I agree, it's a swamp of over-complication, misinformation & newbies directing newbies.
TampaJake said: This is so sad. You have a few nuggets of good advice in this forum post and a whole bunch of bad advice. Rule #1: don't invest/trade money you can't afford to lose. Rule#2: Educate yourself. If you do not have options experience stay away. Rule#3: Practice. Plan your trades and trade your plan. Best to do it with practice money for awhile. Rule#4: Do not trade penny stocks (especially on Tradeking due to fees). Any company worth its salt will not be trading under $2 per share with the DJIA near 13,000. You might get away with a fixer upper in the real estate market, but not here most of the time.
For the sake of simplicity, I'll just say the new guy should look at your list, EasymoneyBob also made a very short suggestion on keeping it simple.
The BEST advice on this thread, bar none, is Oracole's.
It's not simple, but he pretty much covers the basics, Specifically # 2 on options.