Log On and Profit

A beginner's guide to online investing

consulting firm in Hawthorne, California, averages three trades a month. Her online account is worth $25,000 and represents less than 1% of her total portfolio and has an annual growth rate of 14%, but she has good and bad days as a new online investor.

“My online trades represent play money and are directed toward my personal interest in e-commerce, technology and Africa,” she says. For her, drawbacks include the time it takes to monitor her account with consistent frequency, the inability to analyze data in a timely manner in order to make decisions (areas where Fowler still relies on her professional advisor) and the numerous e-mail and Internet scams designed to entice consumers to invest online.

Online investing can yield fast trades and quick cash, but it can also lead to an even quicker dip in your investment portfolio. So make sound choices before clicking that buy or sell button.

Who’s who on the road to eBrokerage

 

Trade online

Online, have broker, not trading

Online, no broker

Not online, have broker

Not online no broker

Percent male

70%

56%

56%

51%

44%

Percent female

30%

44%

44%

49%

56%

Mean net worth

$144,177

$144,179

$125,453

$216,476

$61,328

Mean income

$59,629

$57,889

$47,319

$47,856

$25,141

Mean age

39

43

38

52

49

Number of trades per year

7.86

3.8

N/A

N/A

N/A

Completed 4 years of college

44%

39%

29%

36%

14%

Use PC at work

78%

67%

62%

43%

28%

Source: Forrester Research Inc.
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