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3 Tips For Do It Yourself Investors Researching Online

In another discount brokerage survey confirming that Canadian do it yourself investors are turning to online resources to help manage their financial futures, TD Direct Investing recently released results of a survey it commissioned in December 2012 that explored the online habits of Canadians.   According to the TD Direct Investing survey, convenience, control and content are what online channels of information offer to Canadian investors.

For most individuals, the notion that Canadians are turning to online resources for research is probably not surprising.  In fact, earlier in 2012, BMO Investorline conducted a similar study that found Canadian online investors research in order to help make effective investment decisions.  These types of discount brokerage sponsored surveys, however, stretch back across the past decade and largely confirm one another in the observation that do it yourself investors are, in fact, doing it themselves.

Not surprisingly, if you are reading this post, you are probably part of that group of do it yourself investors that is looking online for resources they can use to help navigate the management of their personal finances.   Looking to online resources generally means having to wade through lots of opinions, in order to find quality tools and resources – something we at know all too well.

So, given that so many Canadians are going online to do their research on financial products and services, here are several tips that we can offer when looking for discount brokerage accounts and resources offered by them.

  1. Be skeptical.  Even though you don’t need to be a stick in the mud, don’t take everything you read at face value.  Ask yourself whether the “facts” presented to you by writers, advertisers, surveys or other sites support the claims they make – i.e. “what makes someone the best discount brokerage?”
  2. Ask how the writer/source is compensated.  Many independent blogs or writers online earn their living by the quality of their content – usually by advertising dollars.  Others, however, have affiliate relationships or are clearly savvy marketers.  Learning the difference between them isn’t easy, however take note of whether there is a balance of perspectives presented.
  3. Take your time. Great timing is what savvy investing is all about, but stepping in for fear of missing out is the enemy of investors everywhere.  Knowing when a discount brokerage deal is actually a deal versus when it is a sales tool comes with experience and, you guessed it, research.

Comparing features, pricing and promotions are what can make you a savvier shopper when it comes to finding a discount brokerage or any financial product online.  Our comparisons sections are designed around making discount brokerage research not only easy but also value-focused.

While it does take time and effort to research online, often some research ahead of time is the best investment to avoid costly experiences and heartache in the end.  Keep your wits about you and happy hunting.

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