Money 101: Every Canadians Guide to Personal Finance

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Scotia iTrade is a good example of a discount brokerage offering from a major bank.

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A discount brokerage is the easiest way to start buying stocks. But it is a truly do-it-yourself option. The account holder is fully responsible for all of the decision making, as well as doing the necessary research. Of course, not everyone is interested in a self-directed approach, and for those folks, there are other options available. You can buy stocks through a full-service advisor.

One advantage to this approach is being able to receive expert advice on your investments. As the investor, you will have the final say on any trades that are made, but you have someone you can consult with prior to placing trades. Not only that, but an Investment Advisor will possess the technical knowledge to manage the account administration on your behalf. The downside is that it is a more expensive way of doing things. Not only will you incur higher trading fees, but your advisor will expect compensation for the advice that they are providing.

You will need to decide if the relationship and advice capability is worth the trade off of higher fees, but know that the option is available. Many banks and investment firms will employee teams of portfolio managers. Portfolio managers often act as discretionary managers. This means that while the investment objectives are established together, the client gives full control of the day-to-day investment decisions to the portfolio manager. While portfolio managers will still charge a fee for their services, by using the economies of scale, they can often reduce the cost for the investor.

Similar to a full service investment advisor, they also bring a wealth of expertise, which can be of benefit. That said, if you lack the amount of investable assets to qualify, or you prefer to remain involved with the day to day decision making, a portfolio manager may not the best option for you. When you first get into buying and selling stocks, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the terminology.

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Common shares represent partial ownership in a corporation. In addition to earning shares of company profits, holders of common stock are given voting rights at shareholder meetings, where they have a voice in matters of corporate leadership and policy. Holders of preferred shares are the first to receive company earnings. For example, dividends are first paid out to preferred shareholders, and then to common shareholders.

Preferred shareholders do not have voting rights, however. The bid price of a stock or ETF is the highest price that a prospective buyer is willing to pay, while the ask price is the lowest acceptable price for a prospective seller.

Depending on how many shares are being offered at the bid or ask price, some of your order may be filled at a price other than the bid or ask. A market order is an order that is filled immediately at the current market price. The priority here is not the price itself, but the certainty that the shares will be purchased. A stop order is an agreement to buy or sell a stock when it reaches a specific price. When it does, it becomes a market order, and is filled.

For example, if a stock in ABC company is currently trading at 5.

A limit order differs from a stop order in that the investor sets the minimum or maximum price that they are willing to buy or sell shares. Unlike stop orders, limit orders do not become market orders. This guarantees the investor that they will realize only their targeted price or better. Depending on the broker, there can be an additional cost to placing a limit order.

Buying on margin is the practice of using funds borrowed from the investment firm, to invest.


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While margin trading can provide investors with the opportunity to multiply their returns, potential losses are also compounded, making margin trading a high risk activity. As such, margin trading is not suitable for the novice investor. Stock market investing can be intimidating for beginners. My hope is that this article has provided you with everything you need to get started, and helped you decide which online brokerage account will best meet your needs.

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In addition to our interview, John has a course specifically for investors, which you can access here. Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over a decade writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.

I am curious as to what others think. I noticed a lot of people also get confused with the many different trade options available — market, limit, stop, stop limit.


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Not to mention selling short. This is a great starting guide, though! I agree with Anton! I got easily confused when signing up through InvestorLine and got overwhelmed with the terminology. This is a good starting guide but make sure you understand the terminology when signing up and placing trades. Straight to the point, simple advice. Well written, Tom. I totally agree with your approach to go with ETFs. I myself invest in index funds directly through Vanguard, which is similar.

Too many people try to get rich quickly by buying stock in small individual companies. They miss out on the potential benefits gained with a portfolio of stable, blue-chip companies with a history of modest and reliable long-term growth. Strive to balance out your stock portfolio by investing in both smaller companies with growth potential and major large-cap companies that are already established. These companies oftentimes have a stock price that is stable, meaning minimal risk. The risk is even lower when you buy a bundle of stocks in an ETF.

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Again, great read, thanks for posting! Nice article. One thing I would also suggest is before investing real funds, it is ideal to utilize a simulation tool to build a strategy in buying and selling stocks. You might be the type of person that wants to invest long term, or you might be interested in trading. If the latter, a simulation tool would be great to use.

My tool of choice is Thinkorswim from TDameritrade. I am based in the U. S, and so I am not sure if that TDameritrade is available in Canada. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Money , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details.

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Sort order. Sep 26, Cherop rated it really liked it Shelves: finance. A very good money primer for those that need the basics of money and money management.

Sep 08, Angie Mohr rated it it was amazing Shelves: my-favorite-business-personal-finan. Down to earth advice from one of Canada's premier money trainers. Well worth the read! There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Ellen Roseman. Ellen Roseman. Books by Ellen Roseman.

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