So, for those of you who don't know, I'm deeply into stocks.

I watch CNBC every time I pass by a tv... Cramer is on the radio when I drive in to work... my Yahoo page has about a hundred stock symbols embedded in it and about a dozen stock site RSS feeds.

In short, I love this stuff.

I thought that I might pass on to you that while the stock market has been a bit down lately, it's still the best way to make money over the long haul. In fact, theory goes that you really should buy when everyone else is running for the door. (which I try to do... though I'm mostly "all in" at any one time, so I'm "buying" all the time)

I learned about three years ago that the "professionals" are hardly concerned with my income... Brokers care about "churn" in my account. That means that they make a commission every time I buy or sell something, but they make no money if my account just sits on a profitable stock.

Interesting conundrum for them...

So I looked at my brokerage account and saw the amount of money my broker made and compared it to the amount of money I lost. It was around that time that I decided that I could lose money as well as he could, maybe even better, so why did I need to pay him to help?

I began to invest for myself. In the first year, I pulled in a 140% return... Wow. I was floored. Now I know this is not normal. I'm not expecting it every year. In fact, this year I'm down about 10%. Nowhere near what I lost with the "professionals" but still down. In fact, my losses for my account are right around what they made in fees one year when they were in charge. but hey... who's counting.

I'm superstitious, so I'll knock on wood every time I discuss stocks. (I'm knocking on wood now)

So, in short. If I have one suggestion for you. Learn about stocks. Go buy books on it. Basic books that will teach you the fundamentals. Read the books. Make a fake stock portfolio on and follow it every day. It's OK to lose money in this fake portfolio... just learn why you lost it. Join a stock club. Watch CNBC. Read the financial section. It's really, really fun after you get into it.

If you have a hot stock tip, leave it below. ;-)


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