Cast thy bread upon the waters
After having had a look at my share account on etrade I've got several bones to pick with my own self for getting involved with an online service. It's not that my account has done badly; in fact, my punt on beer and the rise of alcoholism post-crunch has paid off handsomely.
What does disturb me is that it costs just so much to make a trade. Given the proportion of money-to-fee that I have the online site, it means that any sale I make will result in my paying far more in fees than I will have made up in profits.
The resolution to this is, of course, to invest more into the site. But that is going to prove to be a false economy: the UK version of the site is moving across to Waterhouse, whose fees are even higher than those I am paying on eTrade. The higher the amount that is in there, the more likely it is that I will have to shell out a higher transfer fee if I don't want to go with Waterhouse.
So if I wait, I will get stung in the transfer; if I transfer now to a different provider, I get stung for commensurate fees and if I sell, any profit I made on the back of the depressed drunks of the UK will be evaporated.
What remains for me is to grin and bear the loss and sell out now. I may be able to get a paltry double-digit return back after all the fees.
Which brings me to my main point: even if you think you know how to trade, don't unless you really do have a lot of money to invest in stocks and shares and can absorb any trading fees; b) you have the time to trade frequently - more than 5 times a month - and therefore will benefit from lower transactional fees.
Otherwise, you might as well write it off as a good idea at the time.
harrumph! The good book says to cast your bread upon the waters and in seven days it shall return unto thee. I don't think it was referring to online share dealing sites as far as skinflints like the mermaid are concerned.