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Day Traders Come Under Fire; Get Your 'Snail Mail' Stamps Online

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RALEIGH — Securities administrators issued a strong warning Monday about trading stock online. They say most online traders lose a lot of money. Plus, if you are always out of stamps, you can now get postage on the Internet. Online Day Trading

TheNorth American Securities Administrators Associationsays 70 percent of day traders will lose money, and just 11 percent will make a profit.

More than 60 day-trading firms dot the country; however, there are just a few thousand day traders. Traders depend on slight market fluctuations making profits by quickly buying and selling shares.

Securities administrators allege that day-trading companies lure traders with getting rich quickly. They contend trading is risky, stressful and work that is more gambling than investing.

"Day traders can lose a lot of money in a hurry," says Peter Hildreth, president of the NASAA. "So you shouldn't be trading, or gambling I should say, with money you can't afford to lose."

Securities administrators want screening of potential clients and investigation of the industry. Electronic Stamps

TheUnited States Postal Servicewants to make life easier for those using "snail mail." Two companies,stamps.comande-stamp.com, have been approved by the service to issue electronic postage.

With a computer, an Internet connection and a printer, you can buy stamps seven days a week, day or night. You must download a free software program, enroll online and decide how to pay for the postage. You can get First-Class, Priority and Express.

The electronic stamp is coded and printed directly onto your envelope. It is simple, and there is no licking involved. Hacker Kevin Mitnick

Remember Kevin Mitnick, the California computer hacker who was arrested in Raleigh? He may be released from prison in Los Angeles Monday for time served.

Mitnick was charged by the federal government with attempting to break into dozens of university and corporate computers. He has been in prison for four years and may end up in a halfway house.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Keith Baker, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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