I know this is a terrible time when it comes to the stock market but I am wanting to educate myself on this subject. Also what is the minimum amount of money a person needs to open a account with etrade or some other online broker and does anyone have any advice on good books or sites to read where a person could educate themselves.
Books I recommend: Peter Lynch "One UP on Wall Street", "Beating the Street", and possibly "Learn to Earn"--tho' it's been years since I've read the last one, so can't say for sure.
More advanced, for the future: "Common Stocks" Philip Fisher "Intelligent Investor" Benjamin Graham (the version with the preface by Warren Buffett)
I'd read anything that Warren Buffett writes/says, including his writings on berkshirehathaway dot com (including the "Owners Manual" and the letters to shareholders for the last several decades).
I'd stay away from etrade; I can personally vouch for scottrade ($500 min to open) and schwab ($1k min to open).
A couple of general points: expect a hard inquiry upon opening-- don't listen if they say otherwise.
I recommend keeping as little cash in the account as possible, the interest paid is laughable. Better to keep it in a high-yield saving account linked to your checking, then deposit a check in your brokerage account when you are ready to make a trade. With Schwab, for instance, when you deposit a check in a branch, the funds are immediately available for trading (tho' there is a hold if you want to withdraw this within two weeks or so). Incidentally, the CSRs at schwab are phenomenal. For scottrade, the customer service is handled by your local branch-- mine is fantastic.
Do not put in "market order"-- rather put in a "limit order" even if for the current market price-- market orders are too easily... umm.. let's say "manipulated".
I would urge extra caution picking individual stocks; I'm a big fan of index funds including index-ETFs. Investment timeframes should be long and proper diversification is extremely valuable.
I'd be very dubious of the plethora of so-called investment "experts" --even (?especially) of the prominent ones from prominent firms. Personal finance/investment magazines of which I'm a big fan: Kiplingers, Money, Fortune.
Best of luck... er fortune!!
ETA: just to pass along the following to which I always refer-- from Warren Buttett tho' perhaps originally from Ben Graham in the 30s:
"Buy stocks with a margin of safety. A stock is part of a business. The market is there to serve you, not instruct you."
Also from Buffett: "Be feaful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful."
Message Edited by JayToo on 10-31-2008 02:53 PM
Recent Ficos 815+ I do not do business with crooked companies. crap1, United Airlines, Home Depot, Volvo will never make a dime from me.