Hello, hello!

This is episode five of the Value Investing Bootcamp podcast, the podcast which accompanies the Value Investing Bootcamp video course.

My name is Nick, Nick Kraakman.

I'm the host of this show, and I'm really happy that you're back, putting me in your earbuds, it's a great place to be!

Thank you for tuning in again, really appreciate it.

And yeah, today, what we're going to cover is how you can purchase your very first stock with zero risk involved.

You might think that is impossible, but let me tell you what I mean.

There are virtual portfolios available on the internet, they are free services, which you can use, and they allow you to purchase stocks with virtual money.

However, everything else looks very real.

I mean, you can actually buy the stocks, which you would normally buy with real money.

This time, you just buy them with virtual currency or sometimes you just make it up that you say like, oh, yeah, I purchase 50 shares of Apple stock right now for this and this price, and then you can actually see the performance of your portfolio.

The great about this is, first, it's free, it's also risk free, and it allows you to learn a lot without taking any risk, without putting your hard earned savings on the line.

So, I really recommend this to everyone who invests.

I mean, I still use it today, when I want to try some stuff out or some new strategy or whatever, because there are so many strategies out there.

I only invest my own money with my value investing approach, but it's fun to just try some stuff out with virtual money.

So, one of the virtual portfolios that I love to use is that of Google Finance, you can go to, and then you can just open a portfolio for free, it’s very simple.

You can use the search bar to search for any stock you like, and do some research.

Google Finance also as a great stock screener which allows you to filter stocks based on certain criteria. I use that one all the time because I think it's pretty good. [Google discontinued their stock screener, but Yahoo Finance has a great one, see:

You can search, for example, for very profitable companies or companies with high earnings growth, things like that, low debt levels, etc, and then you can add them to your portfolio.

I mean, this does nothing with your real money, because you have no real money there.

It simply puts that stock in your virtual portfolio, and then you can actually see the performance, so how it would have performed if you would have really invested money in it.

It's as close to reality as you can get without risking any actual currency.

So, this is a great way to learn, you get some experience, you get some experience researching stocks and seeing how they perform over time, and whenever you do decide that it's time for you to start investing with real money, be sure to at least spend several months just trying stuff out this way.

Once you're past that phase, so if you really want to start investing, all you need to do really is to open a brokerage account, which is nothing more than sort of a special bank account.

You put some money on it, and you can then use that money to purchase stocks.

And those brokerage accounts often come with sort of a platform around it, a website, which allows you to search stocks, to analyze them, find some information, financial information, some financial news, etc.

So, it's really useful.

And I mean, it's one of the best ones around, it's not just my opinion, I just really like their service and they're also rated very highly by, for example, Barron's, which is the financial magazine.

They've been rated number one broker, three years in a row or something, I believe.

It's Interactive Brokers.

So, if you go to, you can actually open an account there.

There are several requirements before you can open an account there.

For example, I believe you need to prove to them that you earn at least $20,000 a year, and at least put $5,000 on your account or something.

So, if you can't do that, if you have less money than that, you probably have to look for alternatives.

But just keep this one in mind, because it's really a good service.

Yeah, and once you have that in place, once you have some money, once you have a brokerage account, it's simply a matter of doing proper research, finding interesting companies, and then purchasing them and waiting for the price to converge back to value, like we discussed in earlier episodes, and then you'll make some money.

It's as easy as that, really.

Now, we'll cover this whole research process in more depth in other incoming episodes, because it's important to know what you are looking for.

I mean, it's nice to say that, yeah, you just need to buy good companies at discount prices, which is what value investing is all about, but then what is a good company, and when is a company cheap? How do you know?

Well, those are the things that we’ll cover.

They are also extensively covered in the Value Investing Bootcamp video course.

In that course I’ll really go into depth.

You'll get spreadsheets, ebooks, checklists, the whole lot, and I will be able to convey much more information in a video format than I can in this audio format.

So, yeah, just go out and open a virtual portfolio, look for some stocks, use the stock screener to get some ideas.

To get stock ideas, you can also just look through blogs, read blogs, sign up for free newsletters, they usually give you some ideas about stocks that might be interesting.

You can look at them, put them in your virtual portfolio, see how they perform, and in later episodes we will cover how you can actually pick winning stocks and avoid all the losers, the bad stocks.

Also, do some research about actual brokerage accounts, what their requirements are, because eventually you have to open one anyway, so you might as well start doing some research and asking for some information packages, so you can start immediately, you know, when you want to.

And again, thanks everyone who has been sending me all these tweets and emails, I really appreciate it.

If you want to send me an email, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or send send me a tweet at @ValueSheet, and I will answer all your questions.

If you want me to cover something in future episodes, just send it to me and I'll take it into account.

So, thanks very much for listening, I really appreciate it, and in the next episode we will cover the misconceptions regarding risk.

People really, generally have a wrong sense of what risk is all about on the stock market, and I'll try to clear some of that confusion up in the next episode.

So, I'll see you there.


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