Investing on your own generally involves using online tools and resources to research, buy and sell investments through a discount brokerage. Investing on your own also means doing your own research, and making your own investment decisions based on the information you find. Do you understand the various investment products that are available? Do you understand the tax implications of different products and plans? Whether bonds, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs or GICs, understand how they work and the risks involved. Most discount brokerages offer online access to financial research and information, although also you may wish to do your gather your own information from other sources.
With a discount brokerage, you will generally not get advice or help choosing your investments – this is part of the reason you pay lower fees overall compared to traditional full-service investment firms. This can be a benefit to you if you know how – and are willing – to do the work and research necessary.
If you’d prefer the assistance of a professional, you may consider finding an advisor. Understand the different types of advisors and the best options for you if you decide to get advice. Whether you are doing your own investing or you decide to get advice, always check registration of the firm and/or individual you plan to work with.