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Posted: 1/14/2006 1:39:17 PM EDT
So I am thinking of turning some of my return into investments . I figure I can get away with about $500 or so to start with . I know it isn't much , but I have to start some where . I don't think a planner will touch an amount that small , so I need to do it my self . Which online trader should I use ? Which ones should I avoid ?
Any tips ?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 2:00:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 2:26:37 PM EDT by clement]
I can give you one tip- with $500 there are a lot of online trading services that will charge you unless you are activly trading (1 trade every quarter or something). A lot of them (like e-trade (who I'm with) require (IIRC) you to have at least $5000 for that fee to be waived. MAKE SURE you read through the agreement of each.

You might just be better off buying stock through a broker and getting the certificate. When I got my first stock (when I was VERY young), I bought 10 shares of wrigleys at $20 (post split- really 5 shares at 40)- only $200. What is nice about that company is that they have a dividend reinvestment plan (DRiP)- and every quarter I get my statement and there is a little form I can fill out and send in a check to buy more stock directly - skipping the broker. I would suggest going that route with the money you are going to invest (don't necissarily have to get wrigleys (WWY) there are other companies that have DRiP plans)

ETA- There are also many stocks with Direct Purchase Plans (DPP) where you can purchase stock without already having been an investor like DRiP. Here is a link of a whole bunch of DPP/DRiP companies www.wall-street.com/directlist.html

Many of theese companies will tell you how you can directly invest in their company under the 'investor relations' portion of the website. For instance here is Procter & Gambles investor relations site www.pg.com/investors/sectionmain.jhtml and just click 'How to Invest in P&G' and it makes it quite easy to do so.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 2:39:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 3:10:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By otar:
www.scottrade.com/

Do they give you a certificate of what you own ?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 3:11:24 PM EDT
Stocks these days are held in "street name." It is almost compeltely obsolete to get actual stock certificates, nor is it necessary. Your investments are safe, don't worry.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:10:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kodiak-AK:

Originally Posted By otar:
www.scottrade.com/

Do they give you a certificate of what you own ?



They are legit, send statements, dont worry about that. Also the only online broker with a minimum account balance of $500 I know of.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:18:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kodiak-AK:

Originally Posted By otar:
www.scottrade.com/

Do they give you a certificate of what you own ?



Who does that anymore?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:21:38 PM EDT
Great attitude with your thoughts on saving some cash. However, with $500 go with a mutual fund. If you really feel you must own stock of one company, I would put the whole wad into Altria (MO) and let it ride.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 5:58:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Great attitude with your thoughts on saving some cash. However, with $500 go with a mutual fund. If you really feel you must own stock of one company, I would put the whole wad into Altria (MO) and let it ride.

On no the mutual fund is for the IRA . I am diversifying a little .
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 6:04:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Great attitude with your thoughts on saving some cash. However, with $500 go with a mutual fund. If you really feel you must own stock of one company, I would put the whole wad into Altria (MO) and let it ride.



You could do a lot worse than Scottrade + Altria.

I have been 100% satisfied with Scottrade. And tobacco stocks. Thier min is $500 and they don't charge quarterly fees or maintaince or anything like that*



* they didn't when I started my account and have never charged me but there is always the chance they changed something.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 6:07:25 PM EDT
Go MO!


Originally Posted By Kodiak-AK:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Great attitude with your thoughts on saving some cash. However, with $500 go with a mutual fund. If you really feel you must own stock of one company, I would put the whole wad into Altria (MO) and let it ride.

On no the mutual fund is for the IRA . I am diversifying a little .

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 6:44:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By otar:
www.scottrade.com/



+1
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 6:48:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 6:56:41 PM EDT by StrykerDawn]
I have accounts with Scottrade and Firstrade - I actually prefer Firstrade - They have electronic deposits/withdrawls (Scottrade just got hacked a few months ago, and stopped elec transfers); and they allow for automatic re-investments. No minimum and no maitenance fees, $6.95 a trade and a lot of free/no fee mutual funds. Their website is not as user friendly as Scottrade, but I like 'em...Just my $.02...
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