Three Steps to Taking Control of Your Investments

(Family Features)–Investor optimism has steadily climbed since 2006, and more investors are managing their own portfolios, according to a recent study from investing firm Scottrade, Inc.
For the growing number of self-directed investors entering the market, here are four steps to take to manage a portfolio.

Research Your Resources

Whether pre- or post-log in, most online research tools are available free of charge. More than one-third of investors say they taught themselves how to invest by using online education tools.

Make sure real-time information is available to track a portfolio. Learn about customizable features within each account and set up a system to take advantage of market momentum. Look for market calendars that present expected activity (such as initial public offerings, earnings reports, dividends, etc.) in ways that are easy to understand.

Check for webcasts and webinars to educate investors and traders on a variety of topics that meet their trading experience levels.

Engage in an online trading community. These virtual groups bring investors and traders together, allowing them to swap investment strategies and learn from like-minded people. Most communities are also moderated by an investment firm with professionals who can provide customer support.