Hey guys I'm 19 and I just decided to start looking at investing. I'm an economics major so i figured it's about time I start learning about everything. SO I'm asking for a little help. What should i be looking in individual stocks. How do i find out when the dividend dates are and could some one please explain some of the abbreviations OT and EXD are some I've come across and any other terms I need to know.
A few things if I had it 'to do over' again... I have a business degree and took a large number of accounting courses and finance courses, so that's a good start.
First I'd read up on personal finance. Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" is a good book to grab, and not expensive in paperback.
The reason I say this is because it's more important to have your mind put together on how you are going to interact with your future wealth than it is to plan that wealth. This book is not only for beginners, but also for experts as it delves into how insurance, mortgages, credit scores and investing fits together. This "lays the foundation" in a big way. It will help when you build relationships where you share financial obligations (wife/husband) and is much more important to understand than building wealth because good personal finance understanding allows you to keep that wealth.
Next, you need to see about a broker. I have no real opinion here.
Third you need to decide what you can contribute to an IRA or 401k. Even if your job does not offer a retirement account, grab a brokerage and create an IRA. I would avoid local banks here. Use a discount broker (Scottrade or eTrade etc). Set up auto-contributions from checking and make sure you already have a well-established emergency fund (read book above).
Once you know how much you can afford to contribute, you'll need an investing plan. For long term, I do like REITs but I'd advise you to buy only good companies and don't sell them. Spread out to three REITs at the beginning and build them up. Then expand to numbers four and five.
Listen to conference calls. At first these will raise more questions than they will answer. Be curious. Read. Then read some more. It can be online, it can be books. When you see a term you do not know, don't be ashamed that you do not know it - instead go after it and figure it out.
Financial success is two plans: personal finance and investing. You'll need both.
Humility, curiosity and a large dose of diligence will get you far.
i am getting ready to put a buy order in here. i always go to the message board to see what the stock holders have to say. you my friend, have come to the right place. you are being given good sound advice. the only thing i would change is get a roth not a traditional ira. you do not have yo pay taxes on it. its after tax money you put in it. ameritrade is my favorite broker. $500 gets you started at scottrade. apple does not work well at scottrade. good luck
try cvrr i think you will like it takes a lot of thought ya can look at the ipo ya can see what icahn the guy that basically created the company to benefit him and us. the way it is very interesting. this one and ya can make some money . then ya can look at options on it too. this is a new deal so there is nt a lot of #$%$ to wade thru. goodluck
OT = Other Topic .... something other than what the board was intended for
EXD = Ex-dividend date .... the day after the final day to own the stock to receive the current dividend [ex-dividend means "without the dividend"]