I grew up watching my dad play the Stock Market and I’ll never forget the day he made $10,000 while he was taking a shower. He called my mom at her office and she told him to get back in that shower. NOW! My dad made his money with a pencil, a telephone and a folded up section of the newspaper – and maybe a prayer or two. But these days you have a lot more to work with. These days, you can make money online investing in the stock market.
Investing in the Stock Market can be a risky business and if you have no experience it’s important that you choose a reliable site. Here are some things to look for:
- Personal counselors: Working online is great if you know what you’re doing but you’re putting some money on the line here. Choose a site that not only has real people you can talk to, but look for sites that actually assign someone to your account. My parents have their own account manager at Charles Schwab and it’s been the same guy for years. He knows their needs and he’s able to advise them accordingly.
- Research information: A lot of investment firms send out monthly stock sheets or newsletters that include all the statistics about the various stocks they’re trading. All of this information should also be available online but these newsletters also include personal recommendations from qualified advisors within the firm.
- Videos and Webinars: You may know the ins-and-outs of the Stock Market but each online site operates differently. Look for sites that provide plenty of training materials to show you how to use their service to its full potential. And it’s a given – make sure there’s a real person you can contact if you don’t understand something.
- Diversity: You probably already have some idea of what you’d like to invest in – mutual funds, stocks, etc. And you probably have some idea of what you’d like to achieve. Look for sites that have a lot of diversity in their investment options so you can maximize your returns.
- Training period: Some sites will let you join for a trial period and invest using virtual money. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about investing – and about that particular site – without risking any of your real money.
- Legal-ese: Will they help you with tax advice? Will they help you set up a retirement account? Are they familiar with the different types of 401 accounts and IRAs? If they hesitate or can’t answer your questions – move on! This is basic knowledge that everyone in the industry should have. Red flags should go up in a heartbeat if you can’t get quick answers.
Once you find a couple of online stock investment sites that you’re interested in, do some more research. Google their names and see what other investors are saying about them. Check the BBB. You’re going to have to deposit money with these guys before you can get started so you need to make sure it’s going to be safe.
Plenty of people make money online investing in the Stock Market. But plenty of people also lose their shirts. There are plenty of reputable investment sites on the Internet. Do your research and choose carefully and you’ll do just fine.