Your Questions About Investing Tips For Beginners

Paul asks…

Interesting in taking up photography? Any tips?

I recently went through a really rough time with school, job searching and a breakup. I want to start the new year by taking up something new like photography. I want to invest in a nice DSLR camera and learn photography. I am a beginner and know nothing about photography really. What basic DLSR camera can you recommend for a beginner like me? And how can I learn more about how to take artistic photos, and programs I can use to play with the finished results? Thanks!!!

John answers:

Nikon D3000

Michael asks…

How can I go about investing $100?

I’m 15 and only have $100 in the bank that I can invest. I have been researching a little by little about stocks over the past 2-3 years. I’d still obviously call my self a “beginner”.

I’m down to my last $100 ( i originally had $300 but my family did a transaction and we got scammed $200), and now that it’s just been sitting there barely gaining any interest, I don’t care if I lose money while investing. I don’t want to just blow it off.

How should I go about investing $100? I make about $40/ month but might get a summer job and my dad maybe able to pitch in like $50 sometime soon.

My dad has been trading for about 10 years ( not professionally) so I can get some tips from him. We just talked about penny stocks and using his account that’s already set up to trade.

Any suggestions on how to start investing with only $100? Just buying penny stocks (After research) and praying for the best? Or is there more of a strategic way to do this sort of thing?
I’m mostly doing this for saving up. I know I’m young so $100 right now I can risk.

My family has been hit hard by the economy , I’ve got 1 brother in University, I’ll be in Uni in 3 years plus my parents have some debt to pay off , so If I can at least help myself it would mean something/
I’m mostly doing this for saving up. I know I’m young so $100 right now I can risk.

My family has been hit hard by the economy , I’ve got 1 brother in University, I’ll be in Uni in 3 years plus my parents have some debt to pay off , so If I can at least help myself it would mean something/
If I didn’t want to *directly* invest $100 into the stock market, how are some ways to go about it?

For example people would say you can invest that money into your kids, or into your home (renovations) etc, what can I 15 year old invest in other than his own education and leisure time? I want to invest something that will bring cash not pleasure .

John answers:

Invest your one hundred dollars in one of these two ways:
1. Buy a good basic book on investing, better yet go to the library and look in the business section for a book. Or
2. Buy a mop for your shower . . . Given your user name, this might be the best bet.

Seriously, $100 isn’t enough to invest — wait until you have more money. In the meantime, educate yourself and learn about trading.

Daniel asks…

Investing for a 16 year old?

Hi guys,
I’m currently a junior in high school and I’m leaning towards business and economics for university. And since I like profit and money I’m interested in investing in stocks and buying shares. I would really appreciate it if you guys could tell me where I can start out as a beginner and open a demo account. And I would also like to know where I could research stock prices(website, magazine,etc)

I would just like tips on getting started. I’m not here to try to make easy money, but to learn.

Thanks in advance

John answers:

You need to be 18 to open a trading account, so i recommend getting a subscription to the WS journal, and making a mock portfolio on yahoo finance. You can read about markets and learn a lot, and see how you do with some trading. By the time your eighteen you’ll be very knowledgeable and have a good basis for investing some cash.

Mark asks…

Mutual Funds for beginners?

Hello, I will be short and to the point.

I am 21
9500.00 in the bank (2500/Money Market .10APY and 7000.00/Checking @ .10APY)
Senior in college,
Work at a bank as a Banker (going to continue my career with this bank)
New investors.

I would like some tips/info/opinions about mutual funds.
What should I know?
Should I do it?
Looking for long and short term investments.
How much, if any, should I invest?


John answers:

I pretty much agree with the information in the first answer you got, but that only addresses one part of your question (information about what kinds of funds to look for).

I’m not a financial adviser and don’t know enough about your personal situation to give you specific advice even if I were, but I can tell you some basic things that I’ve heard over the years I’ve been investing that might be helpful to you as you make your decision.

There seems to be nearly universal agreement that it is a good idea to keep at least 6 months worth of living expenses in something that’s relatively stable in price and that you can access quickly and easily. I think that would include savings, checking, and money market accounts. They don’t pay much interest these days, but there’s no risk of them dropping in value like there is with stocks, bonds, gold, etc. I think the logic behind this idea of 6 months living expenses (or some say 12 months) is that something unexpected could happen that causes you to lose your job. If that happens, you’ll need money to live on until you can find another job. If you have everything invested in stocks, bonds, etc., it’s possible that they’ll be down in value at the time you need the money which would force you to “sell low” which is not desirable. So keeping that much money in something safe and stable is pretty common advice.

For anything beyond that basic “rainy day fund”, my personal opinion that stocks are the best investment over long periods of time. They bounce around a lot month to month and even year to year, but the long term average return is very good. If I were 21, I would definitely be investing in stocks with any additional money I had that I didn’t think I’d need in the short-term.

I would probably start with a broad-based index mutual fund or ETF (something that tracks the S&P 500, MidCap 400, or Russell 2000). Many mutual fund companies have those and there are a number of ETFs like SPY, MDY, IWM. I think all of those are pretty well diversified across industry groups, though they are heavily US-based.

As the other answer said, I’d look for funds with no “load” (sales charge) and low expense ratios.

Nancy asks…

How can I make a lot of money in stocks?

Hi Guys,

I just signed up on scottrade for starting to invest in stocks. How can I make a lot of money in stocks? Any tips, techniques, etc. or any advice you can give for a beginner?

John answers:

Determine what industries are doing well at any given point in time. Right now technology, oil, and financials are the best industries. Then find the best company in each of those industries and buy their stock. That way you are buying the “best of the best”. There is always an industry that is doing well, even in a recession as we are in now. You just need to find it.

This method requires some work on your part. You can’t just put your money into some stock and let it sit there. You need to read up on the economy. But if you do it this way you’ll make a lot of money. That’s how i did it.

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