Book Description

Build a winning portfolio—and reduce your risk—with this bestselling guide

Online investing has never been easier—or more potentially confusing. Now that every broker or finance site has its own app, data, or approach, it can be all too easy to be misled and make a bad decision. Online Investing for Dummies helps you reduce risk and separate the gimmicks from the gold, pointing investors of all experience levels to the pro-tips, calculators, databases, useful sites, and peer communities that will lead to success. 

Updated to include information on mobile trading and the influence of social media on the markets, the book also covers the basics—showing you how to figure out how much to invest, find data online, and pick an online broker. It then progresses through to more advanced topics, such as calculating returns, selecting mutual funds, buying bonds, options, commodities, and IPOs, taking you and your money wherever you want to go in the global market.

  • Set expectations and assess your risk
  • Analyze stocks and financial statements
  • Assemble the suite of tools to calculate your performance
  • Get tips on choosing the right online broker and on protecting your information online 

It’s time to get a pro strategy, and Online Investing for Dummies has all the inside information you need to build up that winning portfolio.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
    1. About this Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. Icons Used in This Book
    4. Beyond the Book
    5. Where to Go from Here
  3. Part 1: Getting Started Investing Online
    1. Chapter 1: Getting Yourself Ready for Online Investing
      1. Why Investing Online Is Worth Your While
      2. Getting Started
      3. Measuring How Much You Can Afford to Invest
      4. Deciding How You Plan to Save
      5. To Be a Successful Investor, Start Now!
      6. Learning the Lingo
      7. Setting Your Expectations
      8. Determining How Much You Can Expect to Profit
      9. Gut-Check Time: How Much Risk Can You Take?
      10. Passive or Active? Deciding What Kind of Investor You Plan to Be
    2. Chapter 2: Getting Your Device Ready for Online Investing
      1. Turning Your Device into a Trading Station
      2. Tracking the Market’s Every Move
      3. Monitoring Market-Moving News
      4. Checking In on Wall Street Chatter
      5. Keeping Tabs on the Regulators
      6. Executing Trades
      7. Searching the Internet High and Low
      8. Keeping the Bad Guys Out: Securing Your PC
      9. Mastering the Basics with Online Tutorials and Simulations
    3. Chapter 3: Choosing the Best Account Type for You
      1. Knowing How Different Accounts Are Taxed
      2. Plain Vanilla: The Taxable Brokerage Account
      3. Retirement Accounts: Knowing Your 401(k)s from Your IRAs
      4. Going Back to School with Education Savings Accounts
    4. Chapter 4: Connecting with an Online Broker
      1. Finding the Best Broker for You
      2. Separating the Types of Brokerages
      3. Avoiding Hidden Fees
      4. Finding Out What Reviewers Think
      5. Is Your Money Safe? Checking Out Your Broker
      6. Cutting the Cord: Mobile Trading
      7. Pay Attention to Where Your Cash Is Parked: Money Market Funds
      8. Buying Stocks and Mutual Funds without a Broker
      9. Opening and Setting Up Your Account
    5. Chapter 5: Getting It Done: How to Enter and Execute Trades
      1. Understanding How Stock Trades and Shares Are Handled
      2. Getting It Done: Executing Your Trades
      3. Going off the Beaten Path with Different Trading Techniques
      4. Knowing Your Options: Basic Ways to Best Use Options
      5. Stepping Through Placing a Trade
  4. Part 2: Using Online Investment Resources
    1. Chapter 6: Why Stock Prices Rise and Fall
      1. How Stocks Get into the Public’s Hands
      2. Why Stocks Move Up and Down in the Short Term
      3. What Moves Stocks in the Long Term?
    2. Chapter 7: Connecting with Other Investors Online
      1. Finding Kindred Investment Spirits Online
      2. Getting the Message with Stock Message Boards
      3. Connecting with an Investment Club
      4. Social Networking Comes of Age
      5. The Brave New World: Social Networking Meets Online Investing
    3. Chapter 8: Measuring Your Performance
      1. The Importance of Tracking Your Performance
      2. Calculating Your Performance Yourself
      3. Calculating How Risky Your Portfolio Is
      4. Using Online Tools to Calculate Your Performance
    4. Chapter 9: Choosing an Asset Allocation
      1. The Recipe for Your Online Investing: Asset Allocation
      2. Using and Finding Your Perfect Asset Allocation
    5. Chapter 10: Finding and Buying Mutual Funds
      1. The Feeling Is Mutual: Understanding Mutual Funds
      2. Types of Investment Companies
      3. Categorizing Mutual Funds
      4. What to Look for in a Mutual Fund
      5. Comparing Mutual Funds
      6. Getting the Full Story: Reading a Mutual Fund’s Prospectus
      7. Getting More Information about Funds
    6. Chapter 11: Finding and Buying Exchange-Traded Funds
      1. Getting to Know ETFs
      2. Invest in Popular Indexes with ETFs
      3. How to Find the Right ETF for the Job
      4. Using ETF-Recommending Robo-Advisors
      5. ETFs That Go off the Beaten Path
      6. ETFs Have Issues, Too
      7. A Few Final Things to Consider about ETFs
  5. Part 3: Maximizing Investment Knowledge
    1. Chapter 12: Putting Companies Under the Microscope
      1. Understanding Financial Statements
      2. Unearthing Details about the Company from Regulatory Filings
    2. Chapter 13: Evaluating Stocks’ Prospects
      1. Finding Out How to Not Overpay for Stocks
      2. Evaluating Stocks’ Potential Return and Risk
      3. Digging Even Deeper: Advanced Valuation Techniques
    3. Chapter 14: Finding Investment Ideas with Online Stock Screens
      1. Getting Familiar with Stock Screens
      2. Knowing What You’re Looking For: Popular Screening Variables
      3. Getting Started with Premade Screens
      4. Designing a Custom Screen
    4. Chapter 15: Analyzing the Analysts and Stock Pickers
      1. Picking Apart Professional Analyst Reports
      2. Connecting with Online Stock Ratings
      3. Evaluating Stock- and Mutual Fund–Picking Newsletters and Websites
    5. Chapter 16: Researching and Buying Bonds Online
      1. Getting Acquainted with Bonds
      2. Finding and Buying Bonds Online
      3. Considering Bond Alternatives
  6. Part 4: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 17: Ten Top Mistakes Made by Online Investors
      1. Buying and Selling Too Frequently
      2. Letting Losers Run and Cutting Winners Short
      3. Focusing on the Per-Share Price of the Stock
      4. Failing to Track Risk and Return
      5. Taking Advice from the Wrong People
      6. Trying to Make Too Much Money Too Quickly
      7. Letting Emotions Take Over
      8. Looking to Blame Someone Else for Your Losses
      9. Ignoring Tax Considerations
      10. Dwelling on Mistakes Too Long
    2. Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Protect Your Investments and Identity Online
      1. Beware of Pyramid Schemes
      2. Steer Clear of Ponzi Schemes
      3. Avoid Tout Sheets and Know Whom You’re Taking Advice From
      4. Don’t Fall for Investment Spam Emails
      5. Understand Loopholes Scammers Can Use
      6. Familiarize Yourself with the Fingerprints of a Scam
      7. Learn to Be an Online Sleuth
      8. Know How to Complain If You Suspect a Fraud
      9. Make Sure That Your Computer Is Locked Down
      10. Be Aware of Online Sources for More Information
    3. Chapter 19: Online Investors’ Ten Most Common Questions
      1. How Do I Find Out Which Companies Are Going to Split Their Stock?
      2. Can I Use Options to Boost My Returns?
      3. Can I Still Lose Money If I Invest in Bonds?
      4. What’s the Easiest Way to Invest in Commodities?
      5. How Long Will It Take for Me to Double My Money?
      6. Do I Have a Say in How a Company I’m Invested in Operates?
      7. How Can Deep-Discount Online Brokers Make Money Charging $5 or Less for Trades?
      8. How Are Hedge Funds, Private-Equity Funds, and Venture Capital Funds Different?
      9. If a Company Is Buying Back Its Stock, Does That Mean the Stock Is Cheap?
      10. If I Own a House, Do I Need to Hold Real-Estate Investment Trusts in My Stock Portfolio, Too?
  7. Index
  8. About the Author
  9. Advertisement Page
  10. Connect with Dummies
  11. End User License Agreement