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Anybody here mess around with the stock market?  I had a small investment I'd set up 12 years ago that was only making around 6% that I pulled out and invested on my own.  Just curious if anybody here buys and sells stock.

I got in on Acacia Communications in the low 40's in late June and it closed at 49.50 today.  I have an order in to sell at 50.  If it hits 50 and I sell I'll wait and see if it gets back in the mid 40s and if not I'll buy something else.

Anybody have any stocks they've done well with or are looking to buy?

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I have a Fidelity account where I research, buy and sell my own stocks. My overall return right now is 213.9% over about 5 years. Apple in particular did me well. I use it to pay down student loans for my oldest right now. You sound like you trade more actively than I do. I tend to be more the buy and hold and sell after years. The dollar cost averaging approach tends to make more money, in my experience, than active trading and trying to time the market or a stock.

I also have DRP (divident reinvestment) plans on individual stocks I bought a long time ago and continue to hold . Stocks like Johnson Controls, Dominion, Third Avenue Value, etc. They grow fairly well both through reinvesting the dividends without paying for new stock purchases, and stock price growth. 

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3 hours ago, Hoosierhoopster said:

I have a Fidelity account where I research, buy and sell my own stocks. My overall return right now is 213.9% over about 5 years. Apple in particular did me well. I use it to pay down student loans for my oldest right now. You sound like you trade more actively than I do. I tend to be more the buy and hold and sell after years. The dollar cost averaging approach tends to make more money, in my experience, than active trading and trying to time the market or a stock.

I also have DRP (divident reinvestment) plans on individual stocks I bought a long time ago and continue to hold . Stocks like Johnson Controls, Dominion, Third Avenue Value, etc. They grow fairly well both through reinvesting the dividends without paying for new stock purchases, and stock price growth. 

It would be my first time selling anything (didn't hit 50 today haha).  I don't have much money in there so I just have the one stock right now.  My portfolio clearly isn't balanced!  I'm mostly just playing around a bit and seeing how it goes with a small amount before I put much more in.

I'm pretty happy with the stock I have now.  It's been doing decent, and things are looking up for it.  I read a few things that made it sound like it was prime for a decrease after a really good week so it would be a good time to try to sell and buy back cheaper and thought I'd give it a shot.  Didn't quite get to what I was hoping for.

I was lucky enough to get a lot saved up in a retirement account that I won't see for 35 more years, so that's my safer money.  Throw in my teacher benefits from the state of Illinois when I retire and I'll still have exactly the same amount I have in my retirement account lol.

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That retirement account and those teacher benefits are key!

My stock accounts are not exactly huge, the bulk of my retirement funds are in a 401k, but even playing around you can make some money over a relatively short period of time. I've found that if you just do the dollar cost averaging thing, pick a few stocks you believe in and stick with them, chances are pretty good that you will get a return down the road. One of the stocks I like is Electronic Arts, bought at $65, now at $121.50. 

I remember a 60 minutes episode years ago where they put some top flight stock brokers up against some chimpanzees, to see who could do better picking stocks. No, seriously. The chimps won. They picked by randomly pointing at or throwing things at the board listing the stocks. That kind of stuck with me. I pick largely based how much I personally like or value the company. I don't invest in companies I don't know. I've done actual market research, but don't think it really matters. I picked EA because it's one of the best gaming companies, and it keeps putting out games that I like and see doing well. I do check predictions on the stocks I'm looking at, but I take them with a grain of salt. I remember the predictions being bearish on Apple, on EA and on several other of my stocks, all of which have done really well.

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^^ I'm big on keeping it simple. I'd start your research on something like Morningstar or The Motley Fool. Lots of good stock research and investing advice on both of those sites. Then I'd open a Fidelity or similar account and start dabbling. You can also research through Fidelity for that matter, and then invest in small amounts and the trades cost you almost nothing. See https://www.fidelity.com/why-fidelity/pricing-fees 

Then identify some companies you like and believe in long term, and start buying, along with a couple mutual funds. Buy regularly, like once a month or so, same amount, by dollars or amount of stocks purchased. What the stock or fund does in the short term doesn't matter. Watch growth over time. Even small amounts can grow well over time. I turned $5,000 into over $20,000 in one stock and pretty quickly. And those that look to be floundering or not doing well, give them a little time and if the improvement isn't there or something in the market seems to have changed, sell and move on.

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On 8/31/2017 at 3:14 PM, Hoosierhoopster said:

That retirement account and those teacher benefits are key!

You must not know much about the state of Illinois' finances!  I'm planning to never see any retirement money from the state and if I do it's icing on the top.  Free health insurance is an awesome benefit of being a teacher though!

I add money each pay period to a VOYA retirement account that's been doing decent.  I've just changed it to be more aggressive since I'm only 30, so it's pretty aggressive right now.  Hopefully it will up the return a little more during good years.

I definitely agree that The Motley Fool is a good place to learn some things.  They cover pretty much everything you could want to know.

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On 8/31/2017 at 4:02 PM, HoosierFaithful said:

Any advice?  I've got my IRA but it's in a target date fund.  Where should I start on research?

My best advice is that time is your best friend.  You've already got something, so you're ahead of the game since I seem to remember you're around my age or younger.

I ran some quick numbers, and if you invest $5,000 at age 25, averaging 8% return, at age 65 you'll have $108,000 without investing another penny!  Wait until 30 and you'll only have $74,000.  Wait til 35 and it will only be $50,000.  I would definitely recommend having money automatically taken out of each paycheck if possible.  Take that $5,000 at age 25 scenario and contribute $50 per month, and it jumps up to $264,000 when you're 65.  If it comes out every paycheck, you'll hardly notice it, and you don't have to worry about trusting yourself to add money on your own.

Like HH said he does, I would invest most of your funds in a 401k.  I use my 401k (well, actually a 403b, but same thing) as my retirement fund, and the money I invest myself as my play/life fund.  Any money I make there will get reinvested or used when needed.  I don't assume that money will be there when I want it, so I won't be devastated financially if I lose big.  If it is there, it's just a bonus.

I'm not a huge fan of target date funds because they're mostly for the set it and forget it crowd.  If you're already looking into getting more involved, I would check it out some more and see if it is what's best for you.  It's great for some people and not as much for others.  Here are a few articles if you're interested.  Article 1  Article 2

For me, the best way was to just get started.  I contemplated it for a while and I've figured out tons more since I finally took the jump and started investing on my own.  As with everything, there's more than one way to skin a cat.  There is the way HH described, and there is the more active buying and selling way.  I'm still figuring it all out, so I have no idea where on that spectrum I'll end up falling.  Get in there and see what works best for you!

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Yeah, I started maxing an IRA at 23 (I'm now 25), so that's to my benefit for sure.

I want to invest beyond my yearly IRA max and want to dabble a bit with stocks -- I enjoy investing, and playing around with 1-2k/yr would be a fun hobby and a good learning experience.  If it goes belly up, I've still got my real retirement savings in my IRA.

I don't have enough time (demanding work) to be diligent with my core retirement, which is why I've got the target date -- I definitely need the set it and forget it.  

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Nice!

It's fun to mess around with a little bit of money so there isn't a big worry if you lose it all.  Let us know when you decide to jump into it!  Any specific stocks you're thinking of getting?

I'm lucky that my school district has a deal with VOYA where their reps come to our school twice a year.  Really helps me keep an eye on things and makes it easy to change if I ever need to.

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