If this isn't the right forum/place for this my apologies. As the title suggest, I'm new at this. So, here's the short list of info I'd like to get some feed back on: I'm 43. I've been contributing to my 401k through work for about 15 years. In the beginning I started by putting in 5%. As I've paid off loans and CC's I have slowly increase it over the years to where now I'm putting the most in they allow, 25%. This year I thought about buying a new vehicle but in the end decided the old one runs fine, why spend the cash? So I have some cash to invest. A friend was telling me about Jim Cramer and suggested I watch his show. So I Tivo'ed it a few times. I don't know, the guy might be giving brilliant advice but I can't get past the way he delivers it. Seems pretty clown like to me. I started a Sogo account, might be a dumb-ass move, don't know. They just seemed to have really low trade fees. I've only added a very small % of what I have availble. I moved the rest of my cash out of my credit union savings account and out it in a HSBC on-line account because the CU was paying 1.4% and HSBC pays 5.05%. I'm not sure I understand the term "day trader" but don't think I have the time to do that. I wouldn't mind putting more of my cash in the market. I could see having some long term (years) and short term (months) stock, I can't see myself buying stocks with the idea of selling them later that day or even the next. So that's my situation, here's my questions: Should I continue putting 25% in my 401K? It's with Merrill Lynch and I have it in 5 different funds so it's diversified. Last year I got 28%, this year so far it's been flat. Now that I've built up a balance in there should I lower my contribute rate and start putting some of my cash elsewhere? If so where? Was/is Sogo a dumb move? Should I just go with a full service broker and let them handle it? Should I have gone with a different self service provider? How about HSBC? I thought 5.05% wasn't bad for a completely liquid situation. But the other day a lady told me they suck and I'd get out of there fast. I never got the chance to ask why? I mean they pay over 5% and I have a ATM card to access it anytime I want, what's wrong with that? My thought is to keep 10K on hand just in case. If I decide I want to manage my cash where's a good source to get basic market knowledge? A book, any advice on which one? A web site, even if I had to pay a little to join, as long as I got honest basic info. Or maybe some where on a forum such as this. Somewhere that I can get some of the "basics." Up until a couple months ago I didn't even understand basic terms such as P/E. I read through the posts on here and don't understand at least 75% of the terms you guys are using. Any advice would be welcome.