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    MCpoodle's Avatar
    MCpoodle Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 30, 2016, 05:29 AM
    Simplest way to get started investing in stocks?
    So I've never invested before, after a few searches I get recommended (given my preferences) to a discount brokerage site like Scottrade. Scottrade makes me nervous, the whole idea of putting my social security number into my home computer makes me nervous, and I've never done it before. Is Scottrade safe? And is it safe to put my social security number into my computer? Also is there a chain or somewhere I could go to invest in stocks face to face with a discount broker?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #2

    Mar 30, 2016, 06:10 AM
    A brick and mortar broker can't possibly be 'discount.'
    There are two kinds of safety online: that of the company you are dealing with, and your personal attentiveness and knowledge.
    I can say 'all the well known online brokers have very good encryption,' but that statement is only good for a day. We never know when someone will come up with a new way to break their code. It's a calculated risk. I take it.
    I pay very close attention to personal safety online, and that mainly means long, diverse passwords, and never ever clicking on a dubious link, or email, or app. But even then, if someone wants to break in to my computer and take it over, they can. I operate on the notion that they aren't interested in me particularly, and that such hijacks are currently not done on a mass scale.

    As for your SSN and credit card info, these days most if not all companies have software that makes the info inaccessible to employees, except for the last 4 digits.

    I'd suggest investing in a fund first, and dabble in stocks second. All the big brokers have several offerings. The fund or funds will make moving money around easier too. You need to study how funds work anyway - FEES are one big consideration, and TYPE (index, etc) is another. The website will have all sorts of help, and you can even fill out a profile about your status, wishes, etc., and the computer will make suggestions. Study recent history of the funds too. Spend at least several hours on this.
    MCpoodle's Avatar
    MCpoodle Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Mar 30, 2016, 07:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    A brick and mortar broker can't possibly be 'discount.'
    There are two kinds of safety online: that of the company you are dealing with, and your personal attentiveness and knowledge.
    I can say 'all the well known online brokers have very good encryption,' but that statement is only good for a day. We never know when someone will come up with a new way to break their code. It's a calculated risk. I take it.
    I pay very close attention to personal safety online, and that mainly means long, diverse passwords, and never ever clicking on a dubious link, or email, or app. But even then, if someone wants to break in to my computer and take it over, they can. I operate on the notion that they aren't interested in me particularly, and that such hijacks are currently not done on a mass scale.

    As for your SSN and credit card info, these days most if not all companies have software that makes the info inaccessible to employees, except for the last 4 digits.

    I'd suggest investing in a fund first, and dabble in stocks second. All the big brokers have several offerings. The fund or funds will make moving money around easier too. You need to study how funds work anyway - FEES are one big consideration, and TYPE (index, etc) is another. The website will have all sorts of help, and you can even fill out a profile about your status, wishes, etc., and the computer will make suggestions. Study recent history of the funds too. Spend at least several hours on this.
    To be honest I know very little of how funds work, how FEES work and about TYPE... I just see that Chipotle is very low right now (460 a share) and I have confidence that it'll be restored to it's former glory (750 a share) so I'd like to invest with them.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #4

    Mar 30, 2016, 07:50 AM
    Investing in a single stock carries the highest risk. Just be aware with the potential upside.. there is always the possible downside as well.

    Consider of the big names that once flew high that now are out of business.

    Index funds spread out that risk across a number of stocks and depending on which one you get... would likely result in a far higher chance of coming out ahead.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #5

    Mar 30, 2016, 08:57 AM
    So buy some Chipotle. Analysts are both ways on the company, but all seem to see a slowish road to recovery.
    It depends on how much you can afford to lose, and whether or not you are in it for the long haul.
    Don't put all your beans in one burrito.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #6

    Mar 30, 2016, 09:38 AM
    With the limited knowledge you admit to having, S&P index fund through Vanguard or T Rowe Price , Vanguard Wellington or TRP Equity Income would be a good place to start. I would never invest in a stand alone stock, particularly for starters, particularly Chipotle, particularly at it's current price point. Look at it's P/E.

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