At the end of part 1 we were left with 4 choices:
Pay off more of our mortgage (boring!)
Put it in the bank (even more boring)
Buy some magic beans (hmmm, interesting)
Invest to try to earn some passive income (oooh, really interesting!)
Now I have played sharemarket games at different times and had a bit of success, so it's not a totally foreign concept to me. My Dad is also a pretty successful investor, so an excellent sounding board for me.
Now Dad uses CMC Markets, a very old school, 1992 looking website with epic charting abilities and more information that I would ever know what to do with - so I signed up. IN the process they automatically opened up a Macquarie Bank Account. I proceeded to put some money into the account.
But then the snags hit. It took days to get the account set up and I couldn't fund the trading account without the bank account set up. It's 2021 people - it should not be this hard!
I jumped online and did a Google search and came up with E-Toro . In a matter of minutes I has an account set up, a W8 form complete and a couple of hundred dollars in my account. Simple and fast! Then went looking for shares to buy. It was super fun, but all the advice I had was for Australian shares traded on the ASX. E-Toro didn't list any of them!!!
So back to another faithful search and I came across Superhero They aren't your average broker and they are brand new, but they seem great. A really nice modern web interface (mobile coming soon!) and cheap as chips $5 brokerage on shares and $0 brokerage on ETFs. Sounds good to me!
A Lot At Stake
You know how when you think you've found the perfect thing, there always seems to be a glitch? Well the glitch for Superhero is this - they only trade on the ASX. I had plenty of information on the US markets as well so I went hunting for a cheap way to trade on them. And that's where I came across Stake!
Now the thing about Stake is (there's always something), they charge no brokerage. But they do make money from by charging a foreign exchange fee when you deposit money into your account.
The other thing to be aware of is they only have certain stocks on their site. From their website:
"Stocks must have a market cap over US$500m and a share price over US$1. ETFs must have over US$300m funds under management."
The interface is super smooth and easy to work with. The charting technology is a little basic, but that's why I've kept my CMC Markets account. Best of both worlds.
So now I had the ability to trade, a bit of cash, and was about to go on holidays from work for Christmas. Now I just had to figure out what to invest in...
Fool Me Once....
I went searching on the internet for stock picks and newsletters and the overwhelming favourite appeared to be The Motley Fool. So I signed up, paid for their Stock Advisor service and waited. My first list came through and I was a bit confused...These are all US stocks.
Doh! They have a Motley Fool in both countries!
I had already put some money into some shares from the first list and they seemed to be going ok, so I signed up for the Aussie Stock Advisor on a great discount. I decided to also sign up to their Extreme Opportunities and Dividend Investor advisory services.
From here it was pretty smooth sailing. The Motley Fool do send an insane amount of emails with extra offers etc but they're easy enough to ignore.
In The Tube
If you want to know something, you ask someone.....or something. Hey Google! So I had the Motley Fool bunch, but what about my other source of information, Youtube?
Talk about an information overload! The amount of information available on investing is just mind boggling. It's like finding a needle in a stack of needles in a haystack, inside another stack of needles, stored in another haystack that's covered in venomous snakes that are covered in other needles. Incredible. If you don't believe me, just type'Investment Advice' into the search bar. Don't say I didn't warn you! But in my search, I did come across a fantastic channel run by ASX Investor and three fantastic investments in Afterpay (ASX:APT), Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) and Brain Chip (ASX:BRN)
This video also featured another favourite in Jason Pizzino
Everything was sailing along nicely. Time to relax over the Christmas break and put my head into learning as much as I could.
Everything was fine.......mostly
To be continued in Part 3