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Trading Tips For Successful Forex Investing

Trading Tips For Successful Forex Investing

If every investor out there suddenly started to profit, then the markets would completely shut down. Somebody has to lose money for other people to make money, and that’s what’s so dangerous about a market like Forex. However, if you check out these tips and tactics, you can end up on the right side of the fence.

Do not put all of your funds into one line. Divide your capital into a certain number of equal parts and distribute it that way. If you have 50 shares and you end up losing one, that is only 2% of your total capital. Put it all in one line, lose, and all your money will be gone.

Make sure you use the Forex market for your analysis and not the news. Just because good news is coming out about a country does not mean that the currency news is good. So do not let lots of good news about a countries political standing or economy influence your decisions on holding its currency.

If you are a first time investor using Forex a good advice that can be offered is to not invest blindly. Many first timers just pick a current without reason and watch it. Do some research first then pick a currency to watch. Your wallet will thank you for it later.

Understanding each individual currency is critical to trading the Forex market. The Japanese Yen is dependent on the fortunes of the Japanese stock market, the Nikkei index, and also the real estate market in Japan. These are not independent activities, they all tie into the price of the currency and the trading of the Yen.

Making too many trades on the forex market can drain your bank account and your energy. Focus on the trades you really want to make as part of your overall plan. Often, the less you trade, the more profit you end up making.

Have a formal system of operations in your home office to keep things organized, running on schedule and allowing you to focus on your forex trades. Try to do the same things in the same order every day, so you are less likely to forget a step and end up in trouble later.

A lack of experience with forex often results in taking risks. Inexperienced people get very excited with an initial winning streak. It is vital to use self-discipline if you start losing. Stop after 3 losses in a row and stay away for a couple of days. Think about and evaluate your past decisions and possibly use some demo trading to get back on track.

If you are new to the trading world, one of the things you must do is to study the market. You should also practice what you are doing by using a mini account. When you are trading, remember that the lower the risk you are taking, the higher your chances of making money.

Using the right information, such as the tips in this article, will ensure that you’re never one of the marketplace losers. You won’t have to worry about other people taking advantage of you, as long as you’re willing to apply the tips you learned here. You might not become an expert overnight, but you won’t become one of the losers, either.

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Investing For College Basics

Investing For College Basics

Many people are really not very experienced when it comes to investing for college. It does not have to be hard or confusing if you just follow some simple guidelines.
The first rule of the stock market is that it is going to fluctuate up and down. Most ordinary investors stick to mutual funds, which helps them spread their money around over many investments at once, keeping the eggs out of one basket, so to speak. Mutual funds are a fairly easy place to start learning how to invest.
Saving for college is a good way to learn how to invest as well, especially if you start early. Let’s say that you have fifteen years to save for that first year of college. That gives you almost twenty years before the last year. This is a very long time to invest. You will likely see the stock market jump around wildly, reaching new highs and new lows along the way. Your balance will reflect the fluctuations.
Some people have been scared to put money into their college investments lately, since the market is at a very low point. People generally get excited when their balance goes way up and they throw more money in. This is really the opposite of what would be the most profitable, so you have to learn to keep your head on straight in times of high and low markets.
If the market is up really high and the returns are looking incredible, this is also when the investment is at its most expensive, getting you less shares for more money. When it is really low and scaring people off, that is when it is at its cheapest. You have to keep your eye on the prize.
The market fluctuates with emotions as well as the economy. Even savvy investors find it hard to buy low and sell high. They may see numbers rising and want to get in on the action, driving it even higher. When a lot of them do it at once, they can inflate the value of something beyond what it is really worth. Then they all sell, sell, sell and drive it back down. If it goes wildly high when people are excited, this does not necessarily mean that the stocks are really worth what people are paying, and eventually there should be a correction. If it is really low because of fear, then eventually it may correct back to what it is really worth. That is, if investors pulling out do not bankrupt the company.
With a general understanding of the market fluctuations, you will need to determine how much risk you are willing to take with your money. In general, the longer you have to save, the more risk you can afford to take. But, if you can’t sleep at night or it makes you sick to watch your balance plummet, then you may want to consider safer avenues that still have potential for growth. Mutual funds that have a balance between stocks and bonds can be a little more stable while still allowing growth. As you approach college, you may want to move into safer investments, such as all bond funds, getting you out of the fluctuation game all together.
Talk with a qualified financial advisor about the best way to put your children through college. Save as much as you can as often as you can. Keep your credit clean so that you can get the best terms and rates on student loans if they become necessary. Take the time to plan out college savings and it could really pay off.

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Investing For College Basics

Investing For College Basics

Many people are really not very experienced when it comes to investing for college. It does not have to be hard or confusing if you just follow some simple guidelines.
The first rule of the stock market is that it is going to fluctuate up and down. Most ordinary investors stick to mutual funds, which helps them spread their money around over many investments at once, keeping the eggs out of one basket, so to speak. Mutual funds are a fairly easy place to start learning how to invest.
Saving for college is a good way to learn how to invest as well, especially if you start early. Let’s say that you have fifteen years to save for that first year of college. That gives you almost twenty years before the last year. This is a very long time to invest. You will likely see the stock market jump around wildly, reaching new highs and new lows along the way. Your balance will reflect the fluctuations.
Some people have been scared to put money into their college investments lately, since the market is at a very low point. People generally get excited when their balance goes way up and they throw more money in. This is really the opposite of what would be the most profitable, so you have to learn to keep your head on straight in times of high and low markets.
If the market is up really high and the returns are looking incredible, this is also when the investment is at its most expensive, getting you less shares for more money. When it is really low and scaring people off, that is when it is at its cheapest. You have to keep your eye on the prize.
The market fluctuates with emotions as well as the economy. Even savvy investors find it hard to buy low and sell high. They may see numbers rising and want to get in on the action, driving it even higher. When a lot of them do it at once, they can inflate the value of something beyond what it is really worth. Then they all sell, sell, sell and drive it back down. If it goes wildly high when people are excited, this does not necessarily mean that the stocks are really worth what people are paying, and eventually there should be a correction. If it is really low because of fear, then eventually it may correct back to what it is really worth. That is, if investors pulling out do not bankrupt the company.
With a general understanding of the market fluctuations, you will need to determine how much risk you are willing to take with your money. In general, the longer you have to save, the more risk you can afford to take. But, if you can’t sleep at night or it makes you sick to watch your balance plummet, then you may want to consider safer avenues that still have potential for growth. Mutual funds that have a balance between stocks and bonds can be a little more stable while still allowing growth. As you approach college, you may want to move into safer investments, such as all bond funds, getting you out of the fluctuation game all together.
Talk with a qualified financial advisor about the best way to put your children through college. Save as much as you can as often as you can. Keep your credit clean so that you can get the best terms and rates on student loans if they become necessary. Take the time to plan out college savings and it could really pay off.

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How Does Real Estate Investing Work – A Beginners Guide

How Does Real Estate Investing Work – A Beginners Guide

With the current state of the property market maybe you’ve been wondering how does real estate investing work. Perhaps you want to know if you can still make money in real estate and how. Does real estate investing work in any type of economic climate is another often asked question.

To answer these questions we need to think of real estate in the same way we would any other form of investing. The answer to the question “How does real estate investing work?” is simply by buying low and selling high or at least higher. And of course that’s possible in any market.

If you look around now you will see plenty of property both commercial and residential just sitting there waiting for someone to come and along and pick it up for pennies on the dollar. Why, because there are very few people who want to invest in real estate at this point in time. But for the savvy investor this is like finding gold bars lying on the ground.

Simply by doing some very careful checking you can find decent properties that are available far more cheaply than they were a couple of years ago. Once you are sure that they represent value for money you can go ahead and purchase them now and sit back to wait for the property market to pick up again. You could even consider letting them out to rent in the mean time.

Now what does that sound like to you? It sounds exactly the same as the stock market doesn’t it? If you’re investing in stocks you find value in the companies you want to buy shares in and wait for the rest of the market to see what you have seen.

Any form of real estate investing at any time works on exactly the same principle whether you choose commercial properties buy to let homes or even mobile home parks. You are trying to find something which will appreciate in value over a period of time once fellow investors decide they want what you have got. Obviously you have to make sure you have done all your checks very thoroughly to avoid buying a lemon but that’s the same in any investment.

So how does real estate investing work? You now know that it works just like any other type of investing by finding hidden value!

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Investing In Forex Or Shares What Should Your Aim Be?

Investing In Forex Or Shares What Should Your Aim Be?

A question that a lot of investors ask is whether they should aim for capital appreciation or a nice dividend.

With Forex this question does not arise as capital gain is the main objective.

A fat dividend and a high yield which persuades investors that the stock has been undervalued may well create a small stampede that boosts the price and thereby reduces the yield to more conventional levels.

It is also conceivable, however, that one could wait a discouragingly long time for Bethlehem and Youngstown to merge (the Government has frowned on the idea) or for Northern Pacific to make more from oil than from railroading.

The big problem of the capital-appreciation man is that he is dealing in forecasts and predictions—and on a larger scale than his brother who simply wants to figure the chances that General Foods will continue its dividend.

There are indicators which make the task something more than guesswork, but it is difficult nonetheless. Corporation directors are notoriously close-mouthed about any action affecting the fundamental structure of their company; it is most unlikely that the average investor can inform himself and act fast enough to gain an edge in this area of capital gains.

As for growth prospects, the field is wide open. But whether to pick an Ampex, a General Dynamics, or an Eastman Kodak is a puzzlement.

Every large and successful company today was once small, and investors who got aboard during the rise profited handsomely. But which of the hundreds of small electronics firms will be the General Electric of tomorrow—and which will go by the boards, as did so many promising automobile companies a generation ago? (Anybody got a closing price on Pierce Arrow?) And what, considering the amazing versatility of our ever-growing large corporations, is Mighty Atom Instruments, Inc., likely to do that Westinghouse can’t do better? Even assuming you have picked a winner, have you picked it early enough?

The prices of many so-called growth stocks today already reflect the optimism of buyers, possibly beyond the ability of the companies to earn as anticipated.

Remember, too, that in the rising market we have enjoyed for so many years, the real gain lies not in picking a merely successful company—the woods have been full of them—• but one which outruns the market.

It has been done, and can be done again. A bold investor who has studied the market closely can pick up a temporarily depressed or unpopular stock at a good price and reap the benefits of a subsequent rise. Or he may, in fact, sniff out the company due for a banner year.

But for the new investor, even the try for capital appreciation is best done on a long-term basis. Satisfy yourself that your stock is not overpriced, then buy and give it a chance to develop.

Safety of Principal: Essentially, this means bonds. The investor who is willing to forego a lively profit in the form of dividends or capital appreciation can be interested only in conserving the funds he has invested. This, customarily, is done by purchasing bonds which are a debt of the issuing company, not a stake in its earnings.

Bonds held to maturity will return their face amount to the holder. And bond interest must be paid along the way whether this leaves anything for the stockholders or not. Interest is paid at a fixed rate for a stated period of years; the rate usually is between 2.5 and 4.5 per cent, depending on the difficulty or ease of obtaining money at the time of issuance. Once it nits the market, however, an attractive bond, like a good stock, is frequently bid up to the point where the return is considerably less than if it had been bought at par.

Municipal bonds, issued by towns and cities to finance schools, sewage systems, water lines, and the like; state bonds issued to finance a variety of requirements; and public authority obligations, usually involved in the construction and operation of toll highways or bridges, are a category primarily of interest to the wealthy investor seeking tax relief. “Municipals,” as all three are loosely called, are tax-exempt. For the man in the 50 per cent bracket this means as much income from a bond yielding 3 per cent as from stocks earning 6.

Still and all, the new investor interested in bonds will by all odds do best by purchasing United States Savings Bonds, Categories E or F. They are the safest security anyone can buy. They are noncallable; they are not subject to the flue-tuations of other securities and other markets. (Corporate bonds are inclined to slump when stock prices are cheap and yields high, inclined to become expensive when stocks are high and yields begin to approach the levels customarily offered by bonds).

Another point: corporate bonds are usually issued in ,000 denominations, which places a significant holding beyond the reach of any but the wealthy or institutional investor.

If you are a Forex investor remember that as you are trying for a capital gain, this can Be risky and good Forex software will help you reduce risks.

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Mutual Fund Investing Simplified

Mutual Fund Investing Simplified

What is a mutual fund anyways an average person may well ask?

A mutual fund is simply a co-operative means by which means many people can pool their savings together and have it professionally managed and as well take advantage of institutional volume discount pricing of purchase and sales commissions.

The concepts of pooling allow investors with relative small amounts of money to access investments that may require larger sums to achieve affordability.

Government and corporate bonds, for example require minimums much higher than the $ 500 or so that most mutual funds will accept as minimum deposits. Additionally, pooling those many small sums gives the fund manager enough capital to broadly diversify the investments within the fund and provide full administrative and accounting services to unit holders.

Every mutual fund is different, not just in it financial objectives but also in the types of investments it may hold. Whether a fund holds stocks, bonds or a combination of the two, will ultimately define the degree or risk associated with each fund.

The differences in the types of securities a fund will hold are determined by the fund’s objectives. For example, if the objective is to provide unit holders with current income, the fund will hold various types of bonds and incomes financial vehicles. A fund seeking growth may invest in more speculative common stocks. Obviously the latter is much riskier than the former. Generally speaking, the higher the return objective, the higher the risk, and by extension no risk then no reward.

One of the great benefits of mutual funds is that by holding a variety of stocks and bonds, the investor significantly reduces the risk of losing money over a given period of time. An investor who uses all or her or his money to buy a single stock stands a much greater risk of losing money than one who invests in a mutual fund that holds between 20 to 50 different stocks… This is similar to what your grandfather advised you not to hold all of your eggs in one basket “. The chances of the 50 stocks losing all of their value are much less than a single company going out of business.

Furthermore, mutual funds offer the expertise of a highly trained, sophisticated money manager and of team of researchers with much greater access to information than the gingival investor to select, monitor and sell stocks and other investment vehicles at the most profitable time. Virtually all mutual funds have some degree risk, but it should be noted that even cash investments run the risk of being devalued by inflation and foreign currency exchange fluctuations.

Liquidity that is the ability to buy or sell investments and convert your funds to cash is another advantage that mutual funds have over many investments. Most funds have their shares or units valued on a daily basis. This means that investors can have the convenience of buying or selling shares or units in a fund on any business day without having to wait or seek a specific buyer to take the units off their hands. And a decision for the mutual fund unit holder to sell or redeem units, will not affect the unit value either.

The basic theory of successful investing is of course to buy low and sell high. Mutual funds take it one step further for investors who do not know, and as well do not particularly want to know what to buy and sell by employing professional management as well as volume institutional transaction sales charges to make those decisions on investors’ behalf. Better for the investor to sleep at night soundly.

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Investing in Utilities

Investing in Utilities

There was a time in our recent history that investing in utility stocks was like opening up a pass book savings account. Today, the investor needs to be more cognizant of the companies compliance with various regulations and their current stance on applying new and efficient technology. The increase in demand and a need for power plants and distribution has placed a burden on the utilities sector.

Some utility companies employ a combination of energy producing resources. Some rely on coal, hydro electrical plants and the occasional nuclear plant. Many rely on their natural gas reserves and electricity contracts with their producers to provide power to their customers. In effect the utility is a reseller of power sources.

Investing in Public Utility Companies:

Some good work horse utility companies are on the stock market. In seeking out the security of a public utility stock you may be interested in dividends. For some investors the utility is a relatively secure method of investing for the long term and part of a retirement plan.

One example of a good utility stock is American Electric Power Company. It trades on the NYSE under the stock ticker AEP. This is a public utility holding company that transmits, generates and distributes power to a variety of utility companies. Some of these utility companies are cooperatives, municipal power companies and smaller utility companies.

AEG is a 17.7 billion dollar market cap company. It has been a consistent performer for over 30 years and its major institutional investors read like a who’s who on Wall Street. It is better than 93 percent of all stocks listed on the S& P 500. The stock is a consistent performer and sells in the range of to for the last year. In November, 2006 the price was in the high range, but has moved to the ranges in recent months. It consistently issues a small dividend. It currently sells for .48 a share and should rise to its first target of with ease.

There are other holding companies that may be of interest to the investor with a desire to invest in utilities. Duke Power that trades under the stock ticker DUK is a multi billion dollar company. Another l00 year old company is Constellation Energy Group in Baltimore, Maryland. The significant aspect of investing in power companies is whether the company is in compliance with various regulations pertaining to clean air and water. The cost to update facilities is costly. Most of the major players in power have already commenced updating their facilities.

Investing in Diversified Utility Companies:

There are some very good diversified utility companies that are consistent performers. Wisconsin Power & Electric trades on the NYSE as WEP. This company is a consistent performer and recently provide a large credit to its customers. It has a 5.9 billion market capitalization. The company is owned by some of the biggest funds in the country. It sells for and has a mean target of .

Two other good good diversified utility companies are Integrys Energy Group stock ticker TEG and Alliant Energy that trades under the ticker LNT. There is a price difference in the companies, but both utilities are multi-billion dollar companies. Both have a blue ribbon groups of institutional investors.

All of the utility companies listed require some analysis to determine if the company fits your investment portfolio. The utility sector has some pressure due to world wide considerations and the demand of end users. The key is if the company is poised for future growth by enhancing its infrastructure and distribution methods.

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Beginning Investing: Without Much To Invest!

Beginning Investing: Without Much To Invest!

Is your list of things you wish you could do, but can’t afford to do, growing longer? Many people understand the value of investing, and the importance of investing in order to secure their futures, but they don’t have much available money that can be used for investing. These people might believe that they are not able to start investing and instead, continue to struggle with the daily living expenses and no plan for their financial future.

There are actually numerous ways that people who don’t necessarily have a lot of cash available can begin investing, and every penny saved can help over the longer term. The only proven way to improve your financial situation is to reduce your expenses and increase your income, while saving for the future.

7 Ways to Invest Even if You’re Broke

1. Save all of your change. Use cash to make as many purchases as possible, rather than writing a check or swiping your debit card, and put the change into a bucket at home each day. At the end of every month or two, deposit the change into a high interest savings account and watch it grow! If you’ve never actually saved your change before, you will be quite surprised at how fast change can accumulate. If you saved in change each month, you’d have 0 at the end of the year- and more if you save it in a high interest savings account!

2. Enroll in a direct stock purchase plan that allows you to start investing with as little as . Direct stock purchase plans allow investors to purchase fractions of stocks based on the dollar amount you invest.

3. Reinvest your dividends to increase the number of shares of stock you own. This can help result in higher income levels in later years, and while you would probably enjoy receiving those mini-dividend checks now, it’s better to reinvest them so they can grow into larger checks in a few years!

4. Enroll in your company’s 401K plan, if offered. Some companies even provide a matching contribution- where they match a percentage or all of your deposits. If you have this available to you and you aren’t taking advantage of it, you’re throwing away free money. You may miss the you have automatically deducted from your pay and put into your 401K each week at first, but after a few weeks you won’t even notice it’s gone and it will be going to a far greater cause than using it to buy lunch at your favorite fast food joint!

5. Join an investment club, and pool your money with the members of the club to help build a more comprehensive portfolio for small investments. When you invest on your own with small amounts of money, it can be difficult to build a diverse portfolio. By pooling your money with a group of like-minded people, you can build a diverse and comprehensive portfolio that will perform much better financially.

6. Take advantage of compound interest and start investing as early as possible. If you invest ,000 at the age of 25, you will actually end up with more at retirement than a 30 year old who invests ,000 on the same date!

7. If you receive money from an unexpected source, or you get a tax refund, you should consider it money you didn’t get and immediately invest it instead of spending it. When you invest the money, you get a deduction on your taxes, also.

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The Case for Value Stock Investing… What If?

The Case for Value Stock Investing… What If?

Wall Street Institutions pay billions of dollars annually to convince the investing public that their Economists, Investment Managers, and Analysts can predict future price movements in specific company shares and trends in the overall Stock Market. Such predictions (often presented as “Wethinkisms” or Model Asset Allocation adjustments) make self-deprecating investors everywhere scurry about transacting with each new revelation. “Thou must heed the oracle of Wall Street”… not to be confused with the one from Omaha, who really does know something about investing. “These guys know this stuff so much better than we do” is the rationale of the fools in the street, and on the hill (sic).

What if it’s true, and these pinstriped super humans can actually predict the future, why do you transact the way you do in response? Why would financial professionals of every shape and size holler “sell” when prices move lower, and vice versa? Would this pitch work at the mall? Of course not. Now lets bring this phenomenon into focus. Hmmm, not one of these Institutional Gurus ever doubts the basic truth that both the Market Indices and individual issue prices will continue to move up and down, forever. So, if we were to slowly construct a diversified portfolio of value stocks (My short definition: profitable, dividend paying, NYSE companies.) as they fall in price, we would be able to take profits during the following upward cycle… also forever. Hmmm.

Let’s pretend for a (foolish) moment that broad market movements are somewhat predictable. Regardless of the direction, professional advice will always fuel the perceived operative emotion: greed or fear! Wall Street’s retail representatives (stock brokers), and the new, internet expert, self-directors, rarely go against the grain of the consensus opinion…particularly the one projected to them by their immediate superior/spouse. You cannot obtain independent thinking from a Wall Street salesperson; it just doesn’t fill up the Beemer. Sorry, but you have to be able to think for yourself to stay in balance while pedaling on the Market Cycle. Here’s some global advice that you will not hear on the street of dreams (and don’t get all huffy until you understand what to buy or to sell as well as when to do so): Sell into rallies. Buy on bad news. Buy slowly; sell quickly. Always sell too soon. Always buy too soon, incrementally. Always have a plan. A plan without buying guidelines and selling targets is not a plan.

Predicting the performance of individual issues is a totally different ball game that requires an even more powerful crystal ball and a whole array of semi-legal and completely illegal relationships that are mostly self serving and useless to average investors. But, again, let’s pretend that a mega million-dollar salary and industry recognition as a superstar creates Master of the Universe quality prediction capabilities…I’m sorry. I just can’t even pretend that it’s true! The evidence against it is just too great, and the dangers of relying on analytical opinions too real. No one can predict individual issue price movements legally, consistently, or in a timely manner. Face up to this: the risk of loss is real; it can be minimized but not eliminated.

Investing in individual issues has to be done differently, with rules, guidelines, and judgment. It has to be done unemotionally and rationally, monitored regularly, and analyzed with performance evaluation tools that are portfolio specific and without calendar time restrictions. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, and if you are a “shopper” looking for bargains elsewhere in your life, you should have no trouble understanding how it works. Not a rocket scientist? Good, and if you are at all familiar with the retailing business, even better. You don’t need any special education evidentiary acronyms or software programs for stock market success… just common sense and emotion control.

Wall Street sells products, and spins reality in whatever manner they feel will produce the best results for those products. The direction of the market doesn’t matter to them and it wouldn’t to you either if you had a properly constructed portfolio. If you learn how to deal unemotionally with Wall Street events, and shun the herd mentality, you will find yourself in the proper cyclical mode much more often: buying at lower prices and, as a result, taking profits instead of losses. Just what if…

Coming next: Developing a Value Stock Watch List and Profit Taking Targets.

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Investment Advice: 3 Steps To Start Investing With Just $100

Investment Advice: 3 Steps To Start Investing With Just 0

Investment advice is usually geared toward those with thousands, or at least ,000 to invest, in addition to the standard three-to-six-months salary socked away in a savings account.

Most of us know how important it is to supplement our retirement with additional investment in traditional taxable investment accounts. Simply maxing out your IRA contributions and putting away 6% of your paycheck into the employer’s 401(k) just may not do it, but not everyone has the thousands that most investment advice requires.Here is a plan developed with the ultra-small investor in mind. It takes just 0, every month for a year.

Should You Invest?

First, it is important to prioritize your financial concerns. If you have high-interest credit card debt, do not invest until you are debt free. While it is possible to make more money investing than you are losing on finance charges, it is highly unlikely. Your money is best spent lowering credit card balances.

Also, if you have no cash savings, you should consider putting this plan off until you have savings equal to at least three months’ salary.

Finally, if you would be devastated if you lost all of the money you invested, you should probably stay away from directly investing. While not likely if you are conservative, it is possible to lose all or some of the money you invest, no matter what the security.

Start Investing With Just 0

1. Open a brokerage account with a low-cost online broker. It’s important that you’re not paying more than per trade, because that’s money that will be coming out of your investment. Also, make sure that the broker you choose has no minimum account balance, or fees will eat up your entire balance. For more about discount stock brokers you can visit our broker comparison chart.
2. Fund your account. This is where you send your first 0 to the broker via check, wire transfer, or ACH transfer. I recommend ACH transfer, which is like an electronic check, because a check will take a few weeks to process and a wire transfer is too costly for investing such a small amount.
3. Make your first investment.

What you invest in is, of course very important, and professional investment advice is too expensive if you’re only investing 0. But studies have shown that the best returns come from widely diverse portfolios.

Now, you can’t easily have a widely diverse portfolio with 0, since that won’t even get you one share of Google (GOOG) or Toyota (TM). But Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) make it easy to invest a small amount of money in a wide variety of securities, because they are shares in a larger pool of securities. The Vanguard Total Stock Market VIPER (VTI) tracks over 6,000 U.S. stocks, and it’s like investing your first 0 in the entire U.S. stock market. The iShares MSCI-EAFE (EFA) invests in stocks from Europe, Australia and Asia. The iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond (AGG) tracks the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index, and it’s like investing your 0 in the entire bond market.

If, after three months, you have put 0 into each of these funds, you will have a well-diversified portfolio that should withstand most of the market’s fluctuations. Losses in any particular sector of the stock market should be offset by gains in other areas of the market. Add to it each month, never investing less than 0 at a time, and you should see the value of your account grow just as the stock market does.

There are many ETFs to choose from and they are getting more diverse, including junk bond and commodities funds. Personally I would stay away from them until there’s at least ,000 in stock and traditional bond ETFs, since the majority of your portfolio should include traditional investments, not alternative investments.

As you watch your investment grow (and then pull back, and then grow again) you should learn more about asset allocation and portfolio diversification, which are the keys to investment success. The more diverse your investments, the more you will be able to withstand volatile markets when stocks dip.

Finally, when the total value of your investment reaches ,000, you should consider seeking professional investment advice and transferring your holdings to traditional mutual funds, which are a bit easier to manage, but typically have higher investment minimums.

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