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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – Nov. 2, 2012

Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup

There were a couple of really big events that took place this past week including the impact of Hurricane Sandy, TD Waterhouse Discount Brokerage’s Direct Investing Expo and Tyler Bollhorn’s soft launch of his new book, “The Mindless Investor”.  Also November is Financial Literacy Month, be sure to pay extra attention to a lot of the great resources and events for self-directed investors that we’re mentioning this month.

Hurricane Sandy Shuts Down Markets

Hurricane Sand shut down US markets for 2 days this past week marking the first time the NYSE has been closed because of weather since 1888.  The ripple effect for discount brokerage clients was obviously that they could not trade US markets but for some even trading on Canadian markets was impaired because datafeeds at some Canadian discount brokerages went down. Even though on the whole market data is fairly reliable, there are times when data feeds do go down, which is something you need to factor in to your type of trading especially if you are more active.  Usually the best response is to call your discount brokerage directly to properly respond – just be prepared for higher wait times when there are platform outages.

An alternative to getting answers is to go on twitter because chances are that there are other more active traders who will report on the status of their trading platforms.  Luckily we’ve put together a handy twitter channel for you to monitor all the discount brokerages that are on twitter in order to monitor announcements.  As a case in point, BMO took to twitter to announce an outage it had on its banking networks, tactfully managing a difficult customer service issue by keeping customers informed with progress reports.

Direct Investing Expo Review

We also reported a two part review of the TD Waterhouse Discount Brokerage Direct Investing Expo.  This full day event was a great educational opportunity for self-directed investors to learn about macro-economic trends from Bob Gorman, as well as to learn about technical analysis and options trading from TD Ameritrade and Investools.  Click here to read the full review.

The Mindless Investor

This week in both Calgary and Vancouver, Tyler Bollhorn released signed copies of his book to audiences of Michael Campbell’s session with Tyler.  We managed to land a copy of it and will be putting up a review shortly.  In the meantime, you can read a preview of it here.

Financial Literacy Month

As part of Financial Literacy Month, is happy to share some of the great materials we’ve come across that can help self-directed investors better understand investing concepts that are important to learn about.  This week we put together a list of the best stock market education videos we found on the TD Ameritrade website.  Click here to access these videos.

Best Canadian Discount Brokerage Tweet of the Week:

This week’s discount brokerage tweet of the week was a tie between @virtual_brokers for their In Brief newsletter piece on understanding income statements and  @nationalbank where they linked out to a great article from their newsletter Clearfacts on easing into investing and using a TFSA.  To read more about TFSAs check out our article here.

Event Horizon

The Small-Cap Conference happening in Vancouver on November 6th is just about here. This will be a great opportunity to learn how to approach investing in smaller companies as speakers Ryan Irvine and Brent Todd are very good at laying out how to spot good opportunities.  Anyone who per-registers via, and attends this free conference will get a great bonus gift courtesy of SparxTrading! For registration details, click here.

The People Have Spoken

This week there was an interesting forum thread on the redflagdeals personal finance section.  Forum member “Squadz” felt a little overwhelmed with TFSAs, Stocks & mutual funds.  To read what everyone had to say to help squadz get through the maze of financial products, click here.

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