating for better spending habits.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            07-26-2011, 12:02 PM Reply   
I should probably start finding some financial advisors myself who can point me in the right direction as to where to stick some money. I keep putting it off and keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my list.
Old     (humboldt9)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-26-2011, 12:23 PM Reply   
Stephan,

What are your thoughts on ETF's? They seem to be gaining a lot of momentum in the investment world.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-26-2011, 12:57 PM Reply   
ETF's are definitely popular lately. Generally speaking I'm a more fundamental investor, I prefer to buy good securities at good prices and hold them to maturity. I think that is the largest benefit of active management. An ETF that follows an index leaves a lot to be desired and an actively managed ETF usually has a pretty narrow scope (& higher expenses). The greatest argument for them versus Mutual Funds, lower expenses, I think can be mitigated due to the costs of trading and the fact that a good fund company has low operating costs and generally better returns (not all, but any that I would put my or my clients money in). I prefer my diversification based on my goals versus some unproven index.

Sean, absolutely! Oh to have a person that gets it as a client...haha!

Last edited by stephan; 07-26-2011 at 1:00 PM.
Old     (boatmaster)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-27-2011, 8:59 AM Reply   
Couple of words of advice here.

1. Invest in something you know. You are your own best judge of that market. If you're a computer guy and you see XYZ product flying off the shelf, or your own company is buying it, well then more than likely others are too. This goes along the lines of my personal mantra, "invest in the obvious".

2. You can make more money with Levi's than panning for Gold. If that doesn't make sense to you, then you need to do some homework first.

3. NEVER invest scared money. It will cloud your judgment and influence your trades. Don't invest what you are not willing to throw on the table in Vegas.

4. Don't second guess your decisions. Your decisions - or gut, are right for the time. If it goes up 10% the day after you trade out, don't be mad. If it goes down 10% the next day, either stay committed, trade out - or double up if you believe it what you invested in the first place. Google "dollar cost averaging"

5. Mutual funds are great - if you're like 40+ with kids and a mortgage. You still have earning years ahead of you, but if you're younger without mouths to feed and a mortgage - shoot for the moon! You'll have plenty of time to rebuild if you lose, but you will also have huge upside if you're right.

I've had way more winners than losers and like the best poker players, it's what separates the pro's from the amateurs - knowing when to throw in the towel and "fold" on a stock. It's the hardest thing you'll ever learn to do.

When I was starting out I had $1,500 in eTrade and picked 3 stocks to start with, one stock tanked, one broke barely even and the other one was spot on. At the time, a little company called eBay...that little rocket got me started in a good way. They're not all winners, but if you play your stocks right, you'll get a bigger winner than a few losers!

Good Luck.

Last edited by boatmaster; 07-27-2011 at 9:01 AM.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       07-27-2011, 12:01 PM Reply   
Ok, once I decide which online trading company to go with, where are the best resources for learning about trading strategies, potential companies to invest in, etc.?
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-27-2011, 12:19 PM Reply   
message boards
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       07-27-2011, 12:24 PM Reply   
^^^ Can you give me some links to some good ones?
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       07-27-2011, 12:30 PM Reply   
Oh yes... Message boards.. Best place for pump and dump shenanigans...
Dave, I use Schwabb.. Have for years and years.. They have the highest per trade fees, but I really like the research and information available through them. Their service has also been extremely top notch.!
They are a fantastic resource for strategies, companies etc.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       07-27-2011, 12:47 PM Reply   
^^^ Good to hear. I just signed up with them yesterday!
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-27-2011, 1:54 PM Reply   
Dave, I apologize if I'm clogging up your thread. Feel free to delete this if I am.

Wayne, Mutual Funds can be as aggressive or conservative as you want them to be. Say I've got a 25 year old investor that wants to contribute $5k to a ROTH for the next 10 years. For long-term investing I use Class A shares which assess a sales charge when the new money is invested.

What's nice is that as this 25 year old gets older we can add more funds so that say by 35, he has a full compliment of growth and growth/income funds. By 45 you add a balanced fund, by 55 you add more bonds and by 65 you have transitioned the portfolio to a much more conservative allocation (I'm simplifying drastically here). The best part is as the investor gets closer to retirement it doesn't cost them a dime to exchange between funds (i.e. growth to bonds), the sales charge was paid with the new investments between 30-40 years ago.

Anyways, I apologize for my ramblings. Like I said, I've been doing this for arguably 13 of the most volatile years for the markets. I have seen a lot of people take unnecessary risks and get burned, and I've seen folks make a lot of money with a more fundamental approach.
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       07-27-2011, 2:29 PM Reply   
Dave,
I think you made a GREAT choice. Now see about getting the schwabb rewards credit card.. At least 1% of every purchase goes into your account at the end of every month. MUCH better then free airline tix or crap like that for me. !!!
I have about 2 dozen friends who work for Schwabb.. Thats how I got started with them .

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