your faith has come down to money & a tv

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Remember to read the Fine Print

I'd really like to blame this on TD Ameritrade, but in all actuality I must put this squarely on my own stupidity. So I figure maybe it will give me some consolation to tell other people how not to screw up. Maybe then I'll feel a little better about my own screw-ups in the first place. Anyways, on to the blunders!

A little while back I posted about that TD Ameritrade deal where you could get $75 and $100 bonuses if you opened and funded a TD Ameritrade account with a certain amount of money. At the time, I passed this up because I determined that I could not survive without the minimum ($2000) being in an account for 9 months.

Well, as smart as this sounds, I decided about a week later that I could do without $2000 for a little while. Unfortunately, this was after the deadline had passed for the $75 bonus. However, I saw that TD Ameritrade was running a new bonus, 15 free trades for opening and funding your account with $2000, like that $75 bonus. This looked to me like an even better deal than the $75. TD Ameritrade usually charges $9.95 a trade, so I would basically be getting ~$150 (~$10/trade x 15 trades) bonus. Twice as good as the previous offer!

As it turns out, I'm dumb like I said and didn't really read the fine print. You do get 15 free trades, however you only have 45 days from the opening and funding of the account to use these trades. Now that I think of it, it's kind of like that E*Trade thing they do when they offer you 100 free trades, but only for a limited time.

That's the part where I'm dumb; thought I was getting a good deal, turns out not so much. However, I have devised a stupid scheme where I at least get some usages out of all of my free trades.

First, you've got to know that I mainly opened the account to put money in one company and leave it for about 6-9 months. Basically I'm still going to do that; I'll still stick almost all of my $2000 in the one company. But, now that I have about 14 free trades to work with, I'll invest smaller amounts in some random companies that could eventually do well. $50 here, $10 there; with no commissions to worry about the dollar amount of my trade isn't incredibly important.

So there you have it. I'm still mostly screwed, but I can at least feel a little better about myself after I've used up all those free trades.

However, moral to the story: READ THE FINE PRINT!


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