The Individual Investor Experience

At "A Dash" we let the big guys do the marketing research for us.  Television ads for online brokers indicate that "leading investors" are thinking for themselves instead of relying upon help from their former investment advisors.  Not wanting to be completely alone, however, investors want some help and comfort.  The online firms have "licensed representatives" available to offer help 24/7.

How is this working out?

We are interested in learning more about the experiences of individual investors who have decided to direct their own investments.  We are also interested in investment advisors whose clients direct all or a portion of their own accounts.

The information is for our book research, would be quoted only with permission, and names withheld in any references.  The names or email addresses will not be used for any commercial purpose beyond our research.  Please submit via our email address, at the top of the page on the left.


We are open to any and all observations, but the following questions might stimulate some thought.  There is no need to answer all of them.  It is just a list of ideas.  Feel free to raise or suggest any other questions.

How long have you been making your own investment decisions?

Do you stick to big issues like asset allocation, or do you pick your own mutual funds, bonds, and stocks.

Do you invest in ETF’s?  Commodities?  Sell short?  Trade options?

What sources of information do you use in reaching your decisions?  In particular, do you read popular mainstream publications?  Do you watch financial TV or listen to radio programs?  Do you use stock screens?  Informational Internet sources?  Opinion and advisory sources?  What else?

How much time do you spend on your investments in an average week?

How many trades do you make in a month?

Do you follow a specific system?  What is your investment "style"?

How are you doing?  In particular, are you meeting your own expectations?  Do you check your performance records?

In a general sense — say for the next six months or so — do you see investment opportunity?  Are you bullish about stocks?  Bonds?  Commodities?

Why not a survey?

We have conducted professional surveys many times, both in the university setting and for consulting work.  A good survey starts with a good sample, and we are not going to get one.  There is no reason to infer a level of pseudo-science as one sees in some online polls.

We are simply interested in stimulating some opinions and comments about going it alone as an investor.  It is a reality check — a way of finding out what works for people and what does not.

A little help from our friends

Thanks in advance to anyone helping with this project.  We will find some appropriate way to share some of the results on "A Dash" for the consideration of all.

Please do not be bashful.  We need to hear from a range of people regardless of their results.  Once again, please submit via our email address, at the top of the page on the left.

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