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Old 11-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Learning about investing?

Can anyone recommend some good books/sites to learn about the stock market and how to invest? Mainly the stock market but bonds and mutual funds and stuff like that too. I'm just trying to learn anything I can about investing so any tips or advice, even the most elementary would be appreciated as well. I'm 16 so try not to recommend anything that will have me reaching for the dictionary every other sentence.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Read, read, and read some more. It's valuable to read the crap as well to learn what the #@#@#@#@#@#@#@#@ters are talking about.

I don't have any particular sites to recommend but a google search for "investing for beginners" yielded some articles:

Investing for beginners (Yes, I mean you) - MarketWatch

Ignore the very last paragraph. Recommendations on stocks are to be taken only when you are experienced enough to know exactly WHAT those companies have done, are doing, and are planning to do. It's easy for people to say "Buy Best Buy now! They are about to turn things around!" You get trapped this way as an inexperienced investor by fancy words and tables and charts and past performance etc., taken by someone you don't know online. Worse, you get trapped like this by a friend or family member. They get you to invest and when it goes south, they lose money too. Oops! Everyone feels like crap.

What do I mean by know the stocks? If I suggest you buy Best Buy, Netflix, Google, and Apple, you have to know these companies and know their past performances and future prospects and you can assess the risks of investing yourself. You have no one to blame for failure and you feel awesome when you make some money by succeeding.

I don't mean you have to know exact numbers, I mean know intuitively how they are doing.

Best Buy is struggling, and will continue to struggle. You can make a bit of money timing them day by day but in the long run, they are a dying company with their current model.

Netflix? Depends on the day. They score a deal with a major studio, stock goes up. They lose the rights to a studio, stock goes down. Right now, they are fending off a takeover bid.

Google, Apple... mega popular, mega rich companies. What does that mean for the stock?
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's something cool. This is googles financial site and here is Netflix:
Netflix, Inc.: NASDAQ:NFLX quotes & news - Google Finance

See the search string Nasdaq:NFLX, that being the stock symbol for Netflix? Change the stock you are looking for to Ford. Ford is on the NYSE therefore NYSE:F

Ford Motor Company: NYSE:F quotes & news - Google Finance

In the chart, look at the history, change the time scale using zoom at the top of the chart. Under 5 days, see the drop today. See the letter there. Look for it in the sidebar under news titles and you will see that Ford is closing some plants in Europe. Is that the reason it dropped? Perhaps one of several.

One cool thing on googles site are the related companies under the chart. This leads you to see trends, which competitors are also hurting, which are doing the opposite of Ford, etc.

Back to Marketwatch:
Ford Motor Co., F Stock Quote - (NYSE) F, Ford Motor Co. Stock Price

You'll get different information presented differently on different sites. Try them all, and narrow down the ones that work for you, present commentary and articles that help you.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As a beginner, go slow, take your time, don't be extremely risky. Later, with experience, you can judge when something is a buy right now or needs more research (there is such a thing as waiting too long, and that's the trap for new investors). They are afraid of missing a fortune and they throw it at JUNKSTOCK (I made up a company name)...

Here's an example (and there are zillions of these things on the web), articles advising you to BUY THIS NOW!
I'm Buying This Stock Now! (ISRG)

Hover over each of the stocks to see charts for the last few months. What do they mean? What do the companies do? Who are their competitors?

Look, this guy runs a decent looking site so he is obviously doing okay and if he recommends this $10 stock and I have $1000 bucks sitting around, why not buy 100 shares? Because you don't know the guy, don't know his site, and don't know that company...
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1. Buy Apple before product launch. 2. Sell Apple after product launch. 3. Profit!

It's easy as 1-2-3! hahaha jk.

I'm actually anti-Apple. But seriously, I'm glad to see people do their homework before investing their money. Best of luck!
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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here are some books i'd recommend:

the visual investor
a zebra in lion country by ralph wanger
alchemy of finance by george soros
security analysis - graham and dodd

i'm sure there are many others out there as well
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nicnac - big thanks for the in-depth replies, really helps! Since I'm completely new to all of this, when do you think it would be safe to start investing? (Considering that I'll try to absorb as much info as I can) A few months, a year? Don't worry, I know I have a lot to learn before I start but I'm just curious.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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you can always make picks without actually buying them. track the price to see how you do. adjust your strategy accordingly before you actually put real money into it. i remember doing this way back in high school for an econ class.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Win4Vin View Post
1. Buy Apple before product launch. 2. Sell Apple after product launch. 3. Profit!
It's easy as 1-2-3! hahaha jk.
I'm actually anti-Apple. But seriously, I'm glad to see people do their homework before investing their money. Best of luck!
I'm guessing this will be a stupid question but why wouldn't that work?
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Win4Vin View Post
you can always make picks without actually buying them. track the price to see how you do. adjust your strategy accordingly before you actually put real money into it. i remember doing this way back in high school for an econ class.
Good idea, I'll have to try that. Do you know of any sites that give defintions for all the different terms? I don't know what those stats mean. (i.e. div/yield, p/e, and the other numbers listed with that)
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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sorry, i don't invest so i'm just as lost as you. i contribute to my 401k and let the professionals (mutual fund managers) do the stock picking for me. i do have friends who invest as a side-job. i can say it is truly white-collar gambling unless you really know what you're doing. some of my friends have won big and some have lost big. i'm just a computer programmer so i'll stick to what i know.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eposk23 View Post
Nicnac - big thanks for the in-depth replies, really helps! Since I'm completely new to all of this, when do you think it would be safe to start investing? (Considering that I'll try to absorb as much info as I can) A few months, a year? Don't worry, I know I have a lot to learn before I start but I'm just curious.
There is no set time. Some people will tell you to research for months and years before jumping in and that's just silly. Right now, read up on companies, products you like, and jump in on some low cost things. Buy 10 shares of a single stock after you have looked at the 5 day trend and found a sweet spot price (a price you think is good for you to enter).

As I said before, take small risks now but take them. Real learning in anything involves trial and error (you can't learn this just by studying words and not doing).

So you risk a hundred bucks here and there now, you win, you lose, it's valuable. With experience, you graduate to moving a thousand bucks here and there...
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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my friend invests in penny stocks, some weeks he makes a few hundred, other weeks he loses, bigtime.

it's a stupid game, IMO.

i know nothing of investing. but we have annual 401k meetings with our plan advisors.

the first meeting was 11 months before the stock market crash of 2008?... he asked me if i would have him invest my money for me or invest and allocate myself. i prefer to do everything on my own, so he signed me up, logged me in and asked me to allocate my funds to the percentages and areas of investing.

i went with 80% bonds, 10% high risk stock funds, and 10% low risk stock funds.
he said, trying to get me to invest more in higher risk stocks, that i am too old to be conservative with my money. i simply answered then i prefer the slow and steady over the get rich quick idea, it was safer, and i have 30-40 more working years to add to my retirement. so no need to rush and jump in high risk, hoping to make 10-15% more than in the bond and securities would make.

right after the crash, the advisor to the 401k group came in to "comfort" the employees that lost 40-65% of their portfolios.

then it was my turn, and he simply said, i can see you don't need my help.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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my friend invests in penny stocks, some weeks he makes a few hundred, other weeks he loses, bigtime.

it's a stupid game, IMO.

i know nothing of investing. but we have annual 401k meetings with our plan advisors.

the first meeting was 11 months before the stock market crash of 2008?... he asked me if i would have him invest my money for me or invest and allocate myself. i prefer to do everything on my own, so he signed me up, logged me in and asked me to allocate my funds to the percentages and areas of investing.

i went with 80% bonds, 10% high risk stock funds, and 10% low risk stock funds.
he said, trying to get me to invest more in higher risk stocks, that i am too old to be conservative with my money. i simply answered then i prefer the slow and steady over the get rich quick idea, it was safer, and i have 30-40 more working years to add to my retirement. so no need to rush and jump in high risk, hoping to make 10-15% more than in the bond and securities would make.

right after the crash, the advisor to the 401k group came in to "comfort" the employees that lost 40-65% of their portfolios.

then it was my turn, and he simply said, i can see you don't need my help.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat!?!?!?!?!?
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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my friend invests in penny stocks, some weeks he makes a few hundred, other weeks he loses, bigtime.

it's a stupid game, IMO.
Well said. Yes, to the OP. The most common scam for inexperienced investors to fall for are the penny stocks because it's easy to think "I can buy a ton of shares because they are only 20c each!" Yes, you can. And when that stock drops to 15c and then 10... and then 5... or, it drops to 18c and stays there forever...

Or, even better. You buy it at 20c. It goes UP. What do you do? You get greedy (beyond what your experience should tell you to do). You buy another massive bunch. The stock dies then and you're out twice! Or worse, it goes up a bit more... "There's no end in sight! I can retire on this stock!". So, you put in a third amount, the largest yet. And then bam! The stock drops to below what it was when you first bought it and never comes back.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWBUS1978 View Post
my friend invests in penny stocks, some weeks he makes a few hundred, other weeks he loses, bigtime.

it's a stupid game, IMO.

i know nothing of investing. but we have annual 401k meetings with our plan advisors.

the first meeting was 11 months before the stock market crash of 2008?... he asked me if i would have him invest my money for me or invest and allocate myself. i prefer to do everything on my own, so he signed me up, logged me in and asked me to allocate my funds to the percentages and areas of investing.

i went with 80% bonds, 10% high risk stock funds, and 10% low risk stock funds.
he said, trying to get me to invest more in higher risk stocks, that i am too old to be conservative with my money. i simply answered then i prefer the slow and steady over the get rich quick idea, it was safer, and i have 30-40 more working years to add to my retirement. so no need to rush and jump in high risk, hoping to make 10-15% more than in the bond and securities would make.

right after the crash, the advisor to the 401k group came in to "comfort" the employees that lost 40-65% of their portfolios.

then it was my turn, and he simply said, i can see you don't need my help.
That advisor sounds like a scam. I think you stated in another thread that you are 29? Too old? The pitch should have been more like...

"you're 29, young, take a risk. If you lose, you still have years to make it back"

Thats the pitch I would have expected. Its always good to a balance. More importantly, its your money and you make the decision on what you want to do with it. Whether that means taking someones advice or taking your own, its still your decision at the end of the day.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Speaking of balance, the OP could at some point realize he wants to put some money away for long term security (Apple, Google are examples right now), and 'play' with smaller amounts day to day (or week or month).

This way, you can have the security of having larger amounts put away with successful companies with history behind them, while you can make bits of smaller money here and there playing on hunches and rumors and personal preferences.

Personally I have large amounts in Apple (which is taking a beating this past week) and I play much smaller amounts in recurring stocks. Again, just my personal things but I look at Tivo, ATVI. I have made some money on Facebook but it's purely out of boredom (took a chance, it paid off). I might look at Facebook again in a while.

Best Buy... LOL. I slammed it at the top of this thread but I made some nice money on a timely tip (thanks Tyler!). It's possible to make money on troubled stocks in the short term but the overall trend prevents something like Best Buy from being a long term investment.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I play penny, options, shorts, etc.
I make quick profit in a short amnt of time but I have lost a lot in a short amnt of time.
I buy risky stocks, I short and option normal stocks.

Last purchase TAGG at .09 for 400k sell at .32 ( I could have milked it but take your profit and run and would have sold sooner but was on a damn plane).
These are penny stocks.. and SOMEONE IS ALWAYS A BAG HOLDER SO MAKE SURE ITS NOT YOU.
SNPK/SNDY were great for the run up and the short down.
Options are always solid and a great way to keep your feet wet and make a nice chunk with a small chunk at risk. I would option Apple before a new phone launch. I will not OTB apple for a ipad mini release b/c it will be flat. Apple has gone up so much there needs to be a drop. MNST the monster corp had a bad piece of news about its drinks and took a hit so it was a good short.
NFLX-netflix has been a blood bath until recent when an inestor bought 10% which gave some hope so shorts covered and look at the PP now.
The key is to be up every day and watching the day to day PP ups and downs.

Shorts are only good if your in the know or have info and have enough to cover your ass.
I shorted FB at 36.82 and 35.77 for 1000 shares at each pp ( all I could get) and I covered at the low 20's and made a nice profit.
The only people you follow is APS (TAGG, SANDY, SNPK) and I short the crap out of their stocks when they start to dive and buy before the run.
Otherwise I would check out Ihub and look up some members who chart the crap out of stocks.. Learn about the RSI, trip moving avgs, MacD, Parabolic sars, etc.
Good stuff my man!

GL
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Buying individual stocks should be the last investment strategy for a new investor. Once you have a nice nest egg then go for individual longs.

#1 - Don't take investing advice
#2 - See #1
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Buying individual stocks should be the last investment strategy for a new investor. Once you have a nice nest egg then go for individual longs.

#1 - Don't take investing advice
#2 - See #1
To learn you have to listen to advice. Investing TIPS however are a different thing.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:02 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Buying individual stocks should be the last investment strategy for a new investor. Once you have a nice nest egg then go for individual longs.

#1 - Don't take investing advice
#2 - See #1
It depends on the gains you want.
The only longs I play are SLV and GLD but I lvg my plays and only need 30% $ on hand to buy those shares. 10k$ = I control 30k$ in stock.
The downside is that you can be forced to cover your lvg which IMVHO is why you see such dramatic drops in the pps for GLD/SLV.
I prefer to take my risk day to day over a few stocks I can watch that are "hot" double my money + and get out. If I happen to think it will continue on ill cash my original investment out and let the free shares ride.

These are non traditional stocks and highly risky unless your not greedy.
You can turn 10k into 20k in 1 week during the winter even more.
Same goes for options and shorts.
I would suggest getting a free trade account and play with fake money at first to help you understand what all of the terms mean and where your buys and sells should be placed. Buy the dip sell the rip.

Do your own DD though and don't listen to anyone who has a "TIP" for you w/o doing your own DD.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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It depends on the gains you want.
The only longs I play are SLV and GLD but I lvg my plays and only need 30% $ on hand to buy those shares. 10k$ = I control 30k$ in stock.
The downside is that you can be forced to cover your lvg which IMVHO is why you see such dramatic drops in the pps for GLD/SLV.
I prefer to take my risk day to day over a few stocks I can watch that are "hot" double my money + and get out. If I happen to think it will continue on ill cash my original investment out and let the free shares ride.

These are non traditional stocks and highly risky unless your not greedy.
You can turn 10k into 20k in 1 week during the winter even more.
Same goes for options and shorts.
I would suggest getting a free trade account and play with fake money at first to help you understand what all of the terms mean and where your buys and sells should be placed. Buy the dip sell the rip.

Do your own DD though and don't listen to anyone who has a "TIP" for you w/o doing your own DD.
The risks for playing on margin are crazy. I wouldnt suggest this unless you have the bank to back it up. I remember letters going out on margin calls when they dot com bubble burst!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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thor you're speaking another language to me. Where can I learn what all these terms mean?
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The risks for playing on margin are crazy. I wouldnt suggest this unless you have the bank to back it up. I remember letters going out on margin calls when they dot com bubble burst!!
Oh do I know it!
I had 120k in GLD and they rasied my margin to 70% from 30% ??????????
So I had to sell as did most holders which caused the price to drop.


eposk23

I would suggest getting a free account at TD or any other broker and going through a few tutorial vids to get the start of it. Check out youtube for terms etc.
You will need an L2 to become a serious trader as well as real time streaming quotes for NYSE, Nasdaq, and OTC: PINK/QX/QB.
These all have tiers and standards as to their ranking on the markets.
Anything OTC is RISKY. I thik the only real company to do anything out of that set was True Religion jeans a long while back.
TD Ameritrade offers all of this for free as well as some tutorial material that will help you out a ton more then I can over the intraweb
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