Originally Posted by Oly BC
If there were "systems" that gave guaranteed or even likely earnings when followed, the people who thought of them would tell absolutely no one and earn billions.
If you want to spend 500 dollars that you can afford to lose on a stock you find interesting, there's no reason why you shouldn't.
For larger amounts index funds are a better option (they have the largest diversification and the smaller risk) or you could still pick some stocks if you were willing to spend a lot of time researching companies and bought shares based on reason and not on hype.
paying the mortgage rate when you are purchasing a house as well as the taxes and maintenance fee
edit: I'm encouraging him to go with his instinct