a few stock Q's

I plan on getting an e-trade account and have a few q's.

If the stock I purchase has dividends and the option to buy more stock with the dividends or take the cash, how does an online trader work? how do i get to choose?

im new to online trading.......

thanks for any info about online accounts, im thinking e-trade because of the 50 free trades offer.......

also why does a company split their stock and how can you as an investor research a company to have an idea on when that company will split the stock? thanks.

On splits: there's really no fincancial reason to do it. It's a mind trick...if a single share gets too expensive, the company splits the stock thereby (theoretically) increasing the stock volatility. Warren Buffet does not agree, thus Berkshire has never split.

There's no way to predict that a company will split it's stock, unless they always do it in a predictable manner, like always splitting when it hits $60 for example. In any case, splits are announced way before the event.

On the reinvested dividends when you invest online, usually they have
a check box option when you buy the stock for this. Very simple.

Unless you plan on trading alot, jumping in and out and all that, the 50
free trades won't make much of a difference in the long run. Choose a
trading company that offers good service. I used to go with the small
guys because their commission fees were low, but I never did trade
that often. And those companies would get bought up or merge with
another one and I found it annoying to get used to a different
interface, not to mention a bit of anxiety that they might screw up my
account. Not to mention that they might not carry as many mutual
funds.

Once CharlesSchwab's fees went below $20 per trade I switched to
them and am much happier because the interface makes more sense,
there's alot more research help, their phone customer service is great,
and they're big enough that they carry probably more mutual funds
than any other single company. Plus they have tiers of service so that if
you ever decide you want a pro handling your account, or a half-way
thing where you meet with a pro quaterly or twice a year, you can
upgrade to those according to a set fee structure.

I just signed up with an online account through Navy Federal. Right now all I pay is $3.50 per window trade with no monthly fee. Good deal if I plan on owning a few stocks and only investing a large sum now and then. For 19.95 a month, I can own 50 different stocks in one Folio pkg and then have 200 free trades per month. I plan on going that route later so that I can find each stock once a month and not worry about the 3.50 per trade ( at 50 different stocks, it is not worth the money).

i would like to invest for the longrun, i have always been interested in the stock market since i was in highschool.

any advice on bluechips i could buy as well as some cheap stocks to hold onto for a longrun gain?????

any of you have any microsoft?

also what would be a good amount to buy? 100?

thanks for any info

I bought/buy shares in Consumer Staples, that is stores that sell products that people tend to buy everyday. An example is Pepsico, Johnson and Johnson, Costco, Walmart etc. These companies have a strong finacial foundation. You want to get a diversified account...have several stocks. I am looking just purchased about 40 different stocks from different companies. Some are doing good while a few are down, but they balance out. On a bad day I don't go down, but on a good day, they show a good gain.

My philosophy is a bit different from TapoutRookie. I figure if you're
going to invest in that many big companies, you might as well just put
it all into a large cap/ mid cap mutual fund or index mutual fund. It'll
cost you less, the results will pretty much be the same, and you won't
have as much paperwork.

I tend to go a bit more aggressive, though I shy away from individual
stocks. I invest in sector funds or EFTs that seem to have momentum,
and I'll have one or two company stocks that are also doing well. Like
right now I'm heavily in funds and EFTs investing in China & SE Asia,
the Scandinavian/Nordic countries and Germany; with individual
company stocks I have only a few in specific sectors like energy and
natural resources (steel). But about a third of my portfolio is in a small
cap index fund. Then I leave some cash for good deals or hot tips that I
might want to risk on.

Overall my portfolio is pretty much U.S. small cap index fund as the
"safe" bet, and then the rest are playing off the bet that China and a
few of the other countries will continue to grow economically, and that
the growth will also translate to a need for energy and steel for their
infrastructure.

Solid plan...i just recently got into investing and am still trying to learn about it without getting to risky yet. I had an individual stock, it did good, and i was going to sell, but thought I will hold on one more day. The next day the stock dropped and so did my gains. Sucked

lets say you buy 100 shares of $$$$ in april. the company's stocks splits 2:1 in may. would my stock double too 200 shares, or do you need to have a stock for so long for yours to double????????

If you own it at the split, the number of shares splits. Remember that the price is cut in half, so the value of your shares stays constant.

Also, not all splits are 2 for 1. 3 for 1 are also common and I'm not sure about other kinds.

no, you don't have to have owned the stock for any certain amount of time to receive the split. You could buy it the day before the split. but you can't sell it before the split and still get it like you can with a cash dividend. but just because a stock is going to split isn't a good reason to buy a stock. basically a stock split is no different than trading a dime for 2 nickels, or a $5 bill for 5 $1 bills, etc. a split is also called a stock dividend, and can be in any amount, 10%, 20%, etc. there are also reverse splits too.