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#1 of 11 Old 08-29-2012, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I noticed on  ING's website it now says capitol one, have they always been affiliated or is that something new? I have my EF there but am wondering if there is a better place to put that money. I've only ever heard bad things about capitol one. Any input?

 

Also I was checking out there sharebuilder service for investing. Says they will give you $50 for opening a sharebuilder account. Does anyone here have any experience with that? Was it legitimate? I have no idea how to invest in the stock market. I'm assuming I need to know how all that works before I get a sharebuilder account, right? Where does one study up on such things?

 

 

Thanks Ladies 


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#2 of 11 Old 08-29-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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I can only tell you how I did it.  I did try Sharebuilders but I realized after a while that I really, really didn't like it.  The nice thing  about it is, as I recall, there is no minimum investment.  So you can start an IRA and choose your investments even if you only have a bit of money.  And you can easily set up a monthly deduction from your checking/savings account to invest.  However, I did not like their investment choices.  But I didn't know very much about investing then so maybe I just wasn't doing it right or making the right choices.  After I had some money in that account I transferred it to a t. rowe price account.  If you talk to the representatives, they tell you exactly how to do it.  I made the decisions on what funds to invest with by checking their ratings (morningstar and others) and looking at their history.  I figured if the funds made it through 2008 with a profit, that was a good sign and I compared 3, 5 and 10 year histories.  I also considered the risk/benefit ratio and chose moderate risk.  T rowe price and other investment houses generally require a large initial investment, $2000 I think, to open in a new fund.  I save up the money in my savings account.  I shoot for the max roth investment every year ($5000) but I am quite low income and I don't always make it.  I was nervous at first but I am really, really happy that I started.  Now I find that I will really squeeze the budget in order to make those investments and I love checking on their progress.  As I went on (started about 3 years ago), I diversified my investments more by reading a bit and then choosing things such as small cap funds and large cap funds and bond funds.  Always paying a good amount of attention to Morningstar and other ratings as well as the investment histories. 
 

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#3 of 11 Old 08-29-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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ING was acquired by Capital One 6 months ago... I didn't realize this either, I'm guessing it wasn't noticeable until they redesigned their website. https://home.ingdirect.com/capitalone

I have had a Capital One account for over 10 years now & I have had only good experiences with them. So I'm not sure what the bad things you've heard are, but consider me one point for the 'good' side!

I don't know anything about Sharebuilder, well I did look into it not long ago but decided I'm just not very savvy when it comes to investing so I got scared off. But I do think it's legitimate (both the account and the $50 bonus)...

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#4 of 11 Old 08-30-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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I'm sure that the 50 dollar incentive is legit. I get different offers from them but have not taken advantage yet.

 

One can open a sharebuilder account, get the incentive money. Make some deposits and let the money sit there as cash (this costs nothing).  When you are ready, you can then buy shares. You can leave as much "cash" in the account as you want, or you can turn it all into investments.  One can open a ROTH, a traditional IRA or simply, a taxable investment account.

 

Sharebuilders seems to be a good beginners tool (I have an account there and it works fine for me.   All the mutual funds and stocks I am interested in are available.   I do NOT pay the monthly fee nor do I buy investments monthly (avoiding that fee); I transfer money, let it sit until I get a chunk, then I make a one time investment purchase (one time fee of 4.00 or maybe it is 7). I have yet to figure out the cost of withdrawing my money at retirement time. HA!

 

The tool has some nice charts and pies showing you how your investments are divided (cash, stock, funds etc). If you open an IRA it keeps track of your deposits and lets you know how much more cash you are able to put into your IRA that year. You can access your tax information for tax time....etc


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#5 of 11 Old 08-30-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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My husband started a couple different ING accounts (including Sharebuilder) and never recieved the 50 bonus...we're not sure why.  Something to do with the fine print perhaps!
 

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#6 of 11 Old 08-30-2012, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input! I spoke with my DH and he says we really should start an IRA so maybe I will do that and maybe the sharebuilder investments thing. Sounds pretty safe. I'm glad to hear that ING is still a good place despite capitol one take over. I guess I should get moving on the debt snowball so I can delve into the investment realm. So much to think about! Anybody know any good books about investing?


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#7 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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I have had a Sharebuilder account for 15+ years, before it became ING. I worked in securities before becoming a mother. Our firm recommended Sharebuilder to folks who wanted to DIY it and/or who wanted to do small investments. It is legit.

 

We also have ING Direct accounts (savings/checking/kids savings)...for about 5 years now.

 

When we joined Costco (and later upgraded to the executive membership with AmEx), we opened two more Sharebuilder accounts and received bonuses and transferred DH's account from eTrade. Sharebuilder had far lower fees than eTrade at that time, plus the bonuses and already having a Sharebuilder account, made it an easy choice. About a year or so ago, these accounts have lower fees than my original account above.

 

Later, Costco also offered Capital One savings accounts at better rates and a bonus. We opened one of those, too. Received the bonus ($100) and haven't had a single problem since.

 

Interesting part is I found out about the purchase via my Capital One account. We received a letter stating due to the ING purchase, Capital One and Costco have decided to end their relationship/partnership (I forget the exact wording) and at the end of the calendar year, our account will revert to a regular Capital One account with the going interest rate. (Always worse than the rate with our Costco account.)

 

I haven't seen anything from ING telling me about the change, yet. I do our family finances on Tuesdays, so I haven't been on the website since last Tuesday. I will see any changes in a couple days. (These are not active accounts for us.)


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#8 of 11 Old 09-03-2012, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sunny, do I need to know anything about investing before opening a sharebuilder account? Do you know any good books to study up on the subject? I bet I could find INVESTING FOR DUMMIES or something like that. I don't want to miss out on financial opportunities because I'm scared away by ignorance. I'm sure a lot of people here could say the same, they would like to invest but are scared away by ignorance. This brings up a good point, maybe we should start a thread for investing dummies!


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#9 of 11 Old 09-04-2012, 11:37 AM
 
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The Wealthy Barber is a book you can look into - he has a new edition that is relevant to investing now; his original one would be outdated due to the low earning potential on investments now. I haven't read the new one but am curious to see what he has to say about current strategies.

 

You can open a sharebuilder account and put some cash into it and leave it there. You do not have to invest the cash right away. In fact you can probably open an account and not put any cash into it for the time being.


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#10 of 11 Old 09-04-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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I think it is great to ask!

 

I learned about investing in a few ways and I doubt they will help you, but I'll share since there are lots of people who read these threads. First, I have a degree in finance (and marketing) and we covered investments in several classes. Mostly, though, I worked in banks and credit unions in my twenties and worked in securities for five years and talked to lots of people. Also, I took a few classes and studied for my series 6 and series 7 licenses (and two others). My knowledge all came from a career aspect, so I don't have much advice for the average person in today's investment climate in learning about investing. I can tell you there are a LOT of different philosophies on investing, so you can read a wide variety of books and talk to many people and get a lot of different advice. That's okay, in my opinion. The more you know and understand, the better you can make educated decisions.

 

Meanwhile, yes, you can open the account without knowing much. Read the exact offer. I believe we had to place a certain number of trades within a specified period of time in order to receive the bonus money.

 

Sharebuilder offers a portfolio analysis tool. Try it out. Answer the questions and see what it recommends as investments. Even with all my "knowledge", I did this and followed some of the recommendations. My training and experience from a career perspective was in a very different economic climate than now. I invested small amounts in the recommended funds and did my own research for larger amounts.

 

If your parents or grandparents are successful investors, ask some specific questions. I don't listen to all of my dad's advice for many reasons, but mostly you have to think about your lifestyle and where you and your family are in the natural cycle of life. Parents are in a different place than their adult children and their investing needs are different.

 

In general, your risk is mitigated (lessened) by diversifying -- don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have some liquid cash (easy to access, such as a local credit union), some liquid cash in harder to access accounts (usually a higher interest rate or lower fees, such as an online bank), and a variety of investments. Build slowly, so if you get burned it is minor and doesn't wipe out your savings. Mutual funds are lower risk than stocks because mutual funds have a variety of investments (a mix of stocks and bonds, usually). Stocks are investments in a single company. When it does well, great! When it does poorly, ouch!

 

Keep in mind the differences between insured accounts and non-insured accounts. Have most of your money in insured accounts, but don't be afraid to have money in non-insured accounts. When in doubt, read the fine print and ask questions. Deposit accounts at credit unions and banks, such as savings and checking accounts, are federally insured. Investments through these same financial institutions and other brokerages, including Sharebuilder, are not federally insured. You receive a higher rate of return BECAUSE you are accepting more risk. It is not a bad thing, but one needs to go into it with their eyes open. Fear holds many people back. Educate yourself and ask a lot of questions. I accept more risk than the average person; probably because of my formal training and exposure. The portfolio analysis will ask you about risk and returns (among other factors), so think about those things and talk to your spouse/significant other.


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#11 of 11 Old 09-06-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

Sunny, do I need to know anything about investing before opening a sharebuilder account? Do you know any good books to study up on the subject? I bet I could find INVESTING FOR DUMMIES or something like that. I don't want to miss out on financial opportunities because I'm scared away by ignorance. I'm sure a lot of people here could say the same, they would like to invest but are scared away by ignorance. This brings up a good point, maybe we should start a thread for investing dummies!

 

Head to the Bogleheads forum and read around there a bit.  They have some fantastic wikis; you will get a lot of detailed, solid information on how to invest and why.

 

I have made a lot of free money from Sharebuilder.  I often use their incentives to make money.  I have a Costco account with them, but I don't invest in mutual funds through them because their fees are high.  Look into something like TradeKing, OptionsHouse, etc. if you end up following the Boglehead investing strategy.  In terms of a high yield savings account, look into American Express or SmartyPig.  Capital One used to have a fantastic rate with Costco (I learned about it here!), but that will be going away and the rate will be pitiful.

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