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Author: SparkieJim2 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 266470  
Subject: First time Online investor. Date: 12/6/2012 10:49 AM
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HELP,Im wanting to take some of my Ira investments out of an established Wells Fargo account of mine and do a direct rollover to a more personal way that I can be involved with making choices in what and when "I" decide to invest in, in a much shorter time frame than the "usual" broker "I'll get back to you on this" routine! I've been investigating online possibilities, Ameritrade, Scott trade, etc. etc,. Does the Motley fool provide services like this? If not, which company is a good choice for a novice online investor? Thanks, Would appreciate suggestions!
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Author: trader2012 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259794 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/6/2012 11:28 AM
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Sparkie,

Any of the brokers you mentioned might serve you well, as would Schwab, E*Trade, Fidelity, or even Vanguard. It all depends on what you want those firms to be able to do for you, and at what cost. At most, you only have 6-8 choices to evaluate. Go to their websites and poke around. Call them and ask a few questions. Through all of them you're going to be able to buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and --in some cases-- currencies and futures. Through all of them you'll be able to get real-time price data and beaucoup research.

What you won't get from them is much hand-holding or buying advice that's worth acting on. So, your main problem isn't selecting a broker (which is merely a place to execute your orders) but fixing your deficiency of knowing which orders you want to write. In other words, take the time to write up a work plan (aka, an investment plan) and then go looking for a new broker. Brokers are merely a means, no different than a pair of pliers or screwdriver, to get a job done. What you need far more is a detailed work plan for the job you want to do. Specifically,

(1) How are you going to put more money out of markets than you bring to them? (In other words, what's your 'edge'?)
(2) How will you manage your inevitable losses so they don't mess with your mind or trash your account?

Game plan. You need a game plan. So do some reading, and I'd suggest Justin Mamis', The Nature of Risk as a good place to start, followed up by Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor .

Charlie

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259798 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/6/2012 1:35 PM
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For a discussion of discount brokers, their fees, services, and differences, you might want to check out the Discount Brokers discussion board--

http://boards.fool.com/selecting-a-broker-30174671.aspx?sort...

Brokers differ in the fees charged, sometimes in the investments offered beyond listed stocks (most have a preferred list of mutual funds, some offer bonds, CDs, etc), and in the quality of research available to clients.

Once you know what you want to invest in, you will be able to decide which broker offers the services you plan to use at best prices.

As Charlie noted, the decision on what to invest in is up to you. Brokers do offer research studies by independent outside firms. Motley Fool discussion boards can help you with suggestions, or premium services can recommend specific investments.

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Author: trader2012 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259800 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/6/2012 2:20 PM
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As Paul says, Once you know what you want to invest in, you will be able to decide which broker offers the services you plan to use at best prices.

Sparkie,

Opening an brokerage account is the easy part and the part that doesn't make you any money in and of itself any more than walking in the front door of a casino will make you money at any of the games offered there. Investing is just gambling. It's playing a less-than zero-sum game with counter-parties who will take every penny you have unless you're smarter than they are about about the bets you're making.

Without a sound, solid, well-tested investment plan, you could be allowed to transact commission-free with zero spread, and you'd still lose money. Stop worrying about which screwdriver has the most comfortable handle. Focus instead on the more basic problem of how much time and effort are you willing to spend learning how to invest in whatever asset-classes interest you and/or seem to offer you the best opportunities given your time, capital, and research skills.

Investing is a job. It's a business. You've gotta treat it with the seriousness that success requires, or else you're going to lose money no matter who your broker is. First, figure out what you want to do in the wide, wide world that investing is, and then go looking for a broker.

Charlie

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Author: Quillnpenn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259804 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/6/2012 11:25 PM
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Peruse the following. I use TD Ameritrade as one of my brokers for there investing tools such as TOS (thinkorswim). Removed all the noise and kept them as simple as possible. Also the office is just a mile from my house and visit the office to drop off some paper work.

http://finviz.com/store/stock-brokers.ashx

Quillnpenn -

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259807 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/7/2012 1:07 AM
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I've been using Scottrade for over a decade with no complaints.

Fuskie
Who encourages you to check out the sites and develop your investment strategy and then pick the brokerage that best fits your needs...

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Author: Quillnpenn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259813 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/7/2012 10:21 AM
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An excellent site that is FREE to scribe to if your looking for Dividend plays.


http://long-term-investments.blogspot.com/2012/12/my-5-cheap...

Quillnpenn -

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Author: SparkieJim2 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259928 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/15/2012 7:53 PM
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Charlie, thanks for the helpfull advice and encouragement.I've been doing some of what you suggested. I signed up with Ameritrade. Will soon start "getting my feet wet"! Hope to see more posts from ya!

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Author: trader2012 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 259931 of 266470
Subject: Re: First time Online investor. Date: 12/16/2012 10:36 AM
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Sparkie,

I used to work in the trades myself. So I’d like you to succeed more than most who hang out at TMF, the self-styled ‘management consultants’ and such, who think the stock market is their private ATM machine and that it that owes them fat returns for their just showing up at the front door.

Well, more than any other work place in the world, markets are a meritocracy. If you have a sound process, and if you have a solid work ethic (i.e., discipline and consistency in applying your process), you will pull more money out of markets than you bring to them, on average and over the long haul. It’s just that simple.

This isn’t to say that ‘luck’ doesn’t play a role in one’s results. But ‘investing skill’ is real, and ‘consistent effort’ matters even far more. In short, ‘grinders’ will prevail. In any given year, they won’t make the best money. But nearly every year, they will make their targets, which isn’t a bad track record. So put together a sound, solid investment plan, and then work that plan.

Best wishes, Charlie

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