I say plenty of things about saving and investing on this blog, but how about starting a stock experiment? Let’s experiment to see how stocks picked by the readers perform compared to the S&P 500. I don’t really recommend picking individual stocks over putting them in a fund, but for the sake of this experiment, I will.

How do you have input?

Each week, I will put out a poll on my stock experiment page. Since there are so many stocks out there, I’m going to narrow the poll down to ten random stocks from the S&P 500 based on limited criteria such as the stock price. Based on the result of the weekly poll, I will sell the stock from the previous week and purchase the new one. Also, this experiment will begin towards the beginning of 2017 so start voting!

[poll id=”2″]

Am I really putting money into this?

Yes! I will be putting $150 into this initially to buy as many shares as possible of whatever stock is picked. This does eliminate some stocks that I can buy like Amazon or Tesla. However, as a financial blogger, I believe a lot of my money can do better elsewhere, so a lot won’t be sunk into this.

Won’t trading stocks so often cost a lot?

Nope. I’ll be using an app called Robinhood. Traditionally, you pay fees to buy or sell stocks, but Robinhood lets you trade for free! If I’m no longer able to trade for free, the experiment will stop because it doesn’t make sense to throw money away like that.

As I’ve noted above, I don’t really recommend picking individual stocks. But, if you are going to do it, you may as well do it for free. This will be my first time using Robinhood, so I can’t say if I recommend it yet. Something I can always recommend are diversified funds with low management costs!

One problem that could easily be noted with this experiment is that some cash is always going to be sitting on the sideline because I can’t buy fractional shares. For example, Facebook is in the poll for the first week and costs around $120 per share. If Facebook was selected, I would have about $30 of unspent cash. This is one thing where funds have an advantage – you can buy fractional shares of them, so all of your money can stay invested.

Anyhow, start using the poll above to vote for the first week and keep current with this page!