You’re a savvy investor. You consider yourself knowledgeable about the stock market, keeping yourself apprised of the latest news. You know you can buy and sell stocks on your own to stay in control. However, you’ll need the right online brokerage firm to help you, and you’ll need to keep your information protected. Check out these tips for the DIY investor:
- View yourself as a business. Whatever deals you’re making, even though they’re for yourself, they’re considered financial transactions and involve records, says Forbes. Keeping security at the forefront of everything you do is key, and viewing yourself as a business that needs to protect its assets is at the top of that list.
- Stay up to date. Staying current on your software on all devices you trade on is imperative. Upgrade all apps by third parties, and check your systems regularly for any viruses, malware or phishing software that may be present.
- Protect your data. While you may be focused on boosting your ROI, you should be worried more about possible loss of data. Identity theft is a real concern in this country. About 15 million people in the United States are victims of identity theft every year with losses totaling more than $50 billion, according to Identity Theft Info. To put it into perspective, seven percent of all adults have their identities misused, resulting in $3,500 in losses per person.
- Get sophisticated with your passwords. Forget about your street name growing up or the date you got married. It’s wise to up your ante when it comes to your identity, going beyond simple login and password and adding a second step, such as a text to your phone, to make sure you’re giving your express, unique consent to log into your account. Forbes recommends making your password complex yet memorable, using a combination of letters, numbers, suffixes and prefixes. One tip: try the first couple of letters from the title of your favorite song, followed by numbers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being independent and going it on your own is great, but don’t get so stubborn that you feel you can’t ask an expert. Shelling out extra money to consult with a professional is well worth your peace of mind and to provide a conclusion to your questions.
- Get a stock fraud attorney to help defend you if you have been taken advantage of by your broker.
Follow these tips to become the best online broker you can be with the best protections, and congratulations on being the boss of your own investments!