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My motives are selfish for this post. I don't want "Big Brother" to step in and regulate the way I invest/trade stocks because some folks lost their life savings in the "market" trying to become wealthy.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed more posts of the type that say "what should I do", "should I buy", "should I sell" or I have all this money I want to put in the stock market and I need some tips so that I will make a "gazillion" dollars like the people that bought AMZN at $1.29.

For that reason I am posting this note to all the invest/trading boards that I frequent.

Some years back I decided that my full service broker was making more net profit from my investments than I was, so I decided to handle my money myself. I would like to pass along to the folks that are starting on their road to financial independence some of the things I have learned and am still learning.

Lets start with the basics. Are you an investor or a trader?

This will make a difference as you read the different message boards so that you might understand the perspective of your fellow board posters as to wether they are LTB&H (long term buy and hold) generally they are the category known as investors.

LT (long term) ST (short term) and DT (day trade) generally know as traders.

LTH&B folks will buy a stock and hold it through the rough times and good times (usually not "blindly", most will review and adjust their portfolios annually).

LT folks will buy and sell a stock usually within the time frame of 6 to 12 months. This may change as the individual sees movement in fundamentals or momentum.

ST folks usually buy and sell within a window of 2 days to 6 months, and mostly they look for momentum and ebb and flow of volume. Many tend to be value traders looking for stocks that have fallen out of favor and can be bought at a good price.

DTers, or day traders are the wild and wooly bunch, they live up to their name and will do the trade within a day. Unless of course they get caught in a gap or just miss an exit point. If that happens they may become ST, LT, or even LTB&H.

It has been my experience that most folks are a combination LTB&H, LT & ST. And many Dters are a combination of all of the above.

Now all this being said/written is just to make it clear that everyone that comes to these boards has a different agenda and perspective of what these boards represent to them. A couple of good posts that define this are

I have learned that it is not smart to put all your eggs in one basket so to speak.
Nor is it advisable, if you are new to this, to invest all your money at one time. If you are new try paper trading and tracking stocks that you have researched, DD (due diligence), yourself.

Here are some links that have been helpful to me
I know, your eyes are starting to glaze over but trust me if you follow through with your DD you WILL become a good invest/trader.

By and large Fool members are a helpful bunch and, sometime with a little teasing (or flaming), you will get pointed in the right direction. Learn to trust your instincts as they develop, don't fall in love with your stocks, and learn to let go, (good post about that).

If you haven't yet read the 13 steps do so.

And by all means enjoy.


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