Please Read This First
Disclaimer: This is not in any way financial advice or a replacement for financial advice. Or like, anything like that whatsoever. I'm not a professional; I did terribly at economics in college and I took two semesters of it. I'm an amateur in every sense of the word. My retirement account is handled professionally through a state contractor who takes my money and gives me a very short list of mutual funds to choose from. I only do this with my entertainment budget and because at that point in my life when I started, I was fairly desperate and it was disaster or disaster + entertainment value and to be honest, I was very bored. At this point in my life, it's the only way I can keep a working savings account, because believe it or not, if money is entertaining me, I don't have to spend it to entertain myself.
That said: is anyone interested in me writing a tutorial about how I use Sharebuilder for stock trading? This is not in any way to encourage anyone to do so or to like, leap into it--if you need to see why, check my finances tag in LJ, my adventures are all there--but use of the website Sharebuilder itself only will be offered, basically an entry detailing how I tutored my mother and my sister and Madelyn through it. Please, please keep in mind that it's very volatile right now and has been the last two years, and it's only after two years that I'm getting what volatile really means. And a lot of how it worked for me was a.) blind luck and b.) volatility meant I could make some unusual choices that I'm not sure work for everyone. I also read a lot--and I do mean a lot--both online and in actual books. I mean, I read a lot while I was doing it and I still read up and I keep a very detailed spreadsheet. I don't trade on margin and I'm obsessive about keeping notes on what I do and don't do and why.
Literally, I can walk you through the site and what it does and does not do and how it's used, but only if you were already interested in doing that. There are also some great sites out there for this already, if you would like a better one. There are also tons of other self-service brokerage firms that you can work with if you're going that direction anyway.
I can't emphasize enough--since this is money and it's a recession--my experiences are unique to me and let's face it, I'm not exactly the postergirl for cautious financial responsibility.
Market Roulette - Paper Version
If anyone wants to play market roulette just on paper (or a spreadsheet), leave a comment and I think it would be fun to play. There are at least a couple of sites that do simulations (if you happen to know where one is, tell me, I lost my bookmarks), but I think we could do it with excel if enough people are interested in playing paper-only, no money involved whatsoever. If you have never invested or did anything markety, this is for you! There will be a complete explanation, but honestly, with paper only, it'll be very easy to do.
If so, I can set up a basic rulesheet and a model spreadsheet for it and January first we can start a year of adventure. If enough people want to play, I'll set up a comm just for this. The paper version will be a lot easier than the real version, but will require you to consult your financial website of choice to get prices, and I'll list some places you can look to get stock quotes and how to read them, it'll be like, yahoo and cnn and google. And we'll do check-ins and FAQs and oh, this sounds really fun!
Again, the paper-only will be paper-only, no money exchanged whatsoever, though if I'm running it, I could do a prize at the end of the year? Oh, I like that. Though in that case, I'll excuse myself from eligibility, of course, but then I get to pick a prize! Maybe several if enough people play. *thoughtful*
Yeah, you can actually see me bouncing, can't you?
ETA: Okay, fine, I just finished putting the individual spreadsheet together. HOWEVER, during this--if we do this--I will keep a separate spreadsheet myself for each person plus a master for comparison, so if the idea of having to depend on your own spreadsheet is the problem, don't worry! You'll be able to access the one I'm keeping for each player that will be used for all totals. This is going to be fun, not stressful. Well, no more so than the market makes us, that is.
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