Sabrina
For a few years now, I've been following and learning from other PF bloggers who emphasize the importance of learning basic investment principles, and the difference that investing your own money can make (i.e. purchasing your own stocks) vs. letting someone else invest it for you (i.e. buying mutual funds).

The major difference I perceive is that, when I contribute to my MF account and the unit price for that MF rises, I don't have the ability to pick and choose which of the stocks that forms that MF I'm going to keep and/or sell, as they all come in a neat little (indivisible) package.

I've also experimented with stock market simulation websites such as Stocksquest, and barring any emotional attachment/overpowerment, the simulation indicates I would be able to obtain a much larger return on my investments than if I bought Mutual funds.

So, Yesterday morning, I went to Scotiabank to open a trading account. The representative advised me to open a TFSA account from which to purchase stocks, saying that any capital gains would be exempt from taxes, as long as I didn't exceed the $5,000 contribution limit for the year. Little did I know, however, that the contributions I've already made this year to my Tax-free mutual fund account with ING direct actually counts towards the TFSA contribution limit.

Overall, this means, I have $3,247 left that I can contribute (or invest) through my Scotia TFSA.

I also decided on a few books I'm going to be buying in order to prepare to begin investing my own money. They are:
The total for these three books at Chapters.Indigo.ca comes to $51.85, but because I'll be redeeming some of my airmiles for a $50 Chapters Indigo gift card and shipping on orders of $39 is free, I will only be paying $1.85. The money I had originally allotted to buying these books ($25 out of my budget) is now going to be redirected to savings.

I'm looking forward to reading these books and gleaning the little nuggets of information that, in my mind, will turn this $1.85 investment into much more in the long term :)
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