The Ameritrade TV spot opens with a 15 year old girl coming into the room to ask her dad for money for some new jeans. Dad asks about the jeans, and as he hears about them, his investment antennae go up. "What kind of jeans?" She tells him the name of the brand. "Are they designer jeans?" "Yes," answers the daughter. "Are they popular?" "Everybody's got them." "Everybody's got them?" "Yep."
Dad's brow furrows. He sits down on the couch and opens his laptop. Asks his daughter the name of the jeans again. Buys 100 shares. Sits back looking satisfied. She then, predictably, has to remind him to give her the money to buy a pair of the jeans. Cute.
Isn't this just the problem with amateur online investing, that by the time "everybody" has bought the jeans a ton of vigilant investors will have bought the stock, and the poor Ameritrade customer will have to buy high and sell low? Doesn't this look like it is advertising designed by an amateur investor?