November 9, 2010

Please Invest Responsibly....

The rise of online discount brokerages is a great way to make some money on your own….but please use with caution! Don’t get tangled up with excessive trading which leads to fees, commissions, and other expenses that can eat up your nest egg.

Brokerage firms/banks already know that most investors will react with emotion when investing – which is why so many discount brokerages are popping up like candy stores all over the place today….because when investors panic or get greedy…it leads to excessive trading.

Excessive trading = more revenues for brokerages/banks. So please invest responsibly.  There's only one thing that can happen when you leave the investing up to individuals that probably know nothing about investing but decide to buy a stock or a bond from a company they know nothing about....they'll simply lose their money. 

For instance - Sharebuilder, TD Ameritrade, OptionsHouse, OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab, WellsTrade, TradeStation, ScottTrade, and Zecco are just a few discount brokerage firms that I can think of that are eager to take your money.  You'll see that they spend a lot of money on marketing/advertising in order to get your attention...especially since the economy is recovering and people are starting to feel greedy.

Here's my advice - if you don't know what you're doing - then invest in an Index Fund (such as the S&P 500 - ticker symbol SPY) or a Bond fund (ticker symbol AGG) that will spread a portion of your money into all of the stocks on the exchange...known as dollar cost averaging.  Index Funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are the best way to invest on your own, especially when you don't know what you're doing!  In fact, several "professional" wealth fund managers can't beat the performance of an Index why not put your money here?

Lastly, once your money is invested - you should leave it there until you get ready to retire (depending on your age bracket).  Don't panic about the ups and downs of the market...studies show that the stocks generally appreciate as time progresses.


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