Yesterday I posted about how I began my small business investing journey with opening a high-yield savings account and saving money with earnest.
Once I reached a comfortable amount of funds in my savings (for me, comfortable is enough to support my family and I for 2 months, plus the money I wanted to initially invest) then I hired a financial consultant. I hired David.
I'm quite aware that I'm lucky to have someone like David as my partner. Not so much that he teaches Lily bad things like burping with her mouth open or the fact that he quite often has toilet-seat-up relapses, but definitely lucky that he is both willing and capable of helping me out with my business finances. I'm also quite aware that he's no professional, but he's cheap and he's learning. And I'm ok with giving him this role in my business, even if he loses it, as you can't grow without a little practice.
I feel I must interject here that I wanted little say in this part of the process. And that's kind of a big deal for me, as I'm a micro-manager and complete control freak. But I honestly told David to choose whatever he thought would be best, and having the ability to trust him with this decision made my life that much easier.
His first task was to find an online trader. David has invested in mutual funds before, but went straight through the fund, not through a trader. This was new ground for him and he spent weeks being meticulous (trust me, this is in his blood) about where we should put emmarie's money.
David's process: ask questions.
We (read: he) was in between Scottrade and ETrade, two very popular online traders. To choose, he chatted with them. Each site has online chat support, and he sat and talked with both, asking a gazillion questions, from fees to sign-on bonuses. That's one thing I love/hate about David: he's not afraid to kill you with questions, as long as he gets the information he needs.
In the end, we went with Scottrade. They offered the lowest fees and the greater number of mutual funds, which is something David found important. If we had had a larger initial investment, we might have went with ETrade, as they have a no-fee bonus when you sign up with an initial deposit of some certain amount, but we wanted to start out a little smaller, as we're both feeling our way into this.
Check back tomorrow for info on signing up with Scottrade.