Are You Ready To Do It Yourself?

Discipline and self-study can help you profit from online trading

with a few keystrokes, but losing your head could mean losing your precious capital. “Brokers try to give you all kinds of tools to encourage fast trading,” Domash warns. “That’s the way they make their commissions.”

BetterInvesting’s O’Hara says good investors are decisive. Beginners may be tempted to size up their skills by using free investing game sites, but using real money has a way of focusing the mind, he says. “Pick an amount you are willing to put into the market every month, as little as $25 or $50,” O’Hara says. “Build your confidence and get into a learning cycle.”

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE: TOP DISCOUNT BROKERS

Discount Broker Website Typical Commission** Account Minimum No. of Branches Comment
Charles Schwab www.schwab.com $12.95 $1,000 270 Professionals can evaluate your portfolio and make recommendations, one on one, for free
Fidelity www.fidelity.com $19.
95
$2,500 114 Strong research along with tools that can, for example, gauge hypothetical impact of a buy or sell on an overall portfolio
Muriel Siebert www.siebert net.com $14.95 none 7 Nearly 3,000 mutual funds, few hidden fees
Scottrade www.scot trade.com $7.00 $500 326 Low, flat commisssions
Sharebuilder www.share builder.com $4.00* none 0 Offers the ability to invest in small increments
TD Ameritrade www.tdameri trade.com $9.99 none 100 Independent research from Standard & Poor’s and Morningstar

*Through automatic investing program
**Standard price for an online stock trade

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