Sunday, November 23, 2014

At Yahoo the question was: I'm a college student with very low income. I want to fool around and learn about the stock market. I want to invest and trade in stocks ( Cheap ones). I have a bank of america debit card so does the bank have some trading platform I can use? Where do i start? I looked on and they charge like $2500 it says. I havent made this in my life yet. WHere do i start :(

Best broker is Charles Schwab which also offers a checking account. 

There are two ways to invest in the stock market, the wrong way and the right way. 

The wrong way: Buy shares hoping they go up in value so you can sell them for a profit, aka capital gains. This might work some of time but in the long run you're more likely to get wiped out. This is called gambling. Gambling is stupid. 

The right way: Buy shares not caring if they go up or down because you're going to keep those shares for the rest of your life. Instead of capital gains you get income from dividends. Choose corporations that have a very long history of raising the dividend every year. If they don't have this history or if the annual dividend yield is too high (over 6%) then they are probably too dangerous. 

A good stock to buy is AT&T, stock symbol = T. Their annual dividend yield is over 5% and they have a very long history of raising the dividend every year. Keep the shares for the rest of your life, and keep reinvesting the dividends in AT&T or another corporation that pays a high dividend with a long history of raising the dividend every year. The dividends are usually paid every 3 months. 

With Charles Schwab you use a computer for everything, no humans required, but those humans exist in case you have questions. 

Before buying shares you will have to use the internet to transfer cash from your Bank of America checking account to your Charles Schwab brokerage account.

Bank of America, by the way, is not a stock broker. You can't use them to buy shares. 

My only checking account is with Charles Schwab. It takes one second to transfer cash from my Schwab checking account to my Schwab brokerage account. Schwab's fee for buying shares is $8.95 which is a good deal. The Schwab checking account is totally free, they don't charge for anything. They don't nickel and dime you like the banks do. And it's all online. No humans required. 

"If i buy a share of apple and it rises. I trade it for market value and make profit, the company will take out x amount of money?" 

NO, that's not how it works at all. You buy shares of Apple for $1000. The value of your shares goes up $100. You sell Apple. Your brokerage account now has $1,100 cash. 

If you keep those shares of Apple your brokerage account will have whatever the dividend is times the number of shares you own, when those dividends are paid (once every 3 months). 

Apple is a great corporation but the annual dividend yield is only 1.62% which is way too low. You want over 5%. The annual dividend yield, by the way, goes down when the stock goes up, and the dividend yield goes up when the stock goes down. The dividend doesn't change. The dividend yield changes when the price of the stock changes. 

Those wonderful dividend payments that go into your brokerage account, you can keep that cash in your brokerage account and use it to buy more shares when you're ready to do that, or if you need extra income to pay your bills or because you just got fired from your job, you can transfer those dividend payments from your brokerage account to your checking account. 

One more thing: The other answers were written by idiots. Ignore them. Most people don't know what they're talking about. 

Another one more thing: The stock market is dangerous. Think before you do anything. This is not a game. You can get wiped out, and that's exactly what happens to most new investors (even experienced investors can get wiped out). 

A 3rd one more thing: The best time to get started with buying your safe dividend paying stocks is when you're young, aka right now. But wait until you are sure you can buy these shares and be able to keep those shares for the rest of your life. The point is "DON'T TOUCH THE PRINCIPAL." In other words if you have one million dollars don't spend any of it. Instead live off what that one million dollars pays in dividends when you invest it in AT&T and other safe dividend paying corporations.

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