No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi, Safari, I certainly understand how all that TMF has to offer can be coinfusing and I may be able to help clear a few things.

First, it sounds like you're a member of one of the Premium Subscription Services, but this is a public discussion board. Questions about companies that are recommended by one of the Premium Subscription Services should be asked in one of the proprietary discussion boards for that premium service. Select your service from the Premium Advice menu at the top of this page, then click on the Community and locate an appropriate discussion board for your question.

As for what broker to choose, there's a page comparing a number of discount brokers here: http://www.fool.com/how-to-invest/broker/index.aspx

And an article discussing how to pick one here: http://www.fool.com/investing/brokerage/10-ways-to-size-up-a...

And a discussion board where you can talk with other Fools about the pros and cons of discount brokerages here: http://boards.fool.com/discount-brokers-100146.aspx

Many brokers offer referral rewards, so once you've picked the right broker for you, ask around to see if there's a fellow Fool who would be willing to refer you!

The biggest friend you have as an investor is time - the longer you have to invest, the more your investments can grow. In the short term, an investment is subject to market swings. Long term investments have the freedom to ride out downturns and rise above the market.

So the younger you are, the more time you have, the more aggressive you can afford to be. In your middle years, you have more financial responsibilities, and you should moderate your portfolio to a balance of aggressive and conservative investments. As you near retirement, your time range narrows and a mostly conservative approach is more important, focused. And once you are in retirement, capital preservation of retirement income is crucial.

If you haven't already, I recommend reading the 13 Steps To Investing Foolishly over at Fool School:

http://www.fool.com/how-to-invest/thirteen-steps/index.aspx

There's also a discussion board for beginning investors here:

http://boards.fool.com/investing-beginners-112963.aspx

There's also a 13 Steps to Retiring Foolishly here:

https://www.fool.com/retirement/index.aspx

Many Fools follow the unofficial 2% Rule, which says the transaction cost of a buy transaction should be no more than 2% of the value of that transaction. So if you pay $7 per trade with Scottrade, the minimum investment amount would be $350. If you pay $5 with Fidelity, the minimum amount would be $250. This isn't giving you a maximum - just telling you what your minimum should be.

Another unofficial rule many Fools follow is buying in thirds. Let's say you want to purchase about $1000 of a company. You would buy $350 now, then another $350 on a future dip in price, again the final $350 down the road when the price is again at a discount. This is a form of dollar cost averaging which can even out your cost basis. Not relevant if your investing through a tax-advantaged account, but important if you are watching your potential capital gains and losses.

One trap many fools fall into is thinking too much about how many shares they own and not enough about the value of those shares. They think they are somehow doing better buying a lot of shares of cheap stocks rather than just a few shares of more expensive companies. But regardless of whether you own 1000 shares at $1 per share, 100 shares at $10 per share, 10 shares at $100 per share or 1 share at $1000 per share, you still own $1000 of that company, and if the share price goes up 10%, you've gained $100 any way you split it.

If there's a company in which you would really like to invest but is too expensive for your available cash, just wait until you can save enough for a share.

If you are a member of one of the premium subscription services, I would start with the Starter Stocks that are Best Buy Nows, then the other Best Buy Nows then the other Starter Stocks, and finally, pick from the remaining pool of active recommendations. Your Analyst Team thinks all the companies are good long term, buy-and-hold opportunities, so the current market price isn't as important as how long you hold the position.

Another trap Fools try to avoid is investing emotionally in reaction to significant news or large price swings. Fools try to never make investing decisions out of fear or panic, or unfounded optimism and irrational hope. It's not that Fools embrace risk but that we try to manage it through research and rational decision making. It is said that fools rush in, but Fools move with purpose.

The motto of The Motley Fool is to Educate, Amuse and Enrich. You'll notice that enriching comes last and education comes first. And bridging the gap having amusement. So take advantage of the resources TMF has to offer to learn about investing as you build wealth for the future, and have fun during the process.

Fuskie
Who thinks the most important thing is for you to get started and to ask lots of questions, because that is how you learn and grow as an investor...

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Ticker Guide for The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Orbital ATK (OA), Titan International (TWI), Intuit (INTU), Time Warner (TWX), Global Payments (GPN)
Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (tinyurl.com/FuskieDisclosure)
Fool Code of Conduct: http://tinyurl.com/FoolCode
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