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How do I Stock Market?

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Posts

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    What if I don't have thousands of dollars to invest? What if I have a few hundred and then an additional hundred every month or so. I can afford to buy and hold. An ETF maybe?

  • TreelootTreeloot Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Distram wrote: »
    What if I don't have thousands of dollars to invest? What if I have a few hundred and then an additional hundred every month or so. I can afford to buy and hold. An ETF maybe?

    Putting $100 into an ETF each month is really going to add up in terms up brokerage fees. At $4-10 a purchase you're lose around 4-10% of each monthly investment to fees.

    Share Builder is the only online broker I know of that doesn't have an account minimum. Scottrade has the second lowest account minimum that I know of. Either of these would allow you to purchase an ETF. Scottrade charges $7 per trade while Sharebuilder charges $10 a trade for most trades or $4 for automatic trades.

    It sounds like Sharebuilder might be better and cheaper for you, since their automatic trades would let you automatically purchase $100 of the ETF of your choice every month for $4.

    If you're buying an ETF for your IRA, keep in mind that Sharebuilder charges $25 a year unless you pay $12+ a month for their "standard" or "advanced" accounts.

    EDIT: E-Trade appears to have a $1 account minimum, but they charge $12.99 a trade.

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Well, I'm 25. I live at home. I'm a student at university and I work as a web dev/graphic designer on campus.

    I'm looking to get into the market because it's tanked and certain things are cheap. I'm willing to hold onto any shares I buy for 10+ years. I'm just looking to dump some cash from my min. wage job into some stock rather than a savings account. I'm basically looking to do it for retirement reasons; I'm planning ahead.

    What are some decent options for me? Or should I stop being a tool and keep my money in my checking account?

  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Distram wrote: »
    Well, I'm 25. I live at home. I'm a student at university and I work as a web dev/graphic designer on campus.

    I'm looking to get into the market because it's tanked and certain things are cheap. I'm willing to hold onto any shares I buy for 10+ years. I'm just looking to dump some cash from my min. wage job into some stock rather than a savings account. I'm basically looking to do it for retirement reasons; I'm planning ahead.

    What are some decent options for me? Or should I stop being a tool and keep my money in my checking account?

    First of all, at the very least your money should be in a savings account. The checking account should just be there for paying off bills. If your monthly bills amount to $2000 and you make at least $2000 a month from work, there's no reason to have $6000 in your account.

    You should consider opening a Roth IRA. I think you can start one at Vanguard with only $500 or $1000 as long as you auto-invest money each month. The advantage is that a Roth IRA grows tax free.

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • CrystalMethodistCrystalMethodist Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Hi, I worked in algorithmic trading for a very large hedge fund in NYC.

    Here's what you do. Buy this book: http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Investor-Book-Practical-Counsel/dp/0060155477

    Then, don't listen to anything that anyone else says. Is that rough advice? Yes. But I promise you, unless you have the resources of a large investment firm, money that you make doing anything but actual investment (as opposed to speculative trading) will be statistically indistinguishable from noise. In other words, you might get some short-term gains when you think that Apple is going to release a cool new product, but you'll get hit hard somewhere else. Also, the market will have already priced any knowledge that you think that you have, so even really obscure facts have been factored into statistical arbitrage algorithms to reprice equities.

    The stock market isn't the only way to invest. It's part of a large system with a lot of interesting dependencies. Grab that book, learn about different securities and how they work, and you'll have a much more holistic understanding of investment. Also, you'll be able to listen to Warren Buffet talk about anything and be all, "I know exactly what he's going to say" because he's a classic value investor. He's also one of the richest people in the world.

    The most important thing is: anyone who tells you that you can consistently beat the market is wrong. There is no way to get rich quickly that doesn't involve losing your shirt. There's a slider between risk and return, and the market ensures that you don't get more money without accepting more risk. Seriously. Investment is about knowing where and how to set that slider, and how to minimize excessive and catastrophic risk. It's a really interesting topic, but don't believe any stock-picking techniques or anything like that. Seriously.

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    I guess I was just looking to buy into some ETFs, since things are priced so low right not, in the hopes that my investments would grow over time and I'd have some decent cash when I'm older. I'm not looking to get rich quick or consistently beat the market or be a day trader. Also, I have a savings account but savings accounts are shit and give you no return, ever. I'm looking for something with decent return over a longish arc of time. Stocks seemed the way to go - I just don't have the cash to pony up for a Vanguard mutual fund buy-in.

  • edited October 2008
    I dont have a lot of advice, but I would say now is a great time to invest. Many very good well performing and well managed companies are at their lowest they've been in years so anyone telling you not to invest is generally wrong. That being said, make sure you do you're research, invest in companies that don't have large outstanding debts especially in a credit crunch.

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  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Thanks for the advice Blackbeard.

    I guess my problem is that I only have enough cash to buy a couple shares of a couple ETFs and I'm looking for someone to tell me if that is ok or not. Or if I should only bother investing if I can buy hundreds of shares at a time.

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Also, I do not have enough for a mutual fund, IRA, or a CD. I looked around and everywhere wants anywhere from a thousand to three thousand buy-in. I just want to get in on this market while it is being beat to shit because it won't get this low again for a long time.

  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You might look into Putnam if you want a Roth IRA. When I started mine at 17 it was only $500. Not sure if it has changed or not however.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    As some people suggest, you could look for a company that's not going anywhere but still taking a serious hit (lord knows there's plenty) and hope for the best, but if the company goes belly up or sells out, you could be shit out of luck.

    Diversification is my only advice. My broker beat me over the head with it since I was handling my great-grandmother's estate, and it's paid off, as my investments are still showing gains. Not much, mind you, but still something to be proud of. She has clients day trading as fast as they can click and barely keeping up after fees are factored in.

    If you don't have enough to invest into a mutual fund or be worth opening an account with a reputable broker, there's also government savings bonds. Any time the government does something expensive like go to war or bail out a major industry, they push bond issues to bring in money. These historically have been safe investments if you hang onto them - though that is the catch, you have to hold onto them to get the full worth out. No get rich quick hopes, and not the potential payback of the stock market, but really, only buying a few shares won't get you there, either, you'll likely see a good chunk of your gains eaten up in fees.

  • TreelootTreeloot Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Distram wrote: »
    Also, I do not have enough for a mutual fund, IRA, or a CD. I looked around and everywhere wants anywhere from a thousand to three thousand buy-in. I just want to get in on this market while it is being beat to shit because it won't get this low again for a long time.

    I believe Scottrade's $500 minimum applies to their IRAs as well. If you decide to go with them PM me, because I can send you an invite to get some free trades.

  • edited October 2008
    Itll be shitty for a while, you got time.

    n13908669_48529144_9322.jpg
  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    I need some help.

    I opened an ETrade account in my haste to trade. Then I began reading a lot of very bad things about them. High and constant fees, unwillingness to let you withdraw funds, ets. I transferred $200 into my account before I read these things. The transfers went though but are not cleared to be invested or withdrawn yet and their site refuses to let me set up outgoing transfers for when the cash clears so I can get it back out and get out of ETrade altogether. Does anyone know anything about them or how to get money back from them?

    Also, my plan after this is sorted is to set up an account at scottrade.com once I have the initial $500. I plan to invest in Vanguard Total Stock Market [VTI] and Vanguard Total Bond VITBX and maybe one of the Vanguard forign market index funds.

    This whole investing thing seemed like a good idea but I don't like the idea of my cash sitting with idiots like ETrade. It's kind of turning me off to the whole thing. I have been doing some reading at various places, I also bought "The Intelligent Investor" (it's an awesome book) and investing in an index fund over a loooong period of time sounds like the best kind of investment for what I'm trying to do compared to an IRA or CDs.

  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Really should have done some research. Etrade is an absolute rubbish company with a bad rep. They narrowly escaped being bought out and even more narrowly escaped bankruptcy. This was back in early summer iirc.

    Mutual funds are great instruments but do not doubt the Roth IRA or the powers of compound interest. If you make steady contributions to that IRA when you get that money out you will in fact be well over a millionaire. It may be a long time to wait, but once you reach 59.5 you're officially on the best and longest vacation of your entire life.

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  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Shogun wrote: »
    Really should have done some research. Etrade is an absolute rubbish company with a bad rep. They narrowly escaped being bought out and even more narrowly escaped bankruptcy. This was back in early summer iirc.

    Mutual funds are great instruments but do not doubt the Roth IRA or the powers of compound interest. If you make steady contributions to that IRA when you get that money out you will in fact be well over a millionaire. It may be a long time to wait, but once you reach 59.5 you're officially on the best and longest vacation of your entire life.

    An IRA sounded like the best plan but I read around and saw that inflation eats away at any IRA profits you make. Could be a bunch of B.S. though.

    A Roth IRA sounds like a good idea to me. Better than mucking about with stocks on my own with no professional advisement.

    Anyway, as far as ETrade goes. Yeah I should've done research. Was trying to get ahead of the incoming market rebound and buy while things were cheap because I don't have a ton of money. Chalk it up to my own dumbassery. I may well have lost $200 on absolutly nothing, if what people say about not being able to get them to give their money back. At least it wasn't $2000.

    Time to start saving for with the intention of getting a Roth IRA.

  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited October 2008
    Just curious, why are you investing in Vanguard funds through scottrade instead of directly through Vanguard?

  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited October 2008
    Also since I can't edit:
    nome wrote: »
    Edit to add I believe Vanguard allows foreign investors. http://global.vanguard.com/

    Vanguard actually has an office in Japan. (As well as Germany and Australia with smaller offices in other conuntries)

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    Just curious, why are you investing in Vanguard funds through scottrade instead of directly through Vanguard?

    Well, I don't know who I'll be investing through. I don't know what the minimums are for IRAs. If I have to put up a certain amount of money. I may just invest through Vanguard but Scottrade has no fees. Think I should just go through Vanguard?

  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited October 2008
    I can't answer your question, but what I can say is that while you will have no fees through Scottrade, you will also not have the same resources available to you. There is also many ways to reduce or completely negate lots of the annual feels (i.e. going to e-statements instead of paper statements). Theres also the option of MM, ETF, Brokerage accounts etc.

    The flip side is that the minimum investment on most of the funds is $3k (I think there are a few that are less like the STAR fund, which is the beginner fund at $1k).

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    robothero wrote: »
    The flip side is that the minimum investment on most of the funds is $3k (I think there are a few that are less like the STAR fund, which is the beginner fund at $1k).
    Even on IRAs?

  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited October 2008
    I had some money in Etrade, but I had some problems with moving money in and out, so I switched to Vanguard and now I've got all my savings (I'm 22, so it's not a lot) in their Vanguard 500 index fund. I'm basically going to get the same returns as I would investing in stocks, but I don't have to do a ton of research into individual companies.

    The S&P 500 grows about 13% per year, on average, so in the long term, I'm going to double my money about every 5-6 years.

    rez_guy.png
  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    theclam wrote: »
    I had some money in Etrade, but I had some problems with moving money in and out, so I switched to Vanguard and now I've got all my savings (I'm 22, so it's not a lot) in their Vanguard 500 index fund. I'm basically going to get the same returns as I would investing in stocks, but I don't have to do a ton of research into individual companies.

    The S&P 500 grows about 13% per year, on average, so in the long term, I'm going to double my money about every 5-6 years.

    Mutual fund or an ETF?

    Also, what does everyone think about a Fidelity IRA?

  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited October 2008
  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited October 2008
    Distram wrote: »
    theclam wrote: »
    I had some money in Etrade, but I had some problems with moving money in and out, so I switched to Vanguard and now I've got all my savings (I'm 22, so it's not a lot) in their Vanguard 500 index fund. I'm basically going to get the same returns as I would investing in stocks, but I don't have to do a ton of research into individual companies.

    The S&P 500 grows about 13% per year, on average, so in the long term, I'm going to double my money about every 5-6 years.

    Mutual fund or an ETF?

    Also, what does everyone think about a Fidelity IRA?

    Mutual fund.

    rez_guy.png
  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Update:

    ETrade called me after I left a request for support on their website.

    Not sure why they've gotten such a bad rap regarding customer service. Maybe I just got lucky. Still taking my money back from them though.

  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    @Distram: I think you have a fundamental misconception about what an IRA actually is. An IRA is just a tax shelter. You can have an IRA through a bank, a stock brokerage, a mutual fund brokerage, whatever. You can have cash, CD's, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc in an IRA. There's just a limit on how much you can put in each year and whatever you have in your IRA grows tax free and withdrawals when you retire are tax free (if it's a Roth IRA, which for you it should be). Also, inflation eats away at pretty much ANY investment vehicle (cash, CD's, stocks, bonds, etc...).

    @theclam: You should consider the total stock market index (VTSMX) vs the S&P500 index (VFINX). The latter does not include mid and small cap funds, and historically VTSMX outperforms VFINX by a few percent. Just something to keep in mind for down the line.

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • nomenome Registered User
    edited October 2008
    There's been 3 people in this thread offering referrals for free trades at Scottrade too. Just pm one of them and both guys can get 7 free trades.

    I had warned against etrade in my previous post and no one even noticed it. :( I guess I'll go back to my corner now.

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    @Distram: I think you have a fundamental misconception about what an IRA actually is. An IRA is just a tax shelter. You can have an IRA through a bank, a stock brokerage, a mutual fund brokerage, whatever. You can have cash, CD's, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc in an IRA. There's just a limit on how much you can put in each year and whatever you have in your IRA grows tax free and withdrawals when you retire are tax free (if it's a Roth IRA, which for you it should be). Also, inflation eats away at pretty much ANY investment vehicle (cash, CD's, stocks, bonds, etc...).

    @theclam: You should consider the total stock market index (VTSMX) vs the S&P500 index (VFINX). The latter does not include mid and small cap funds, and historically VTSMX outperforms VFINX by a few percent. Just something to keep in mind for down the line.

    So I put money in an IRA and then I invest using the money in the IRA and the interest from my investments go back into the IRA?

    What should I get if I want to invest in something that will net me interest over a long period of time? Something I can auto-invest in every month and leave it there. Aside from a savings account or a money market. CDs? A mutual fund? Would the best flow be bank account -> IRA -> mutual fund?

    Also, my complete lack of any kind of undestanding of what all this stuff really is tells me I should just stay out of any of it.

  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited October 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    @theclam: You should consider the total stock market index (VTSMX) vs the S&P500 index (VFINX). The latter does not include mid and small cap funds, and historically VTSMX outperforms VFINX by a few percent. Just something to keep in mind for down the line.

    I figure that right now, larger companies are more likely to survive the recession. Later on, I'll probably switch to a whole market index.

    rez_guy.png
  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    nome wrote: »
    There's been 3 people in this thread offering referrals for free trades at Scottrade too. Just pm one of them and both guys can get 7 free trades.

    I had warned against etrade in my previous post and no one even noticed it. :( I guess I'll go back to my corner now.

    Read post #6 of this thread. The author (me!) also said to avoid etrade...and was ignored. :|
    Distram wrote: »
    So I put money in an IRA and then I invest using the money in the IRA and the interest from my investments go back into the IRA?

    Yes.
    Distram wrote:
    What should I get if I want to invest in something that will net me interest over a long period of time? Something I can auto-invest in every month and leave it there. Aside from a savings account or a money market. CDs? A mutual fund? Would the best flow be bank account -> IRA -> mutual fund?

    In terms of performance over a very long period of time (think 15 years, at least), stocks > bonds > money market accounts > most CDs > savings accounts. For the time being, avoid money market accounts. You cannot "auto-invest" into a CD each month, typically. Vanguard offers what are called "Target Retirement" funds that are basically combinations of stocks and bonds that slowly increase the bond:stock ratio over time until the year of retirement. If you are 20, look for a Target 2050 fund. I would invest in a stock index mutual fund given your very long time horizon and the fact that the market is quite low. It could easily go lower, but that's why you invest every month. At some point it will go back up.

    This is for your investment money and thus, for all intents and purposes, is not money you can use. You should make sure you also put money into your savings account (don't have one? Go to ING and open one; minimum needed is $1) as well until you have maybe 6-8 months worth of savings in there, at least. This is your "emergency fund" in case you lose your job, you lose a foot and need surgery, you lose your mind and need a lawyer after hitting your neighbor's dog with a 2x4...that sort of thing.
    [/quote]
    Distram wrote:
    Also, my complete lack of any kind of undestanding of what all this stuff really is tells me I should just stay out of any of it.

    No, that's what H/A is for. And reading books. A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a good start, or any basic "investing for Dummies" book. Handling your money is part of life; ignoring the issue is not a reasonable solution, and in fact you are doing the right thing by starting to take responsibility for your future!

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • TreelootTreeloot Registered User
    edited October 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    nome wrote: »
    There's been 3 people in this thread offering referrals for free trades at Scottrade too. Just pm one of them and both guys can get 7 free trades.

    I had warned against etrade in my previous post and no one even noticed it. :( I guess I'll go back to my corner now.

    Read post #6 of this thread. The author (me!) also said to avoid etrade...and was ignored. :|
    Distram wrote: »
    So I put money in an IRA and then I invest using the money in the IRA and the interest from my investments go back into the IRA?

    Yes.
    Distram wrote:
    What should I get if I want to invest in something that will net me interest over a long period of time? Something I can auto-invest in every month and leave it there. Aside from a savings account or a money market. CDs? A mutual fund? Would the best flow be bank account -> IRA -> mutual fund?

    In terms of performance over a very long period of time (think 15 years, at least), stocks > bonds > money market accounts > most CDs > savings accounts. For the time being, avoid money market accounts. You cannot "auto-invest" into a CD each month, typically. Vanguard offers what are called "Target Retirement" funds that are basically combinations of stocks and bonds that slowly increase the bond:stock ratio over time until the year of retirement. If you are 20, look for a Target 2050 fund. I would invest in a stock index mutual fund given your very long time horizon and the fact that the market is quite low. It could easily go lower, but that's why you invest every month. At some point it will go back up.

    This is for your investment money and thus, for all intents and purposes, is not money you can use. You should make sure you also put money into your savings account (don't have one? Go to ING and open one; minimum needed is $1) as well until you have maybe 6-8 months worth of savings in there, at least. This is your "emergency fund" in case you lose your job, you lose a foot and need surgery, you lose your mind and need a lawyer after hitting your neighbor's dog with a 2x4...that sort of thing.
    Distram wrote:
    Also, my complete lack of any kind of undestanding of what all this stuff really is tells me I should just stay out of any of it.

    No, that's what H/A is for. And reading books. A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a good start, or any basic "investing for Dummies" book. Handling your money is part of life; ignoring the issue is not a reasonable solution, and in fact you are doing the right thing by starting to take responsibility for your future![/QUOTE]

    You have to be careful about investing books. There are a lot of bad ones out there that should be avoided at all costs. When I first started learning about investing, I read through some pretty lousy books.

    The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle are both pretty good beginner's books. The Millionaire Next Door is another book I recommend, although it doesn't offer much investing information it teaches some very valuable financial lessons.

    If you're interested in investing in individual stocks, I'll second the recommendation of whoever said earlier in this thread to read Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor. I recommend the updated edition from 2003 that has commentary by Jason Zweig. It's not the simplest investing text, so you'll want to read some more basic books first.

    Avoid Rich Dad Poor Dad and anything by Jim Cramer. Investing for Dummies isn't a very good book either.

  • DistramDistram __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2008
    Spoiler:

    I bought that one the other day and read through some of it. Reading it prevented me from doing further stupid things with my money. Also, the Cramer books seemed stupid to me so I didn't even pick them up. I'm immediately suspect of anyone telling me I can get rich quick.

    As far as your guys' advice against ETrade goes, I just didn't see it. I signed up for an ETrade account while in the midst of reading this thread and only saw the suggestions against it after it was too late. I wouldn't have gone with them if I had seen that people think they're shit before I signed up for an account with them.

    Anyway, I do have a savings account. So, my plan is to build up some funds and get in on a Vanguard mutual fund within an IRA. That won't be for some time yet but it's better than never. As I've said, I just work a minimum wage job on campus while going to school and only have about an extra $100 every month to save. I was trying to find something better, read: more interest accruing, to do with it every month than letting it sit in a savings account. I'm in a position where I don't need a rainy-day or emergency fund. It appears though, that unless one has extra thousands of dollars at one time, there's little they can do with anything less that doesn't involve market speculation.

  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited October 2008
    Put it in a CD.

  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Distram wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    I bought that one the other day and read through some of it. Reading it prevented me from doing further stupid things with my money. Also, the Cramer books seemed stupid to me so I didn't even pick them up. I'm immediately suspect of anyone telling me I can get rich quick.

    As far as your guys' advice against ETrade goes, I just didn't see it. I signed up for an ETrade account while in the midst of reading this thread and only saw the suggestions against it after it was too late. I wouldn't have gone with them if I had seen that people think they're shit before I signed up for an account with them.

    Anyway, I do have a savings account. So, my plan is to build up some funds and get in on a Vanguard mutual fund within an IRA. That won't be for some time yet but it's better than never. As I've said, I just work a minimum wage job on campus while going to school and only have about an extra $100 every month to save. I was trying to find something better, read: more interest accruing, to do with it every month than letting it sit in a savings account. I'm in a position where I don't need a rainy-day or emergency fund. It appears though, that unless one has extra thousands of dollars at one time, there's little they can do with anything less that doesn't involve market speculation.

    Well, I would put your money in your savings account until you have enough. FWIW, Fidelity lets you open an IRA with $200, but you need to put in $200 a month. I have a Fidelity account as well as Vanguard, and I have no problems with them. The only issue is that Fidelity has mostly "active-managed" funds, which are basically funds run by some guy who chooses what stocks to buy and sells whatever...his goal is to beat the market. Statistically, around 70% of these funds underperform the S&P500 index, and they cost more (expense ratio is higher). But, at least you'd have a mutual fund.

    Here's the Fidelity info

    And don't worry about the etrade thing. It's not that big a deal. I mean, you didn't lose any money or anything. Sorry if I came off sarcastic above; I didn't mean to do so.

    The Bogle book is a good suggestion, by the way. He basically created the entire index fund concept and founded Vanguard.

    Quail is just hipster chicken
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