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I’m looking to play the stock market online. I have been looking at something like E*Trade. If any one is on E*Trade what do you think of it, or is there something better online like E*Trade. I’m not going to put lots of money on this until I learn more. Maybe I will look at only one or two companies for now. Any help you can give me to get started would be great.
 

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I am the liquor
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798 Posts
I use RBC Action Direct. $29 trades and it's easy to get an account that allows for options trading and short selling. It has a good interface with real-time quotes, no service fees. It's free to set up and they pay you a bit of interest on your cash balance (which can cover trading fees, depending on your balance and how much you trade). Get a $US account too if you want to buy and sell US stocks frequently, this saves you on exchange fees.

However, I'm no stock broker and don't work for RBC, they have just worked well for me in the past, so shop around.
 

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Yeah, I also use Action Direct. TD Waterhouse has better research IMO, but RBC-AD has a better interface. I have a Bloomberg terminal at work, so I just use that for research (which is obviously much better).

But as it was stated above, if you're totally just starting out (and don't have an educational background in finance or any work experience in the industry) then it would probably be a good idea to take a course - to at least get the basics figured out. It's not gonna make you a millionaire, but could prevent you from losing your shirt because you'll at least have an idea of what you're looking at when you start doing your research on companies you like.

As for E-trade, sorry, I'm not familiar with them (other than seeing their ads on TV) so I can't really help you there.
 

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ive been looking at getting into the stock market as well...just didnt know where to start but thanks for the link canuck
 

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A friend of mine was using (or playing with) E-trade for a while. It offered some interesting features (ie: auto-sell / auto-buy stocks at certain levels) but he made it very clear: despite the appearance of trading being 'easy', some solid education is a necessity. Otherwise you'll spend all day at it and not make a dime - or lose your shirt.
 

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It's not so much which avenue you choose for trading, it's what you decide to buy and sell (and even more importantly, when you decide to buy and sell).

One of my profs in university said "a good company is not necessarily a good investment" and at the time I was a little puzzled. Now having worked in the industry for a number of years, I fully understand. There are a lot of ideas floating around out there, some of which are right and others are wrong. Those ideas will affect supply/demand for different stocks which will in turn affect their valuations. Have an open mind, think critically, and don't accept something to be true just because someone else (or "everyone") says it is. Keep in mind in the late 90s, "everyone" thought tech stocks could go up forever and there was no way they could go down.
 

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JamieJames said:
....It's not so much which avenue you choose for trading, it's what you decide to buy and sell... Keep in mind in the late 90s, "everyone" thought tech stocks could go up forever and there was no way they could go down....
:confused Tech stocks went down? I hadn't checked for a while... :eek
 

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Bohica
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I use Etrade. I like it as its simple and easy to use and gives me the features I need, plus its user friendly.

Be warned though, it can be addictive! Just sign up and give it a try. The commisions are ok. Once you figure out your needs, you may want to re-evaluate to see if your getting the best bang for your bux. Also be ready for the emotional rollercoaster of day trading! fun, fun, fun ...
 

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SkipTkt said:
It offered some interesting features (ie: auto-sell / auto-buy stocks at certain levels)
That's just a limit order, every online broker would have that feature.
 

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i like td waterhouse personally as harps said great info as well,
i can say this though i took economics at university as others have and it helps to a certain degree

if i was terrible at the stock market i know i wouldnt be in brazil right now

go oil sand stocks !!

***** hint hint **** uts and cll on the tsx
 

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Anyone who just blindly invests in a security of a message board really needs help.

As for oil and gas, EVERYONE is drilling their asses off. The rig count has NEVER been this high. But at the end of the day, oil and gas prices are WAY too high based on the fundamentals. The stories (and I emphasize plural because the story kept changing when it was evident the original story was bunk) that drove prices this high are bunk. Operating costs, drilling costs etc are all going through the roof and even if oil prices stay this high earnings are likely to disappoint and this sector is overvalued. Throw in lower commodity costs and these guys are tanking. The whole lot of them.

As for gold, over the long term gold is inflation. Buying a commodity such as gold at a 25 year or so peak opens you up to much more downside risk than upside. Gold prices over time have been very volatile and cyclical, it's a wonder that if someone bought gold 25 years ago and help it today, that person has made NO MONEY! Buying it at the bottom and selling it at the top can make someone money. We're not at a bottom nor anywhere near a bottom. If we're not at a top, we're bloody well close to it. People love gold because it's had a phenomonal run over the last 5 years. Those people forget that gold tanked over the previous 5 years. Over that 10 year period, gold investors got SQUAT.

Especially in investing, the old addage "those who do not know history are destined to repeat it" certainly holds true. The energy sector and gold sector certainly have the markings of the tech bubble in the 90s and early 2000 and we all know what happened then. :eek
 

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Born to sweep.
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Been using E*trade for years, its just fine as a trading platform. And now their fees are the cheapest of all in Canada I think.

As far as WHAT to buy and sell... thats another story!
 
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