Nowadays, if you want to be able to invest your money wisely, you must be computer savvy. This holds true with any type of investment, but especially if you are running a self-managed super fund (SMSF). By using the Internet, you have access to far more information about investments than you would otherwise, and you can easily compare options and even use calculator tools to help you make the best decision.
Of course, one must learn the correct way to search the Internet and protect themselves before it can become an effective tool for shopping for investments. The following tips will help you do just that:
1. Learn the Terms
The investing world is filled with jargon, and if you’re starting to invest your own super for the first time, then you’ll want to learn the jargon first. Luckily, this can easily be done online! There is a plethora of online resources that can teach you about the different forms of investing so that you can make wise decisions with your super. Anything from Investing for Dummies and Wikipedia to blogs of major banks and credible investing firms can help you sift through the jargon and learn what types of investments are right for you.
2. Find an Online Broker
An online brokerage firm will make for a very useful wingman when you’re investing online. There are plenty of firms out there that can help you, but it’s important that you use good judgement before choosing one. Just like you would take your time choosing a bricks-and-mortar broker, you’ll want to call around and pick the right online broker for your needs. Make sure that you choose one that has a solid customer helpline, or even one that has a real office in your area, so that you know you’ll always get help when you need it.
3. Protect Your Money and Identity
When you’re buying and selling investments online, you need to be extra careful to ensure that your personal and financial information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, the Internet is a breeding ground for hackers and people who want to trick you out of your money, so you need to be aware of the ways you can protect yourself. Here are some examples:
- Install antivirus software and firewall software to keep out malicious code and to control what data enters and leaves your computer.
- Use caution when it comes to data you send or receive over public wireless networks.
- Know what is reasonable, and what is too good to be true.
- Become familiar with regulators’ resources, so that you can check out the credibility of online brokers and financial advisors.
4. Where to Go for Stock Information
Investing online is easier because all the information you need is at your fingertips, but of course,it also means that there is a lot of information to sift through. One of the fastest-growing outlets for investing information at the moment is Twitter. Not just useful for online marketing, Twitter is also a great place to get pure information on real estate, stocks and bonds, appraisals, investing and short sales.
Especially for stocks, you can get fast information simply by entering a stock’s ticker symbol into popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. By doing this, you will have immediate access to information such as stock price and market value.