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Stephen Lim, CPA, CA
Henry Yan, CPA, CA

The Ascent Team
Suite 105- 3380 Maquinna Drive
Vancouver, BC
V5S 4C6, Canada
Tel. 604.291-0366
Fax. 604.291.0367

On-line Investing: Look Before You Leap

The growing popularity of the Internet and the lightning fast pace of technology has made it possible for anyone to be their own financial advisor and broker. However, this newfound freedom to "trades stocks in your pajamas", also brings along the responsibility of making sure you do your homework before you invest and start making trades.

A quick review of any financial magazine will show numerous advertisements with captions like: "If your broker is so good, then why does he still have to work?" or "Monkey throws darts and outperforms Wall Street genius again Ė Isnít it time you started doing your own trades?", etc., etc. The message is, of course, that YOU should start doing your own trades. The following are some of the top rated online brokerage companies that are considered "discount brokers" and offer lower commissions rates on stock and mutual fund trades:

Ameritrade www.ameritrade.com

Charles Schwab www.schwab.com

E-Trade Securities www.etrade.com

Fidelity Investments www.fidelity.com

So, once youíve decided if online investing is right for you and then figured out which online broker to use, where do you find the Internet resources that will assist you in selecting stocks and bonds? While all of the above brokers have resources and forums you can visit to get a lot of great information, the following is a listing of possible sites to explore before you make that trade:

The Financial Data Finder at Ohio State University provides links to online financial and economic data.

StreetEYE is an online index and search engine for individual and professional investors. The site provides extensive access to many online resources for selecting securities.

InvestorGuide provides reviews of investor Internet sites and is organized in a way that makes finding the right information easy. (This site is one of the Internet's best sources for information about initial public offerings.)

Making your own stock trades can be fun and exciting Ė but it can also end up being an expensive learning experience if you donít take the time to do your homework. Information is one of the most valuable commodities in the world, and the Internet has placed an incredible amount of information at our fingertips. Take the time to research companies before you invest in them and you just might end up outperforming the monkey.

The information presented in this document is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon to replace professional advice. Before acting on this information, talk with a professional advisor as laws and regulations are constantly changing. Readers accept full responsibility; no document found here is a substitute for a consultation.

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