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So I decided to start tucking some cash away. I have ING account but I found myself taking money out after 4 days that it was deposited. I still have the account but decided to open something different. So I went with Sharebuilder.com No minimums, linked to your bank account, put any amount you want....and invest in some stocks.

I started to watch Mad Money like a mad man lol....Bought Jim's book... pretty good stuff...For those of you who want to start investing small and just play around in a market, I think sharebuilder is a great idea since you don't need 2500 bucks to open up an account.

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Perhaps the most important kernel of knowledge that my Tax Law professor ever said:

“Rich people are not wage earners. They get their money from dividends and interest.”

In other words, rich people don’t work for a living. Yeah, there are exceptions like movie stars, rock stars, or professional athletes, etc. But most rich people don’t work because it is their investments that make the money for them.

I have always wanted to do what you are doing. In the times I seriously thought about it, life events took precedent, like getting married, building a house, having the first baby, building a bigger house, etc.

In all reality, I wish I could have started investing when I was single with no responsibilities. I have known plenty of people who have done that when they were like 19 or 22. They didn’t blow all the money whey they were younger. They just socked it away in investments. Today, like ten or fifteen years later, they have quite a portfolio.

What kind of stocks are you looking into?

When you do make a purchase, please give us an update, especially how your experience with ShareBuilder turns out.

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Yeah, I figured if I start contributing 150/month and just buy some stocks, it will grow nice in years.

I am buying mostly energy, oil and some other stocks. Trying to stay diversified. I bought some Sirius radio since they were cheap, made some money and sold it. Bought Sears Holdings (SHLD) since they look pretty good. United Healthcare Networks (UHN) is another one I have,

Here is my watch list:


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Creditmess- I do the same thing with my funds except I use Scottrade. There are no fees except the $7 buy/sell execution price. After BK filing last year, I realized that I had to force myself to stash away cash and learn to live well BELOW my income to get ahead. My biweekly paycheck is split in half- 50% is untouchable and gets direct deposited into an ING account. Then monthly I transfer 100% (except $5) of these ING funds into my scottrade account. Lately I've been making gains riding oil up and down over the past 6 months. I rode VLO up, sold close to the top, sold it short, then covered in the low 60s. I still hold it today at $81.

More importantly than the gains, it forces me to budget tightly and invest. I look forward to depositing that check into scottrade every month so I can see my account grow! And I don't have instant access to this money- it takes 5 days for sold shares to settle and then an additional 3 days for me to receive the money.

Things I would say to keep in mind is to make sure you keep good records should you make frequent trades. It will save you much effort when you fill out your Schedule D come tax time. Also, it took me about 6 months to realize that there will be daily fluctuations in stock price. Do not panic and make a bad trade! I learned a few lessons late last year.

Sharebuilder is a bit different, I know. As far as I know, Sharebuilder is set up to automatically withdrawal weekly or monthly from your checking and buy certain equities. You have less control but there's less risk due to cost averaging. Fundamentally its similar in that you put your money to work and that's a good thing! I recommend it for anyone with the means to do so.

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If I may add to this post...

Another good website to investigate is...firstrade.com

*no minum to open

*about $6 per transaction (buy and sell)

*they have a tutorial, and I am very certain that sharebuilder.com does too.

the process of opening the account is rather easy, follow the online steps. after you link your bank account to the new account, it takes about 3 business day to have it all set up. then you can start investing.

my best advice is... to do the homework! do the research! it took me about 2 1/2 months till i felt comfortable enough to do it. But believe me it was worth it.

I. you are in the right path, few things you need along the way


b)education (it is simpler than it sounds and looks, believe me)

c) you dont need $500 or $1000, you can start with $20 by buying fractions of stock (or companies)

Sharebuilder.com will automatically transfer the money to your account. (I believe you can change it)

Firstrade.com you do it manually (again you can set this up to be done auto)

II. Investing in stocks is not for every one. if you're the kind of person that likes to play it safe and get nervous easily, I dont recomend doing it.

Perhaps putting money on...


b)Treasury Bond

c)Mutual Fund

d)Corporated Bond

e)saving bonds

Word of Caution... This is money that is not "liquid" meaning you have to leave it there for the duration of the term. if you pull it out you will have to pay a penalty, plus taxes.

here are some websites I have study for a while...






harrisdirect has a good tutorial, just search for it. I can not remember how to get to it. but it lets you practice buying and selling stock, very nice.

RESEARCH if you are serious about investing that's all I got to say Eduacate yourself. Good luck, lets know how you do

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Basically, you can do with sharebuilder same thing you can do with Scottstrade or etrade...Sharebuilder is little more expensive if you want to make market trades (which are for suckas anyways! 8-) )

Basically, what I do is, if I know the stock is attractive to buy, I place limit order and buy it. In the meantime, the money that gets deposited in my account twice a month from my paycheck gets put into pre-set (which I set up myself) stocks. So, this way, when stock is expensive you buy less, if stock is cheap you buy more.

As previous poster said, it takes a while if you need money so it's impractical, not to mention you will pay more taxes if you sell it within a year.

Go and check it out.. All you need is 10 bucks and checking account. It's awesome. You can logon every minute to check out your stocks if you buy any. It's nice to see it grow. Some days it goes down, some days its up. It's still cool to think that you are investing in something rather than blow the cash on something dumb.

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Not a bad way, but (and this is just my opinion) I feel if someone wants to play the market, stock trading is for suckers. Options trading is the only way to go. cboe.com and I became reaaaal close back when I decided to start investing and I needed to educate myself.

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I use www.foliofn.com, which lets you play Peter Lynch and buy a basket of stocks. You can buy fractional shares of up to 50 stocks, trade as often as you'd like, with a small monthly fee. Or use single trades for under $10. The minimum is very low. I liked that better than scottrade or sharebuilder as you could get greater diversification.

I do my research through www.schwab.com, where I have some $$ tucked away, and www.marketedge.com Generally, I like dividend-paying stocks that have little debt, low P/Sales, make money and have recent ( 13 wk and 26 wk) strength against the S&P500 and their industry ( 10%+)

My income group, which yields more than 2%, is up 5% for the year. PTR, TS, ZNT, UGI, IDU, VIVO, PVR, TRST, STO AND sph are my best performers. If I had to buy 3 stocks right now, I would go with PTR, TRST and CTR, all showing good growth with solid dividends.

Once you find some good research tools and an investment style you like, try www.marketocracy.com. You can play fund manager with an imaginary portfolio of 100K, which you can load up with your favorites. They send you u pdates on your performance on a weekly basis. This will give you some confidence in your abilities before you invest hard money.

Xan, I agree, options can make you some serious bread. So can shorting. You need steel ones to do either, in my opinion. Or a seat on an exchange.

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There are advantages and disadvantages to options trading. Yes, the rewards are very great when you hit on a good stock, because you are buying the "rights" to own the stock at a very minimal price and the rewards are exponetially multiplied as the stock gets higher from the strike price. The investor really needs to know what they are doing, because the flip side is quite the opposite, you can lose your a$$ in a minute.

Maybe after a nest egg is built up, an investor may want to set aside some of their portfolio for this type of investing. (With money from previous winners). As a matter of fact, I would encourage it for asset allocation.

Credit Mess,

Congratulations, I too hold Sears Holdings, as well as prviosly investing in KMart both after the initial BK, and when the new stock came out as an IPO. I have been in and out of this company at least a dozen times in the past three years. Truly amazing, that a company (KMT) can file Chapter 7, writing off all their stores that they no longer want, announce that it was not done closing stores, but have these stores as assets, so that when they do sell, they are cash to the bottom line. Freaking Genius.

Now, here is what I have always done, you have 21 stocks listed below that you are watching...... Take a three ring binder (not a notebook, you want to be able to add pages, or delete pages as you see fit) and set up one sheet for each company. Subscribe to, or find a retailer and get a copy of Investors Business Daily, or Wall Street Journal every day (I have always used IBD). Record the stock price of each company, each day on one line (make your writing small enough to get five days of trading on the line). Also in the margin, record any earnings updates, PE ratio, stock splits, relative strength (IBD), and earnings Strength (IBD). This will give you a picture which you can reference for buy and sell opprtunities. You will begin to see "support lines" that the big boys use to get in and get out of stocks. Short term gains of 20% or greater can be made, if the timing is right, and you can look up at the end of the year and the stock never went anywhere, but you may reap a twenty percent gain six times or more. Remember also, that you do not always need to be invested. Pick and choose, get in and get out as you see fit.

At the beginning of each year I cull my "Watch List", and update as necessary. This means I keep the stocks from the previous year which have become favorites, and then review the entire market, stock by stock, for new opprtunties.

My criteria is as follows:

1) Stock must have a PE ratio. This means the company must be profitable.

2) The stock must be no more than ten percent from it's 52 week high.

3) The relative strength and the earnings strength must be above 80. (the higher the better)

4) Unless it is a favorite (which only you can decide), then the stock should be less than $20.00 per share.

5) There must be enough of a price difference in the prior year to be able to have a 40% gain from the prior year. (you want a stock that moves) Stocks that have doubled from the previous 52 week low, and are within 10% of the yearly high are excellent opprtunities.

I currently track about 350 companies this way, and it takes about one hour per day to update the information. 21 stocks should take no more than 15 minutes. You can always go online and do more research.

P.S. I use ScottTrade, Waterhouse, and still have a very old account with Q&R.

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Oh I forgot, the only thing I don't like about Sharebuilder is that you can't short stocks because you can't have margin account with Sharebuilder. That is the bad part :( but for me, I am not at the point where I know everything, so just playing around and investing small without any of that fancy schmancy techniques does for me now.

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Xan and crew, I agree with the options trading, but they are certainly not for beginners. Options expire worthless and there is a lot to know about pairings, in-the-money, etc. Its like I always read from you all on this site regarding attempting credit repair and filing suits- read, read, read and become educated before doing anything or results may not be as you hoped for.

I think as far as this thread pertains to CIC, the point is that folks who are investing whether it be Sharebuilder or Scottrade, long or short, generally have a mentality for success. They are learning to save, put their money to work, and hopefully see junk debt (ie. credit cards) in lost opportunity terms as well as real costs. Many people can't seem to do this, including myself a few short years ago (have you seen the current per capita savings rate in US?).

Great thread!

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I agree, great topic.

I'm 18, brand new to all of this and have no idea what I'm doing. I've heard you have to keep close track on your earnings due to taxes. Can someone please elaborate on this, what you have to do and what minimum there is before you have to declare them on your taxes (or whatever it's called, told you I'm new to this).

I'm very excited about sharebuilder after being somewhat disappointed with shawb, ameritrade etc's minimums. I'm not looking to invest a ton while I'm just starting out.


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I am not so certain about Kramer........ For instance, four days ago, on his show, he is saying stay clear of SHLD (Sears Holdings), two days later, he is on Regis, saying buy, buy, buy, on SHLD. The dude must snort a little somethin, somethin, to get that pumped up. Still I watch, though.

BTW, Symbol Technologies, may be a good move, because the UPC (scanner codes on products), is getting an overhaul by adding a digit to all products. I cannot emphasize enough, that you still need to do your own research,before investing on somebody's advice. (Mine included)

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