The Internet is many things. 100% reliable isn't one of them. That's why there were many frustrated customers yesterday when Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) suffered a temporary outage. Dozens of messages filled up the Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) message board dedicated to Ameritrade during the outage, venting over the inability to execute trades online.

Under less hostile circumstances, one could have pointed out that this is a sign of how important online trading has become in our lives. Folks complained about the busy signals at Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) America Online circa December 1996, or the 22 hours of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) downtime on June 10, 1999, only to realize that these companies were on to something special if so many people were so dependant on them. Was this Ameritrade's moment to shine?

Well, probably not. People could still have called in their orders to Ameritrade. That's why discounters like Ameritrade, E*Trade (NYSE:ET), and Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCH) provide various trading platforms, even though an online outage is bound to mean longer wait times to execute phone orders.

But that's not where I'm going with this. As investors, we all love to think that we are absolutely right on every trade, down to the tick. It's as if anything less than a 10-second window is wasted. In some cases, that may be true. However, for the most part, if you're buying a great company at a fair price, you can probably wait long enough to make sure that you have done your due diligence.

It's not an easy concept to swallow. Once you've decided to buy a company, you want instant gratification. In your gut, you feel that you are well ahead of the pack and it's only after you buy in that the rest of the market will come to see your genius and drive the shares higher. But more often than not, those shares you just have to have will be there for you minutes, hours, even days later.

One word of advice for the next time your discount broker is unavailable: exhale.

Time Warner, eBay, and Charles Schwab are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz won't be making an unsolicited offer to buy any discount brokerage outright, though he may consider buying shares in some of the players in the future. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.