The IT Professional’s Guide to Online Investing

In the “Roaring ’90s,” it seemed like everyone was getting into the investment game. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (a traditional gauge of the U.S. economy) was climbing like a Tibetan sherpa, the dollar was strong, and inflation was practically nonexistent. What’s more, an unprecedented amount of people were getting in on all of this action due to the introduction of Internet trading, giving investors greater access and wealth liquidity than ever before. In addition to a myriad of other functions, the World Wide Web had become a gigantic virtual trading floor.

Unfortunately, the bottom fell out in 2000. The tech bubble in the economy burst, affecting all other realms of business and leading to a recession. The IT industry also was affected by massive layoffs caused by business failure, outsourcing and budget cuts. Additionally, the 9/11 attacks damaged overall consumer confidence and curtailed the spending and investing habits of millions of Americans. These and other factors caused the Dow to fall hundreds of points to around the 10,000-mark, where it has hovered ever since.

However, there is no time to get back into investing like the present, particularly for IT professionals. Many organizations are hiring new IT personnel again—a movement driven largely by niches such as storage and security—and seasoned, proficient workers are getting paid as much as they ever have. Also, the economy is recovering, but slowly, so there are still a lot of relatively inexpensive, high-quality investments out there. And what better way…



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