Chapter 17. Ten Top Mistakes Made by Online Investors

In This Chapter

  • Finding out about common mistakes online investors make

  • Avoiding the mistakes that can eat into your returns

  • Getting answers to questions before you make a mistake

  • Understanding that it's okay to make a mistake once

When people tell me they're afraid to start investing online, most of the time it's the fear of making a mistake that's holding them back. With its jargon, formulas, charts, and Wall Street slang, investing online can seem scary and intimidating. For some investors, the thought of managing their money by themselves is overwhelming. The fear of making a mistake and losing hard-earned money is too much to bear.

Calming these fears is what this chapter is all about. After answering thousands of e-mails sent to me by readers of my online Ask Matt column at, I've heard it all. Most of the mistakes investors make can be neatly placed into ten categories, each of which I explain in this chapter. By reading about the common mistakes other online investors make, you'll probably think twice before committing them yourself. I discuss the ten most common mistakes, explain why they're made, and show you how to avoid them.

Buying and Selling Too Frequently

One of the greatest things about online investing is that it gives investors the power to buy and sell stocks whenever they want. Unfortunately, though, some investors turn this 24/7 access to their portfolios and stock trading into a liability.

Don't get ...

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