One of the most common — if not the outright most common — questions I receive is, “How do I buy stocks on line? I think one of the most important ways to answer this is not with a direct answer but rather with a series of questions that helps the questioner understand the complexity and weight of that question.
In all likelihood, if someone is asking this question they are new to online investing. That can be a very precarious and vulnerable role to play these days, as these Internet waters are infested with fraud-perpetuating sharks. So come along with me as I examine what someone asking about how to buy stocks on line is really asking. Keep in mind the answer to this question can also vary based on what type of stocks you are considering, for example someone looking to get into online penny stock trading may use different tools than someone trying to diversify their retirement portfolio. Continue reading