Getting started

We all have to start somewhere. Let us help get you on the right track as you start your investing journey.

How do I get started investing online?

See how easily ecotradinghub can help you take control of your investments online. Read the article below for details on how to get started. Big, expensive broker not required.

1. Consider which plan you want and fund it.
First, choose what kind of plan best suites you, then fill out the application online. ecotradinghub offers a number of different trading plans, including:

2. Monitor your accounts and assets.
When you log on, the Complete View page shows all your ecotradinghub accounts and assets on one screen, providing an overview of all your investments. By clicking on individual items, you can dig deeper into the details of your accounts and the assets you hold, including performance over time, the latest news, and relevant analyst research.

You can also keep tabs on your accounts, or even manage your cash, when you’re on the move using ecotradinghub website.

3. Watch the markets.
ecotradinghub also provides tools and resources for keeping tabs on the markets or tracking individual stocks, bonds, and funds that aren’t currently in your portfolio. These include:

-Watch lists. Using this tool, you can track the pricing, performance, and news related to investments you’re interested in. It’s even possible to create sample portfolios and watch how they perform.
-Alerts. You can set alerts to notify you when a stock, fund, or other investment crosses a price threshold you specify.

What’s the difference between saving and investing?
Both saving and investing are ways to use your money for a purchase or goal down the road. Saving is typically done for shorter-term needs where protecting your money and being able to access it easily are top priorities. Investing is usually for longer-term goals where growing your money is the most important goal.

Because saving and investing are in some ways similar, many of the same ideas apply to both, including the risk of losing money, how easy it is to access your funds, and potential gains (i.e., how much money you might make, also called your rate of return). But there are significant differences in exactly how those ideas apply and also in how you actually go about saving versus investing. Let’s break down the details.

What is saving and what is investing?
Saving usually means regularly setting aside money for a relatively short-term goal or need such as emergency expenses, buying a car, or taking a vacation. Savings accounts are typically low risk, but also offer low returns, meaning your savings won’t earn very much additional money (which is paid to you as interest).

Savings are often deposited into a savings account at a bank, a bank certificate of deposit (CD), or a bank money market account.

In contrast, investing typically involves buying assets such as cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds, or shares in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have the potential to increase in value over time. Investing is often done with long-term goals such as retirement in mind. With investing, the risk of losing money is almost always higher than saving, but the potential to grow your money and build wealth is typically also much higher.

Investing is usually done through a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA, or through a more general-purpose brokerage account. These types of accounts hold the investments you purchase such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. Of course, it’s also possible to invest some of your money in physical assets such as real estate.

What are the main differences between saving and investing?
For saving, the key factors are:
It involves minimal risk—much less than investing. Funds deposited in almost any U.S. bank or credit union are insured up to at least $250,000 per depositor by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Bank CDs and money market deposit accounts are also FDIC-insured. This is a big reason why saving may be the best choice for short-term goals: There’s almost no chance that you’ll lose money and be forced to abandon or postpone your goal.
You can access your money quickly. This is what financial professionals call “high liquidity”, which just means that an account or an asset you own can be turned into usable cash with very little delay.
The potential to grow your money is comparatively low. The rate of return—the interest rate that you earn—on a savings account or CD is very likely to be much lower than your potential rate of return on an investment such as stocks or ETFs.

In fact, it’s often true that the interest rate paid on a savings account is lower than the rate of inflation. When that happens, money in a savings account is actually losing buying power over time, even though it’s earning interest. A premium (i.e., higher interest) savings account may reduce this risk.
For investing, the main factors are:
You enjoy potentially higher rates of return compared to saving. Simply put, your money may grow more. Historical rates of return in the stock market, for example, are several times greater than returns from savings accounts or CDs over the same time frames.
There’s more risk than saving. You’re not insured against losses caused by market drops. In other words, you could lose money if the market goes against you. This risk may be especially pronounced over short time periods.
Might take a bit longer to access your cash. Typically, there are restrictions on withdrawing money from retirement accounts like 401(k)s. Even when there are no restrictions, as with a regular brokerage account, it may take time – up to two days to settle is the industry standard – and fees may apply to sell investments like stocks and bonds and convert them to cash that you can withdraw.

How is it used?
Most often used as a place to securely store money for shorter-term goals or in case of an emergency.

Access to cash
Typically, accessing cash is easy and does not incur penalties, although sometimes there are monthly limits on frequency of withdrawals.

Earning potential
Funds deposited in the account earn interest, but returns will likely be relatively low.

Risk level
Risk is minimal; funds are FDIC-insured up to at least $250,000.

How is it used?
Typically used for longer-term investments such as retirement.

Access to cash
Depending on the investments or account type, you may not be able to withdraw funds quickly (up to two days to settle) and you may incur penalties.

Earning potential
Potential for higher returns than a savings account.

Risk level
It’s possible to lose some or all of the money you invest.

Should I be saving or investing? Which comes first?
With one exception, certain saving priorities should likely come before you start investing. When deciding whether it’s time to save or invest, here are some principles to keep in mind:

Don’t miss matching 401(k) contributions. This is the exception we mentioned. If your employer will match some of your 401(k) contributions, you’ll very likely want to contribute at least enough to get the full match, if you can. You may want to do this even if you’re still working on the first two saving priorities—it’s like getting free money.

Be clear about your priorities. Are your most important financial goals short-term, such as buying a car, or long-term, like retirement?
In the same vein, consider when you will use the money. Again, saving often makes the most sense for short-term needs.

Know your risk tolerance. Understanding how much risk you’re comfortable with can help guide your decisions about saving and choosing lower-risk or higher-risk investments.

What to look for in a savings account:
FDIC insurance. Almost all banks are covered by the FDIC, but it’s worth double-checking to be sure.

A high annual percentage yield (APY) is a good figure to compare interest rates. Most banks pay low interest rates on deposits, but there are differences, so shop around.

Monthly fees. Some banks waive fees if you have a large enough balance or meet certain criteria. Others won’t charge a monthly fee no matter what. Try to find a savings account that’s free for you.

Local or online. Location might be important, but keep in mind that most digital banks emphasize online tools to make it easier to save and to manage your account from anywhere.

Easy access to your cash when you need it.

What to look for in a brokerage firm or other investment provider.

Fees and other investing costs. Generally, there are fees and possibly commissions associated with investing. But fees can vary widely, depending on the broker and what investments you make. You’ll want to look at this carefully.

Range of investment choices and accounts available. Make sure your broker offers the types of accounts you need and access to the markets and products, such as mutual funds and ETFs, that you might want.

Research and other tools. There are literally tens of thousands of stocks, bonds, funds, and other investments available on the various markets. Easy-to-use research tools, investment screeners, and other educational resources can make a big difference when you’re trying to find the right investments for you.

Support. Your investments are important—it’s your money, after all. Can you get your questions answered and problems solved quickly and efficiently?

Easy access to your cash when you need it.

In the end, both saving and investing have their place, and many people will do them simultaneously. That’s because most of us have specific short-term goals for which saving is appropriate as well as long-term objectives where investing may make more sense.

What are the biggest myths about investing?
As investors today, we’re incredibly lucky. We have access to more information about the markets and investing than at any other time in history. Powerful digital tools enable us to research company financials and price history, get expert analysis, and much more—all in just seconds.

On the downside, though, having access to so much information can make it easy to be overwhelmed. Here are some of the biggest investing myths we’ve come across, along with some tips and pointers to help you stay focused.

1. You need a lot of money to invest.
We’ve all heard it before: “You have to have money to make money.” The thing is, it isn’t true. You can invest for the future even if you only have a few hundred dollars.

In fact, investing has never been more cost-effective. Trading commissions are lower than ever. By investing what you can early, you have the potential to grow your savings into something much larger over time. Imagine, for instance, a $250 investment that’s able to grow at 7% a year. In 40 years, that could turn into more than $3,000. Invest $2,500 under the same circumstances, and that’s more than $30,000. As investors, we call this compound interest.

2. “Buy and hold” is the way to go.
Many investors are taught that the best strategy is to buy and hold forever. While holding investments over the long run can reduce the impact of short-term market swings and mitigate emotional decisions, you shouldn’t buy a stock and then just close your eyes.

Sometimes, good companies fall out of favor or economies change. This can adversely affect the growth prospects for a company and depress its stock price.

Also, your financial circumstances and needs may change over time, requiring adjustments to your holdings. It’s always a good idea to review your portfolio and financial situation a couple of times a year. That way, you can adjust when your situation changes or when your portfolio’s drifted too far from your pre-set targets.

On the flip side, it’s important not to let your emotions get the best of you. Watching every rise and fall in one’s portfolio—especially when markets are volatile—can lead an investor to make decisions based on emotion, not on serious consideration of the underlying issues.

Here’s a tip that may help: Try to stick to a regular schedule for viewing—and rebalancing—your portfolio. This may keep you from checking in too often and getting caught up in the emotions of the moment.

In sum, it’s all about striking a balance. Don’t turn a blind eye to your investments, but at the same time, try not to emotionally react every time they rise or fall.

3. Only past performance matters.
Chasing performance—that is, purchasing investments just because they’ve done well in the past—is a risky business. You’re always looking in the rear-view mirror.

While historical data can be helpful, it’s important to remember: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Consider choosing investments that fit your overall financial objectives, not just those that have been recent winners.

What you’re looking to achieve through your investments should guide the portfolio you create

4. Avoid stocks when investing for retirement.
There’s a common misconception that investors saving for retirement should ditch the cryptos they own and invest only in bonds. In reality, though, it may be wise to hold both. Sure, cryptos can be riskier, but having a combination of the two may help you grow your savings over time.

Even investors already in retirement may consider maintaining an allocation in cryptocurrencies. For example, the 4% rule is a popular strategy that advises withdrawing 4% of one’s nest egg in the first year of retirement, and then adjusting future annual withdrawals for inflation. According to advocates of the strategy, one’s savings should then last for 30 years. To make the math work, however, the rule assumes that a portfolio has a healthy mix of stocks, cryptocurrencies and bonds, thus enabling it to grow at a faster rate than bonds alone would generate.

For bond investing, ETFs and mutual funds may be good choices. These types of investments can give you exposure to the fixed income markets while also helping make the process simple and cost-efficient. But don’t forget: Just because bonds are considered lower risk doesn’t mean they’re risk-free.

If you own individual bonds instead of (or in addition to) bond funds, it’s important to monitor them regularly. That’s because a bond’s value relies on the issuer’s ability to keep up with its financial obligations. As a result, keep a close eye on your bonds and look for downgrades in credit ratings or news that may suggest challenges for the issuer.

5. Price charts are only for day traders.
Price charts for cryptocurrencies are the primary tool of technical analysis, the study of the history of cryptocurrency prices to try to identify trends and potentially forecast price movements.

While charts may be intimidating at first glance, they’re important tools—even among long-term investors—for learning how buyers and sellers of a security have shifted control back and forth, as well as what that might mean for the future.

One of the primary uses of price charts—for both traders and investors—is risk management. For instance, some investors use charts to help determine where to set prices for stop orders, automatic instructions to sell a security if it falls below a certain price level. Stop orders are intended to provide a degree of protection if the market moves against you.

6. Always buy at or near the low.
Hoping to buy a security when it’s ready to rise from a low point is only natural. Buy low…sell high, right? It’s every investor’s dream.

The problem is: It’s much easier said than done.

When you buy a stock whose price is at a 52-week low, you’re essentially making a bet that your investment will be the catalyst that turns things around. However, if sellers of the stock are in control and have driven its price to such a major low, is it reasonable to think that you’re going to be able to predict the bottom?

Rather than investing a large amount of money at any one time, consider spacing out your purchases, a strategy known as dollar-cost averaging. This can help reduce the risk of buying too high—or of buying too big a stake in a stock that never recovers.

Knowing the risks associated with various investments and then managing those risks can provide the foundation for long-term success.