Of course a lot of finance is conducted primarily online, however, one should approach this with an added degree of caution, since this is one of the few parts of this post where you can actually lose money by attempting it (the other being gambling to be discussed later).
5.1 Peer-to-Peer Lending
This is a relatively new concept where people fund loans for other people, essentially cutting out the bank. I’ve experimented with this a bit myself without much success, though I have seen reports from other trustworthy people who are showcasing 5%+ returns on their loans.
Community Lend – Similar to Lending Club, but for Canada residents.
Lending Club – (U.S. Residents Only) Peer to peer lending, which starts in increments $25. I have used lending club myself and frankly have not seen exciting returns (currently around 2%) on account of a few defaults on several loans.
I also feel that in order to properly diversify (spread out over a bunch of different loans) it takes a fair amount of time to research the loans and find the right ones for your strategy.
Prosper – Operates slightly differently from Lending Club in that I believe you bid on loans.
5.2 Stock Trading
If you want to throw your hat into the ring and try day trading, there are many brokers out there.
Charles Schwab – I have a bank account with them that doubles as an investment account because they have no international fees for ATM withdrawals.
E*TRADE – Online discount stock brokerage service for self-directed investors.
Fidelity – Another broker I use.
Interactive Brokers – One of my personal brokers, only $1 commissions on trades.
Scottrade – Offers a wide range of brokerage and banking services.
Sharebuilder – Buy stocks, mutual funds and ETFs with low commissions and no minimum required.
TD Ameritrade – Broker for online stock trading, long-term investing, and retirement planning.
Trade King – TradeKing is an online broker providing tools and research for online trading of stocks, options, bonds and more.
5.3 Switch Your Bank Account
Banks are always trying to offer incentives to get you to switch over to them. If you are willing to go through the hassle (which, nowadays is not so much of a hassle), you can be nicely rewarded. Check out this article on how you can earn between 100-200 pounds simply by switching banks.
5.4 Sign Up For A Credit Card
Similarly many credit cards have sign up bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars. Do read the fine print though as some of these require specific actions (like spending $X in Y months).
Others have annual fees. Still I have easily received over $1k in value simply by signing up at the right time and following through. Here are a few of the best ones right now.
5.5 Check For A Lost AccountMy Lost Account – If you’re located in the UK and might have lost/forgotten about an account, why not check