I doubt there there has ever been a time where there are more people out there talking about money. I guess that includes me. I get at least half a dozen emails a day from investment sites that are just dying to tell me how to get the most from my money. They have the best incites, the best analysis’s, a history of only picking stocks that go up 200% to 500%. They will let me in on all this amazing news, if I just sign up for $50.00 month, or $350.00 a year or what ever.
What are most of their catch lines?? “Make money even when stocks go down!!!”. We will teach you how. (Short Selling) “Grama Lee turned $5000.00 into $350,000.00 using out method in 6 months.” We can show you how. (This is usually about Trading Options). “We picked this stock before it when up 500%!!” Sign up for our stock alerts. This one gave an email every time a stock had a MACD cross over. I had to get a new email address because I could not get them to stop. The ones that are the are the worst, and most dangerous, are the ones that ask you send money so they can invest it for you.
I watched a story on CTV W5 on Sunday about just such a site. They were passing themselves off as a training site. Except they got you to send them money after your training, so you could do your trading. The account balances they showed on the site were fake. If you tried to take money out of your account, there was no money there. They even had real people call you to see how you were doing and to encourage you to invest more. The gentleman that the story was about, lost all of his family’s savings and retirement money. The story gets even worse. It is one of the saddest stories I have ever seen.
That is why I am asking you the question; Who is looking after your money??? I doubt very much there is anyone in the world that cares more about your money than YOU. Yet we think nothing of handing over our money to a stranger we meet at the mall kiosk, at the bank, or at a Mutual Fund company, or some online service. I’ll never forget my first investment experience. I had called up Investors Group and they sent over a Financial Advisor. I let that person into my home, and after an hour of listening to stuff I didn’t really understand, I handed him a cheque for $2500.00. Two years later I closed out my account for $1900.00. It took another several years and a really good advisor (Also from Investors Group), for me to understand that I was responsible for my money.
It was at a meeting where I was complaining that my portfolio had not grown as much as I would have liked, that the advisor asked me, “Why are you not doing your own investing??” The simple answer was that I had no idea where to start. It was just too easy to give him a cheque and complain, or compliment, him depending on how the investments fared.
I am pretty sure that that description fits the majority of people. Why didn’t I handle my own investments? Because honestly, I thought that investing was way too complicated, and I hate math. What do I think today?? I think I was not giving myself enough credit, and there is way less math involved than I thought. This could apply to you as well. there is a Canadian bank that has the slogan “Your Richer than you think.” When it comes to doing your own investing the slogan should be, “Your SMARTER than you think.”
When it comes to the Math part, there really is no MATH. There is some arithmetic. You do need to know how to add and subtract, multiply and divide, or at least know how to make a calculator do it for you. This site even offers spread sheets that do all the arithmetic for you.
You can startvery simply, and with no real cost. It is free to go to a Canadian bank and set up an Online TFSA trading account. Doing this, gives you access to all the research tools, and charts, and investment screeners that they supply to help you research your investments. You can virtually trade stocks and see how you do. DO NOT USE REAL MONEY FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR!!! The problem with the “Practice accounts” is that you do not get access to research tools, and they usually give you way too much money to play with. Investing with $100,000.00 is way different than investing with $1,000.00. When you practice, only use the amount that you would really have to invest.
Picking up some investing seminars, or webinars, can be a big confidence builder as well. If you have a Financial Advisor, they can be an excellent source of help as well. The Advisor that got me started, still managed my investments with that company. But he also helped me with the investments I managed myself. We eventually had a yearly contest to see who could grow the investments the most. After the first few years, I seldom lost. It may sound silly, but if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Still really think you should let someone else manage your money for you?? Could I at least get you to learn enough about investing to really understand what your advisor is doing and recommending?? You can always email me and ask questions as well. The only thing I will recommend however, is knowledge. So!!! Who is looking after your money? Should it be you!