Investing the time to research and monitor a few well-selected  individual stocks and bonds can give your portfolio a nice boost  in returns and accelerate your wealth-building plans. Here are  six solid tips for buying and selling like the pros:


1. Work the Web. Consider opening a trading account at sites such as, or Charles Schwab (, for which you pay a transaction fee from $7.95 to $9.99 per trade. Motif Investing, SigFig or Morningstar Mobile are good apps for monitoring a portfolio. If you work directly with a registered investment adviser, there is a monthly fee, typically, 1 to 2 percent of your total assets under management.

2. Consider risk tolerance when buying stocks. Can you handle market swings? “There are times when good stocks can sell off 4 to 5 percent in one day but bounce back days later,” says Certified Financial Planner Ivory Johnson, owner of Washington, D.C.’s Delancey Wealth Management. “Investors who lack the intestinal fortitude to handle these gyrations should avoid the process altogether.”

3. Don’t always bank on bonds. Bonds are fancy IOUs: You lend money to a company or municipality, which will pay you back the amount plus fixed interest payments. But bonds are not completely risk-free; prices move in the opposite direction of interest rates.  Inflation also eats away at the value of a bond’s fixed payment.

Read the remainder of this article in the May 2014 issue of EBONY Magazine.