When trying online trading, don't plunge in foolishly

The Ticker

June 25, 1999|By Julius Westheimer

ARE YOU tempted to try online investing? Here's some advice:

"Online investing is getting so much hype it seems like everyone's making a killing," says Working Woman. "When beginning, just dabble, don't dive in. Test the waters by earmarking a fraction of your portfolio for Internet trading, keeping the lion's share under supervision of a financial adviser."

Internet stocks, on average, "have fallen 32 percent from their April peaks. Many high fliers, including Amazon.com, have been chopped in half," Time magazine says.

NOTES: "If you converted your IRA to a Roth in 1998 and have misgivings, the IRS says you can `undo' the transaction. For example, some people converted and later became ineligible because their incomes topped $100,000. Avoid penalties and taxes by a trustee-to-trustee transfer." (Ellin & Tucker Perspective)

"Right now, it's hang on to the rocket ship and giggle all the way to the moon." (Mark Shafir, investment banker)

"Cutting-edge technologies take many unforeseen twists that can obsolete industry leaders. A few thousand dollars lets you compete with Amazon.com." (David Dreman, Forbes)

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