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Question: Hello. I've decided I want to start, and I'm thinking of using an online instead of visiting a firm. Is there anything I need to know before I start?
Karen K., Palo Alto, Calif.
But don't worry, I'll guide you through the process with these four tips.
First, have a way toyour online investment account.
This is simple but often overlooked. Most online brokers want you to be able to transfer money orders to your account, but it may come with fees and slow down your plans, so be aware of that.electronically to your online investment account from a checking account. Many also allow you to mail in checks, cashier's checks or
Next, know what you'retoward.
Third, know your online's minimums and fees.
When you know what kind of investment account is right for you, you'll be better prepared to shop for the best online How Can I Start With Just $100 A Month?). Online firms like TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, Sharebuilder, Scottrade and others typically let you buy or sell , , or other investments for $10 per trade or less. And if you want to dollar cost average and invest automatically on a monthly or weekly , Sharebuilder charges as little as $4 per trade (as we mention in
Not all are the same, so get to know each online's "fee schedule" or "pricing" pages.
Also pay attention to the account minimums, which tell you how much cash you'll need to open an account in the first place (If you're opening a retirement account, most firms typically waive this requirement).
Finally (and most importantly), know exactly what you want to invest in.
Just as you shouldn't go to the grocery store on an empty stomach without a shopping list, you don't want invest online without a definite plan of what you want to buy. It's not a bad idea to know the basics of investing before you dive in. If you don't have time to research individual companies for eight hours a day, you may consider investing in mutual or ETFs that allow you to spread your investment dollars among several companies.
If you enjoy the challenge of The 8 Most Important Facts To Know About A Company Before You Invest to avoid mistakes many investors make when choosing stocks.picking, you may want to read
With cash, some knowledge and a good investment plan under your belt, you should be ready to responsibly invest online in as little as 20 minutes.