View Full Version : Investing Money

Matt Campbell
01-20-2008, 8:46 PM
I'm looking to invest/play with a little money (<$1,000). What have ye to say about Etrade and/or TD Ameritrade?

Mike Marcade
01-20-2008, 8:53 PM
I have been using Etrade for a long time and it works very well for me. Also there savings pays 5.05%. :)

Randy Cohen
01-20-2008, 9:10 PM
i use both and like them. etrade has more flexability because its also a bank.

Cliff Rohrabacher
01-20-2008, 9:19 PM
You need a minimum investment for most of those houses. You really can't do much with less than Five or Ten grand. An ING or HSBC account might be the better route for now.

I really think everyone should read two books on investing before they start:
1.) Jason Kelly’s little book “Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” is an entirely worthy read because it’ll quickly bring you up to speed on much of the jargon and odd quirky things about securities and offer you a brief introduction to the most successful schools of investing. It’s a little book and an easy read.

2.) Benjamin Graham’s book “The Intelligent Investor.” It may well be the single most respected work on the market.

Plain and simple if a person doesn't don't know how to do the fundamentals than she shouldn't be trying to pick stocks and the reason is the most obvious: She doesn't know how. It's not hard to learn: Read Ben Graham.

Then start building your future. Like Graham, I suggest you look at all the best of the American Companies and do the fundamentals in ‘em look at the numbers and learn a little about the business models and the market the sell to. Wouldn’t it be nice to land a few ten baggers? Don’t look for it. Slow and steady is the path to meaningful personal wealth. You may (or not) hit a ten bagger that way but, you won’t hit a slew of losers.

As an aside: Jim Cramer’s books are so worthless and disappointing that I used mine for starting fires in my fireplace. Do not purchase anything written by Cramer. They are worse than the movie Death Wish III was.

There is a supremely good worry and work free alternative to investing (yah worry and work free):

Open an ING or HSBC (or whoever) account. They are high interest accounts yielding as much as 5+ percent which is pretty damn good~!!

Put $100.00 a week in the account like it was the single most important in the world to do(and it is). If you haven’t got $100.00 then figure out what you have and put that away and do it every damn week.

Increase this sum by a fixed percent every year. I suggest 5% but if you can do more then do it.

So the end of the first year you will increase the sum you put away to $105.00 - Etc.

At the end of 20 years you will have well over a million dollars more like $ one-million three-hundred thousand.

Start now and make it your first priority for the rest of your life and you will retire well.

Mike Marcade
01-20-2008, 9:56 PM
For opening a brokerage account at Etrade the minimum initial deposit is $1000 for a cash account and $2000 for a margin account.

john frank
01-20-2008, 10:02 PM
Cliff; Thats excellent advice. Unfortunately the vast majority of people have the "home run" attitude. Seldom do they achieve their goals with that philosophy though. If they do manage a good profit now and then, the law of averages sees to it that they give it all back and then some. As you said, "slow and easy" is the way to go.

Jim Becker
01-20-2008, 10:20 PM
E*Trade has done fine by me.

Matt Campbell
01-20-2008, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. I edited my original post to reflect that I meant less than $1,000.

I wonder which one has the least fees.

Steven Wilson
01-21-2008, 12:54 AM
Matt, you really shouldn't use invest and play in the same sentance. From your post it either sounds like;

A) Matt has a bunch of money invested (401K, pension, some mutual funds) and has $1000 that he wants to put into the market short term to see how great of an investment guru he is (tongue in cheek). If he loses the $1000 no big deal.


B) Matt has $1000 in a savings that he wants to invest and losing it would be a big deal.

There is a BIG difference in what to recommend between the two. If you're well invested for your financial goals and want to play in the market with some excess cash then any of the cheap brokerages will work well for you. If you have over $100K with a firm (T Rowe, Fidelity, etc) then you might find that you qualify for certain investor services. Often that includes very low trade commisions.

On the other hand if you have $1000 that you want to earn a better return but can't tolerate much risk then devices like an ING savings account aren't bad at all. At $1000 there are a lot of vehicals that are closed to you.

Cliff Rohrabacher
01-21-2008, 11:08 AM
As an aside the market is tumbling. It'll fall further maybe. Tuesday and wednesday may trend upward as the money starts to re enter things after the 3 day holiday but don't look for the bottom just yet.

My trick to finding the bottom of a slide is to ignore myself pretending I can't hear myself think. I stick my fingers in my ears and shout "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA" whenever I try to tell myself that the bottom has occurred and then, I watch the whales. The whales have more knowledge, experience, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of streaming data services plus unbelievable software along with teams of brilliant people. The only challenge with Whales is to pick the sort you prefer. What type of investor are you? There's a whale or three out there for you no matter your preferences.

Meanwhile take the time to learn.

Greg Funk
01-21-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm looking to invest/play with a little money (<$1,000).
The next 3-6 mos are going to be a risky time to play. You may be better off putting the money in something safe until the market setlles down a little. 'Play' money usually means you are looking to make some relatively short term gains. Even great companies and stocks are sinking along with the market which makes picking winners for the short term very difficult.

Al Wasser
01-21-2008, 12:12 PM
Etrade stock has fallen sharply over the last few months and is now under $3. Some pundits say it will be taken over/bought out in the near future. That may or may not matter in your thinking. For me I would see what outfits have local offices and pay them a visit. Find out what services they provide. I then have a place where I can go look at someone and get an answer when I have a problem.

Jim Becker
01-21-2008, 12:42 PM
The next 3-6 mos are going to be a risky time to play. You may be better off putting the money in something safe until the market setlles down a little.

Agree. The high interest that ING and E*Trade pay on plain old savings is very attractive right now...

Danny Heisner
01-22-2008, 1:33 AM
I have both TD and Scottrade and they both work just fine. What I always recommend is that you put money in mutual funds with really good long term track records (10yrs or more) with a gain of >12+% Sure, they will dip from time to time, but overall, they will continue to grow over the long term. I put my money in and leave it alone. Some people can't handle the up and down of the stock market. Actually, the dives it's taken over the last few days make it a great time to buy...... unless it continues to dive. You might want to wait until it has quit dropping for a week or two and then buy. Six months might even be better.

If you want really great advice on your finances, check out Dave Ramsey at www.daveramsey.com (http://www.daveramsey.com). He has excellent materials on getting out of debt, staying out of debt, and getting rich slowly (which is the way you should do it).

My two cents.


Earl Reid
01-22-2008, 7:55 AM
I think the best way to start investing with a small amount of money is to buy directly from the companies.
I used this system to get my kids and Grand kids started.
Its been several yrs ago and I don't recall the name of organization I used. It cost about $10 plus the cost of the first stock and the you can buy as you can afford to.
There are a lot of companies that you can buy stocks from.
Good luck.

Walt Nicholson
01-22-2008, 9:32 AM
All of our papers today are starting to use the "R" word in just about every article. If you only believe a tenth of what you read, a coffee can buried in the back yard might be the safest place to put your extra cash for a while until things shake out. Even whales get beached from time to time. If you really, really want to do something with the $1,000, the odds in Vegas are about the same as Wall Street right now and a whole lot more fun.;)

Steven Wilson
01-22-2008, 9:45 AM
Agree. The high interest that ING and E*Trade pay on plain old savings is very attractive right now...
On the other hand, if you're an investor and your outlook is long term (say 5-15 years) then now is a good time to research and in a couple of months will be a good time to invest. I have a number of good companies on my radar screen who's stock price I would like to see beaten down a bit so that I can invest some excess cash (currently sitting in ING). A crash can be a good thing.

David G Baker
01-22-2008, 11:13 AM
If you are a want to be market player now is the time to keep a serious eye on high-end stocks while everyone else is leaving the market might just be the best time to get some real bargains. Take a look at the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio to check for some long term performers.
I no longer play the stock market, too old to take the risks so it is mutual funds all the way for me and even those are very diversified.

Cliff Rohrabacher
01-22-2008, 1:06 PM
I think the best way to start investing with a small amount of money is to buy directly from the companies.

It's not as liquid as some might want that way. You take the stock in your name when you buy direct and to move it you need a broker.
Holding in the street is easier faster and usually cheaper if you are using an online trading house

However, barrier to trading that holding in a personal name may prevent kids from trading it away.