Thank you for your thoughts on this.
First, every article that I site as evidence for my thoughts below have been read completely and entirely (not just skimmed).
Choosing the Right Broker:
After reading about this topic online, I have come to the conclusion that Scottrade would be my choice for Discount Broker. Recently, discount firms now offer research that is on par with those offered at the traditional brokerage firms. Etrade, TD Ameritrade, and Scottrade represent some of the best discount brokers. I would also like to do research on one called Zecco.
No broker offers the same set of tools. Nor do they offer the same amount of research and perks. The choice, at some level, is going to be one of preference. You basically want a discount broker that will
– give an analysis of your portfolio
– view the balance of your account for the past 6 months
– check your realized and unrealized gains
– view dividend records for past few years
Some of these discount brokers offer amazing research tools that you can’t get anywhere else. Some firms have promises to execute your trade in 60 seconds or less. If they don’t meet that time-limit you won’t be charged a commission fee.
Debating When to Invest
Money in a savings account or certificate of deposit barely earns enough interest to keep up with inflation. I wouldn’t rely on just a savings account for earning money.
I’m wondering if investing small amounts will even pay off. This is a particular idea that I don’t really want to believe. But if the evidence proves that investing small amounts is not valuable, then I’d say you’re wasting time. My personal belief is that even small investments are worth it.
I’ll let you in on a little secret about investing: It’s not nearly as hard as you think. However the fact that most people do it badly might lead a reasonable person to believe the opposite.
Read more: Part 1: Thoughts on Investing