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Old 03-07-2018, 09:04 AM
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Default Paid Services for Investing

I'm basically a novice when it comes to investing. I know a bit from what my grandfather taught me, but there are a lot of new services and tools you can use for the stock market.

Do any of you use a paid service for picking stocks? What service do you use? How has your experience been?

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Old 03-07-2018, 09:50 AM
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a) I don't pick stocks.
b) I can't think of any reason I would ever pay someone to help me with investment selections.
c) If you are a "novice", the last thing you ever want to be doing is picking stocks.

Figure out your investment goals.
Decide on an asset allocation that suits your goals and your risk tolerance.
Start investing in a mix of low cost index mutual funds that matches that allocation.
Done. Simple and free.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:52 PM
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I don't use paid services like those who advertise via Motley Fools. I just do my own thing but do listen to a lot of podcast to see what companies they recommend for free.

Just make sure you are willing to deal with the risk from individual stock picking and can stomach some massive negative days.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Singuy View Post
I just do my own thing but do listen to a lot of podcast to see what companies they recommend for free.
What podcasts do you listen to? I've been trying to find some good ones for personal finance/investing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by amastewa93 View Post
What podcasts do you listen to? I've been trying to find some good ones for personal finance/investing.
What sort of information are you looking for?

I have to say that I have yet to find a finance question I couldn't get a good answer to either right here at this site or with a simple Google search.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:51 AM
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I wouldn't fool around with "learning on the job" with your investments. That's your life's savings you're screwing around with. If you want to "learn on the job", repair your fence, tear apart your car engine, or repaint the utility room.

If you want average returns, buy the averages: mutual funds/ETFs that closely following the S&P 500 index.

If you want above average returns, seek out a local professional investor in your locale. Interview him/her, look at their track record, talk to some clients.

There are absolutely wealth managers out there who can knock the socks off of the averages. I know several here in my town that do splendid. One fellow I know will take your asset (let's say $100,000), and divide it among several investments: Natural resources (say part of a drilling operation), real estate (part of a RE buying group), some hand-picked stocks, viatical settlements (life insurance advances for terminally ill), and other neat things. He's on the ball and not screwing around with some index fund that he plugs your money into and then just lets it sit there.

I look at it this way: If my kid was diagnosed with cancer, I am going to find the best cancer specialist ANYWHERE to treat it. The "average" oncologist isn't going to work for me. If my front yard tree is sick and dying, I am going to call a certified Arborologist to treat it. If I want to design a new home, I will hire an architect to do it. If I want good investment returns and don't have my own way, I'M GOING TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT!

It amazes me that people will do all these things, but when it comes to their LIFE'S SAVINGS, they are perfectly content to just pick something out of a brochure or try their hand at dabbling in investments that they know zero about. Simply incredible.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:07 PM
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Are you off your meds again? You were doing so well for a while. Troll like tendencies are strong with this one.
Please, no personal attacks. If things heat up, we will need to lock the thread for a cooling off period.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:15 PM
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If you are open to learning more about personal finance and investing on your own, a good basic book for novices is "The Millionaire Teacher" by Andrew Hallum. He also posts articles on the AssetBuilder site.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by amastewa93 View Post
I'm basically a novice when it comes to investing. I know a bit from what my grandfather taught me, but there are a lot of new services and tools you can use for the stock market.

Do any of you use a paid service for picking stocks? What service do you use? How has your experience been?
Leave your money to invest in a bank account until you know more about what you are doing. I would suggest reading up on some plain talk books on finances, get a subscription to a financial magazine such as Money Magazine, as they keep the language they are using pretty readable. Read this forum.

Understand most of all that how you invest is dependent on what you want the money for. Retirement? Kids college? New house? Emergency fund? Etc. Understand that saving for one of those things doesn't mean that you can save for the other.

If you tell us more about yourself and your financial goals, we should be able to give you some ideas in directions to head. I also wouldn't pay anyone to 'pick stocks for me'. I know what I want, and I find them myself.

As you are learning, you might want to pick 5-10 companies and follow them daily/weekly/monthly, see how they grow, see what kinds of dividends they pay, and start getting used to reading the charts. I have a program that came with my computer that lets me track stocks as well as multiple investing articles and new articles about why a stock did bad or good.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by amastewa93 View Post
What podcasts do you listen to? I've been trying to find some good ones for personal finance/investing.
Just search motley fools podcast. I like Rule breakers investing, industry focus, and money by motley fools.

Rule breakers had some pretty good picks. SHOP was one of their recommendations, I bought in at 60, now it's 145 after just one year. Mercadolibre was another good one but unfortunately I screwed that one up by selling way too early. They also recommend Match group in which I got in at 16 and now it's 47.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
What sort of information are you looking for?

I have to say that I have yet to find a finance question I couldn't get a good answer to either right here at this site or with a simple Google search.
And yet, people still can have legitimate reasons for wanting to use an adviser.

The same thing could be said about doing taxes. Some people hire a tax professional, even though they could do their taxes themselves. And their reasons for doing so may be perfectly legitimate.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:24 AM
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What sort of information are you looking for?

I have to say that I have yet to find a finance question I couldn't get a good answer to either right here at this site or with a simple Google search.
I'm sure you love patients who come in self-diagnosed and medicated from info they found with a simple Google search.

Who needs a real doctor? All of the answers are on WebMD.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:52 PM
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I'm sure you love patients who come in self-diagnosed and medicated from info they found with a simple Google search.
I get your point, but those are two completely different things. Sure, you can research your symptoms or your condition online, but you still need to actually go see a licensed medical provider to get any testing or treatment. You can't do it on your own. That's not the case with financial stuff.

I'm old enough to remember when buying stock was a big deal. You had to physically go to what we would now call a full service broker like Merrill Lynch, meet with a real person, establish an account, and then buy stock, typically in "even" lots of multiples of 100 shares. For that transaction, you would pay a commission of $50 or more. Today, I can buy as little as one share of stock with an app on my phone and pay a commission of just a few dollars. Or I can buy ETFs or mutual funds with no commission at all. No human contact involved in the process.

I have no issue with someone using a paid advisor. I will say I have yet to speak to anyone who does use one who has been able to tell me anything that advisor has done for them that they couldn't have done just as well on their own for free.

I've got nothing against using professionals. I have a CPA. I've used numerous attorneys over the years. I just haven't ever seen the need to pay someone else to manage my investments.
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* Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:48 PM
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There have been a lot of great resources and ideas shared here, folks! I really appreciate it... Does anyone have any input on this portion of my inquiry?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amastewa93 View Post
Do any of you use a paid service for picking stocks? What service do you use? How has your experience been?
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
There have been a lot of great resources and ideas shared here, folks! I really appreciate it... Does anyone have any input on this portion of my inquiry?


Quote:
Originally Posted by amastewa93 View Post
Do any of you use a paid service for picking stocks? What service do you use? How has your experience been?
I never have used a service. I could not use one if I wanted to as I don't have enough enough in my investment accounts to buy their services. For me it would be a choice of paying someone to invest for me, but their fee goobles up any proposed investment they would suggest. So I bypassed a stock picker and picked them myself.

Perhaps you have the funds to do both, but until you have a good foundation of knowlege, you will be like a sheep going to the slaughter house. I know some laws have changed in this regard, but if a guy was dishonest and taking his clients for a ride before this new law, they will still be doing it. Until you know the vocabulary of the stock market and ways to make purchases, then you will be at there mercy. There are so many good resources on line for learning and many regular print books to read that you can get a firm foundation. I would suggest books written for and geared twoards women as they are simple to understand, compared to many books written and geared towards men which can talk about all sorts of complicated ways to invest. Not saying they are all bad, but most written towards women don't try for anything fancy. Until you know the basics, you don't want a stock picker that will take you down the wrong path into risky investments. If you want risky investments, wait until you know the basics. Or if you want really risky, put up a poster with various investments on it and throw darts ate it, and anything a dart lands on, that is what you invest in. Who knows you might do really good.

I know not the answer you are looking for, but that is my advice.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:01 PM
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I would suggest books written for and geared twoards women as they are simple to understand, compared to many books written and geared towards men which can talk about all sorts of complicated ways to invest.
This is a really interesting point and something I've noticed as well! Thank you for the advice... Do you have any specific books you'd recommend?
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:11 AM
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I would suggest books written for and geared towards women as they are simple to understand, compared to many books written and geared towards men which can talk about all sorts of complicated ways to invest.
Oh my gosh if a man had written that, the board would be in nuclear meltdown right now.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:08 AM
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Oh my gosh if a man had written that, the board would be in nuclear meltdown right now.
Lol - Only for some. I think having different educational tools is important because men and women just don't think (or learn) in the same way. That's an entirely different discussion though... haha.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:03 AM
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I have to go with TexasHusker on this one. LOL

The answer to your question is -No, I don't use any paid service for picking stocks. I know this is not the answer you are looking for.... because it seems so simple--just pick winning stocks and no losers......

Of course, if it was so simple then Warren Buffet wouldn't have won his bet.

I started investing about 32 years ago. I invested in individual blue chip stocks. My strategy was buy and hold DRIP stock over a wide variety of sectors using dollar cost averaging.

A couple of things that happened that were unintended consequences: 1. Over time I had quite a bit of accounting to do to track the basis. 2. I had quite a bit of paperwork with the statements (supporting evidence for the basis in case I ever got audited). Now-a-days it is a little simpler because the company is supposed to tell you what the basis is (but, you still have to track it to make sure they don't make a mistake).

I do think the advice Bogleheads give is pretty sound for the stock portion of a portfolio. Invest in the total stock market (or TSM plus international) and keep any ownership in individual stock below 10% of the value of your portfolio. Especially if you are just starting out.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:08 AM
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A couple of things that happened that were unintended consequences: 1. Over time I had quite a bit of accounting to do to track the basis. 2. I had quite a bit of paperwork with the statements (supporting evidence for the basis in case I ever got audited). .
Another option is to confine your stock investing to your Roth where you don't have to worry about that. You won't be taxed on gains. Of course, that also means you don't get to deduct losses.
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