How to Invest in Stocks When You Do Not Know Where to Start

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Learning how to invest in stocks isnโ€™t hard, but you need to know where to start. Here are the best ways beginners can start investing and grow money.

Do you want to know how to invest in stocks, but don’t know where to start? This is a situation many beginning investors face and they allow their lack of knowledge to hold them back. I was the same way when trying to figure out how to begin investing in stocks. It was overwhelming, I didn’t have a lot of money, and I had no idea where to start.

This is a situation many face and use to put off investing. I heard that concern during my time as a stockbroker and regularly talk with investors today who simply don’t know where to start. This is a common feeling, so you shouldn’t feel alone.

If you’re facing a similar apprehension and want to know the best way to start, this post is for you.

I don’t necessarily blame investors for their ignorance. No matter what we know, there’s always more to learn when it comes to investing and, if you haven’t been fortunate to have a parent, relative or boss teach you how to invest in stocks, how would you know where to start?

If you’re wondering how to invest in stocks online for beginners, the below tips will give you everything you need to start building your wealth today.

Start with Educating Yourself


The primary problem for many investors is a lack of comfort. Many peoples’ eyes glaze over when investing is mentioned, our society doesn’t champion it and our primary and secondary schools don’t teach it, so finding resources on how to learn to start investing is vital.

Many think they need to be experts to start investing in the stock market.

You don’t. You simply need to find the right resources to help you learn about investing. All it takes is a little knowledge and you can start investing with confidence.

The first two places I point investors to when they want to start investing is the following two books:

A Random Walk has been around for over 40 years and is considered by many to be the source to go to for investing education. The author, Burton Malkiel, breaks down many complex investing strategies and philosophies so simply that anyone can understand investing.

The second book is a collection of Warren Buffett’s annual letters organized thematically for simple reading. Buffett, as well, has a good style and talks in a way that makes investing easier for many to understand.

If you’re looking for other books on investing then make sure to check out our post on the best investing books for beginners for some other solid options.

Another good option for education is Stock Advisor from Motley Fool. Stock Advisor is run by brothers David and Tom Gardner, and is a service offered by Motley Fool since 2002.

Each month the brothers recommend two stocks they believe will outperform the stock market on a long-term basis. You don’t need to buy the stocks, of course, but the recommendations are well-researched and both brothers consistently beat the market.

Beyond the recommendations, Stock Advisor is a great tool to create watch lists, do research, and interact with other investors.

You can subscribe to Stock Advisor for $99 per year, or $19 per month if you prefer. Try their 30-day free trial to see if Stock Advisor is the right tool for your investment needs.

Finally, you can also check out some of the free investing tools I use to help with my investing needs.

*Related: Here are other investment options to consider:


What Stocks Should I Invest in?


This is a common question for many beginners who want to start investing. There are thousands of stocks to invest in, not to mention mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Each of the three serve a different purpose, but can be a great way to start investing in the stock market for beginners. I’ll describe each below:

  • Stock – represents a piece of ownership in a particular company and trades throughout the day on an Exchange like the New York Stock Exchange
  • Mutual funds – are baskets, or groupings, of different stocks; each one is managed by a portfolio manager, but is not traded on an exchange
  • ETFs – are a lot like mutual funds, but typically have cheaper fees; an ETF trades like a stock on a particular exchange

I like to follow the advice of Warren Buffett if you don’t know what to start investing in as a beginner.

Buffett says we should buy what we know. Explore your house and look at your daily habits. In many cases you’ll find that many of the products you buy are made by generally very solid companies who have been around for decades.

Beyond that, many of those companies typically pay dividends – which means they give money back to you, usually quarterly, for owning their stock. If you find yourself wanting to know how to invest in stocks, this is likely one of the easiest ways to determine which ones to consider.

How Much Do I Need to Start Investing?


I used to believe that you needed thousands of dollars to invest in the stock market. If you watch the news or CNBC you see people who are investing millions, or more, so it stands to reason that you need a lot of money to start – correct?


You can invest in the stock market with little money and do quite well. Few people have a lot of resources to start investing in stocks when they begin and waiting until you have thousands will only hurt you in the long run thanks to compound interest.

What is compound interest? In short, compound interest is when your money makes more money, or interest earning more interest. Compound interest is so powerful that Albert Einstein referred to it as the 8th wonder of the world.

To take advantage of compound interest you need to start investing as soon as possible. Time is the best gift you can give your investing, even if it’s in small amounts.

*Related: Do you want to invest in real estate but have limited funds? Check out our guide of the best crowdfunding real estate sites that let you invest with little money.*

When it comes to saving for retirement, the Center for Retirement Research shows that if you start investing at age 25 you have to put away one third of what those who start at 45 do for retirement.

The moral of the story is to start investing in the stock market as soon as you can.The ultimate goal behind this is to grow your wealth.

Take a look at the chart below, courtesy of Business Insider, as an example example of the power of compound interest.

how to invest in stocks

As you can see, the earlier you start, the less you actually have to save as it has more time to grow.

Not having enough should not be an excuse not to invest in stocks. If you need ideas of how to invest in stocks with little money, check out our guide on how to start investing with $500 or less on what you can do to start investing in the stock market.

Where Can I Open an Account?


If you want to know how to invest in stocks, you will need a brokerage account to do the investing. A 401(k) plan is the best way to start, but not everyone has access to a plan or others may want to invest more money.

In either case you will want to open an online brokerage account. There are many online brokerages to consider – here are the best online brokerages I’ve worked with. These brokerages will work for many investors, regardless of whether you’re a novice or an expert.

Remember how I mentioned you don’t need a lot of money to start investing in stocks? Many of the discount brokerages below will let you invest with little money.

  • Acorns – no minimum deposit required
  • M1 Finance – $0 minimum balance requirement and no fees to trade
  • Stash Invest  – $0.01 minimum balance required

It is important to know that each of the above online brokers offer a more DIY approach to investing. Don’t fret. Many of them also have free tools, courses, and webinars to help you learn how to start investing in stocks.

Our favorite online brokerage is Betterment. Betterment is a robo-advisor and has no minimum balance requirement, and is the perfect option for newer investors.

If you’d rather get help managing your investments, you can even get that with little money. This is possible through something known as a robo-advisor. A robo-advisor manages the entire investing process for you.

You start by answering a few questions so they can learn about your goals, investing timeline, and appetite for risk. They take your answers and use them to construct an investment portfolio.

They manage your investments from there, ensuring it’s on target to reach your goals.

The beauty of the robo-advisor is they offer access to tools and management once only available to those with considerable money. This is a great resource for those just starting to invest in stocks.

If you want to know how to invest in stocks for dummies, there is no shortage of options to help you reach your investing goals.

Where is the Best Place to Start Investing?


Many people don’t realize that the best place to start investing in stocks is right in front of them – the 401(k) plan through their employer.

While you don’t typically get to invest in stocks in a 401(k) plan, you do get to invest in mutual funds and/or ETFs so you accomplish the same thing.

Why is a 401(k) the best place to start for beginners? It’s quite simple:

  • You can start investing with no money
  • You can set up automatic transfers from each paycheck
  • Your employer may match what you contribute – that’s free money
  • Many 401(k) plans offer free resources to help you learn about how to start investing in the stock market

Each 401(k) plan is different, but in most cases you can start investing in them when you start a new job. Some may make you wait several months. Just ask your employer when you start when you can begin investing in your 401(k).

If you find the plan overwhelming, check out our guide on how to set up your first 401(k).

Have you been investing in your 401(k) plan for awhile but think you can do better? Blooom is a terrific resource that can help you make sure your investments are in top shape.

Blooom checks your plan to make sure you’re not overpaying in fees and that you’re in the best possible investments available in your plan – all based on your particular goals.

Think of it as kicking the tires of your 401(k) to ensure it’s doing what you need it to. This can be done on a one-time basis, or you can use Blooom on a more regular basis to analyze your plan.

Blooom is free for the first 30 days, then $10 per month after that.

How Often Should I Check on My Investments?


As you’re learning how to invest in stocks, you want to determine the goals you have for your investing. Is this the beginning of you saving for retirement or is this intended to start funding for children’s college education?

Whatever your goal is, you want to make sure you stay on top of it. There’s no set timeline you need to check in on your investments. Some like to check in each month while others space it out to check on them quarterly or annually.

Find what works best for you and do it religiously. One of the greatest investing mistakes many investors make is to set it and forget it with their investments and ignore them for years.

Far too often this leads to the investor losing significant money, not to mention risking that the investments are not in line with their current goals.

You want to make sure you know what exactly is going on with your investments. Ignoring them will not help you with this situation. Think of it like checking your bank account balance regularly.

Checking in on your investment accounts holds the same importance.

The best way I’ve found to monitor our investments is through the free tool at Personal Capital. Personal Capital offers many great resources, but one of the best ones is a free portfolio review.

They analyze how your investments are performing and look for lower fee alternatives.

As you can see in the picture below, Personal Capital even provides a dashboard that shows your net worth and displays a comparison between your investments and potential alternatives.

The best part is that this is all free of charge to use and they use government level security to ensure your information is secure.

personal capital

Investing in stocks can take a lot of work. When you check in on your investments on a regular basis that removes a lot of the work for you.

Alternatives to Grow Your Wealth


Not everyone wants to invest in the stock market. Stocks brings a certain level of risk that some are not comfortable with taking. Some don’t trust the market and want another avenue to grow their money.

Does that mean that they’re out the opportunity to grow their wealth? No!

There are various other ways to grow your wealth outside of investing in stocks. Two of the best alternatives to stocks are peer-to-peer lending (P2P lending) and investing in real estate. Each carries their own risks and drawbacks, but both are great ways to build wealth outside the stock market.

LendingClub is the most well-known option to do P2P lending. With LendingClub you can invest in notes as low as $25. LendingClub rates borrowers so you can see the risk level of the borrower in question.

You can even open an IRA through LendingClub if you want to add P2P investments to your retirement planning. You do need at least $5,500 to open an IRA with LendingClub.

The LendingClub site claims returns of up to eight percent per year. This makes it competitive to investing in stocks, if P2P lending is something you’re comfortable with considering.

The other stock market alternative, real estate investing, carries with it misconceptions just like investing in stocks. Many think you need a lot of money to invest in real estate or that you need a lot of knowledge.

Until recently that has been the case, but thanks to crowdfunded real estate investing that is no longer true. You can invest in real estate in small amounts and not be responsible for managing individual properties.

Fundrise is one of the leading options to invest in real estate with little money. Fundrise allows you to start investing in real estate with as little as $500, in either a retirement or non-retirement account.

This allows you to pool your money with other investors and invest in commercial or residential properties. Fundrise also lets you invest based on your specific goals so you invest in a fund that more closely meets your needs.

RealtyMogul is another good option to invest in real estate. You need to have $1,000 to start, but has lower fees than Fundrise.




It’s challenging to know how to invest in stocks when you don’t know where to start. The terminology is confusing and the number of choices can be overwhelming.

That doesn’t even begin to consider how much money you need to invest or concerns you may have about risk.

There are many reasons not to invest in stocks, but most often they have no merit. If you’re asking yourself “should I invest in the stock market?”, you’ve already answered the question incorrectly.

The real question should be “what am I missing out on by not investing in the stock market?”

The answer to that question reveals the whole reason why you need to start. The stock market is one of the best ways to grow your wealth today, if not the best way.

Yes, the stock market is full of risk. Yes, you will lose money, however you will also make money. Most things in life worth anything are full of risk and leave you open to loss.

The reason why you need to invest in stocks is that it will help you reach the goals you have in life. The goal really doesn’t matter, it can be one of the reasons below:

  • To be able to retire when you want
  • To create a passive income stream
  • To help your young child pay for college
  • To someday be able to buy a house
  • To provide for your family upon your passing

These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to invest in the stock market as soon as possible. If you’re figuring out how to invest in stocks as a beginner, take advantage of the free resources in this post, those available through your 401(k) plan and/or online brokerage, and those offered online.

There’s a wealth of free information available that will set you on the right path to start investing in stocks today and begin to grow your wealth.

Are you trying to figure out how to invest in stocks? If not, how did you start investing? What are other alternatives to the stock market you’d consider as an investment possibility? 

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I found the best way I learned was by asking others who were in the market and by having practice runs with pretend shares in an excel spreadsheet. I did pretend investing for about 6-8 months before I entered with real money. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I seem to do OK.

    • Jake Erickson says:

      These are great tips. I also have practiced by doing those little stock picking games and I feel like they have taught me quite a bit about investing.

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Glen, and I think is jut another part of the overall goal of educating oneself before investing in the stock market.

  • Your Daily Finance says:

    I trading for about 6 to a year on paper before I actually started investing. At one point it was great because it made me understand the concept of what if I lost the money…could I stand the pain and did I have the emotions for the up and down. Be sure to take profits with the gains. Don’t think the market will always go up and start by investing in companies you already own products with.

    • John says:

      That’s a great point! It really can be a challenge to separate those emotions, but it’s vital to making sure you can have long term growth in your portfolio.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Really terrific tips. Good investing is really simple. Not always easy, but simple. I will say that there are ways to get access to many of the best index funds out there without any trading fees, namely by investing directly with someone like Vanguard. And whatever your strategy, accurately track your performance and compare it, including costs and taxes, to a relevant benchmark.

    • John says:

      Thanks Matt! I agree, solid investing really can be simple and I am actually planning a post on that topic. Great point on getting access to some of those index funds, if you can get them commission free than it’s a no brainer to take a hard look at some of them.

  • Janice @ Whiz Silver says:

    Thanks for the tips! No doubt education in investing is important, I think the real challenge comes in facing the emotions in the investing world. Experience is one integral aspect in determining success as well.

    • John says:

      Not a problem Janice! I agree, facing those emotions is vital and learning to not let them control your investing decisions.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    Investing in the stock market is something that is definitely underutilized as a way of building wealth. I don’t think it even really should be taught in schools, but it’s not really even mentioned. I have learned all I know about investing from blogs!

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Daisy. There’s very little of it taught in schools, which is a real shame. There’s some simple basics that could be taught that could help out a great many.

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    I’d like to suggest one more book to your investing education reading list: “Why Stocks Are Riskier Than You Think,” by Drs. Zvi Bodie and Rachelle Taqqu.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I have done some trading in a fake money account, but haven’t really spent much time doing it in the past year or so. I track some stocks, particularly health insurance and health-related stocks on a fairly frequent basis. As you said in the post, it’s easy to think of stocks to invest in (or at least research and track) because the products and services we use on a daily or weekly basis are usually tied to a larger corporation, if not made by a publicly traded company.

    • John says:

      It really is DC. There are many ways to determine what stocks are out there, you just have to know where to look.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I always liked the concept of buying what you know. It’s really true that if you use it, likely many others do as well. I think if you listen to Warren, it’s really hard to go wrong money wise.

    • John says:

      I could not agree more Kim. I know that we hold a stock or two of things we use nearly every day. It’s not fool proof, but has the potential to do very well, over time, for many investors.

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life says:

    While I haven’t gotten into investing yet, I plan to start at the beginning on 2014. I read Millionaire Teacher a few months ago and that really helped me get my head around the basics, but I definitely want to get my hands on a copy of A Random Walk Down Wall Street because I’ve heard that it’s an excellent read for a beginner like me. I think when I do start, I’ll begin with index funds.

    • John says:

      I’ve heard great things about that book and have been planning on taking a look at it. I could not recommend A Random Walk more, it’s a very helpful book.

  • Debt Blag says:

    That’s interesting that you mention that. In my grade school and high school education, the stock market was the *only* aspect of personal finance that was mentioned — nothing about bonds, the money markets, real estate…

    • John says:

      I know some schools will do a stock picking game. I know I did in my school, but it lasted a week or two and was basically a game to pick the stocks you know…so many were investing in DIS or KO – mind you not bad stocks at all. I would like to see a little more in terms of basics though as opposed to just picking a stock or two.

  • Grayson @ Debt RoundUp says:

    Investing was a little scary when I first started, but there are so many resources online to help you learn more. If you take the time, you can get a wealth of knowledge. I agree with you about not getting bamboozled with online brokerages. Only pay for what you need.

    • John says:

      It was for me as well Grayson and I think it is for many. You’re completely right though, there are many resources available out there & many are free. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jake Erickson says:

    These are all great tips. As someone who will begin investing within the next year, I will take these lessons and try to apply them to my own portfolio. I think the biggest thing is to have a long-term investing plan and stick to it regardless of whether the market is increasing or decreasing.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jake! Having that long term view is vital, as well as separating your emotions from the investing. It’s easier said than done at times though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Budget and the Beach says:

    This is one of my weakest areas when it comes to personal finance. I have an old 401k and I have my money in an investment account that someone else manages (per my dad’s suggestion years ago), but I lose focus on it and don’t to much to actively participate. It’s one of my goals this year.

    • John says:

      I think it is for many Tonya which I think largely goes back to not knowing where to start. The great thing is that there is a wealth of resources available and much of it’s free.

  • Jai Catalano says:

    I started with conservative mutual funds. Then i went to ETF’s. Then I bought stocks and sold covered calls. I don’t own stocks outright because I love options trading.

    • John says:

      Options trading really can be addicting, especially if you know what you’re doing. I have started doing more this year with straddles and spreads. I want to do more of it, I just lack the time to actively manage it.

  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Stock market games that use real quotes and market fluctuations are great crash courses, I’ve found.

  • Greg@Thriftgenuity says:

    John, looks like we were on the same page today as I wrote about a similar topic in staying educated about the market. I really like that you are pointing out the goal is to stay with the market not beat it. I think that is a much better way to gauge how your investments are doing and people that promise more are likely not being genuine.

    • John says:

      Yes, I was thinking that as I read your post Greg. ๐Ÿ™‚ I could not agree more, I think we really do need to focus on what the market is doing as opposed to wasting time, energy and money trying to beat it.

  • Michelle says:

    This is a great list! Will have to show it to my sister.

  • Girl Meets Debt says:

    I can’t really think about investing until my debt is paid off in 4-5 years, but with great tips on great blogs like yours John, I’m not intimidated ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Suba @ Wealth Informatics says:

    I was extremely hesitant to invest. I even delayed my 401k for 2 yrs (no match) because I couldn’t figure this thing out. Then I created a mock portfolio and invested to get my feet wet. Even after that my first investment was S&P 500. I never pick individual stock even now. I stick to index funds, but not my portfolio is much more diversified.

    • John says:

      You’re not alone Suba, many are in that same spot. You have to go with what works for you and having that diversification you have is key.

  • Midlife Finance says:

    Starting with index fund is a great idea. A new investor just need to keep adding money and he/she will see that it would pay off in the long run. It’s the easiest way to invest. You can always diversify more later.

    • John says:

      I completely agree, especially as you’re starting out. That can be a great way to get your feet wet and stay with the market.

  • Nick @ says:

    I think the piece that a lot of people miss is that no matter how much you educate yourself beforehand, eventually you just have to jump in and start doing it. When I started investing, I read a lot on investing. It wasn’t until I actually started doing it that everything I read started to make sense to me.

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Nick! I think a lot of that goes back to determining how much risk you want to take on and being comfortable with the idea of losing money.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Wonderful tips, John. These days you really don’t have a choice but to be an investor and so many people are unprepared to fulfill that role for themselves. Education is key and I know it’s a subject that make some people really sleepy but boy, will you be wide awake when retirement nears and you realize you can’t stop working. It’s worth figuring out. The other mistake I see frequently (and I’m sure you did too) is how emotional people become when handling their money. They have knee-jerk reactions to a bad day at the market or they giddily follow someone who told them they just made a killing on “said’ stock. Education goes a long ways in helping you make informed and not emotional decisions.

    • John says:

      Great insight Shannon & I could not agree more. I know investing makes many peoples eyes glaze over, but it’s so important to have even a basic grasp on. Yes, I saw people make emotional decisions all the time and I just wanted to shake them half the time. I think a lot of times it did come down to that lack of education as well as allowing those emotions stay in the driver’s seat.

  • Pauline says:

    I really don’t know much about stocks, but a $7 trade order seems high indeed. In forex it is free but then you have the spread between buy and sell, about 0.2% so you really need to trade high to get to $7.

    • John says:

      Actually, $7 per stock trade is very competitive and is a pretty good price. There are a few places that can beat it, but they usually do not offer a lot of value for their price.

  • My Financial Independence Journey says:

    I would recommend deciding at the outset if you want to be an investor (long term) or a trader (short term). Both have very different goals, strategies, and risks associated with them. I would also advise everyone regardless of whether they favor a long or short term holding period to write up an investment plan that spells out the conditions under which they will consider buying or selling a stock.

    • John says:

      Those are all great points MFIJ, especially the investor vs. trader aspect. I have written on several of your other points exclusively in previous posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • harry @ PF Pro says:

    I found the best way to learn about investing is to lose a lot of money haha. Everyone thinks their a great investor during a bull market but their feelings may change when every stock they pick is losing money.

    • John says:

      Lol, that’s one way to learn. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know, all the “experts” come out during the bull runs and then, all of a sudden, they’re quiet once the bears come out.

  • Sean @ One Smart Dollar says:

    If you are not totally comfortable with investing then mutual funds are the way to go. The fund managers do all of the work for you. You just need to pick out the good performers and make sure they don;t charge high fees.

    • John says:

      That is definitely a good possibility of a way to go. Like you said though Sean, I’d watch those fees.

  • femmefrugality says:

    Thanks for the starter information! I’m going to need it in a few months when I get started!

  • Untemplater says:

    It really does start with education. Most graduates aren’t even totally sure what stocks and bonds are and the stock market can seem totally foreign and intimidating. I agree that there’s an endless amount of things to learn when it comes with investing but it’s never too late to start learning the basics.

    • John says:

      I completely agree Sydney. I don’t think it’s ever too late really to start learning the basics, especially as that can really help with the overwhelming feeling many can experience.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    John, wonderful post!!! Did you write this one for me? ๐Ÿ™‚ . Can’t wait to read the Buffet book. Rick and I have been seriously contemplating starting in stock investing, and this was just the info I needed to learn how to start. Thank you!!!

    • John says:

      Thanks Laurie! I appreciate that as I was wanting it to be more personal since investing can be so dry for many. Glad to be of help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brian @ Luke1428 says:

    My investing journey started when I got married. My wife came into our marriage with a small mutual fund account that was set up for her by her grandmother. Cool I thought…I get the girl and the money! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually, what I felt was a tremendous responsibility to learn so that I didn’t blow it. Since then, it’s just been a slow process of learning from successes and mistakes, understanding my risk tolerance (which I think many don’t take time to properly assess), and monitoring my emotions over our money.

    • John says:

      Lol, that’s awesome Brian! I think that’s how many of us should learn and agree that risk tolerance issue is one that all too many do not heed at all.

  • CashRebel says:

    It sounds like I need to get A Random Walk Down Wallstreet out of the library. I’ve read quite a bit about index investing and what has worked in the past, but I keep seeing this book come up. When I first started investing, I didn’t really have a goal. Now I understand what risk tolerance I can stand.

    • John says:

      I could not recommend it enough Ross. I think even if you’re a seasoned investor you’re likely to get something out of it. The fact that Buffett wrote the foreward for it and it’s recommended by virtually every one is good reasoning in my opinion.

  • Elle P. says:

    Bookmarked for future reference. You mentioned that this post is going to be part of a series. Are the other posts up? If you have time, I recommend to add links of the series to the end of each post. Your site can get stickier by prospective stock enthusiasts like me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks Elle! Yes I did… I have to get back to that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am still forming my thoughts on where I’ll be taking this series – but I do definitely plan on adding more to this. Great suggestion on linking to the series at the end of each respective post.

  • Dr.J @ MedSchool Financial says:

    Came across an article last week, talking about how Charles Schwab started and the advice he gave to his daughter was to just stay diversified and to participate in the market. Nice and simple, enjoyed the post.

  • Meghan says:

    Hi! I have a ton of outstanding debt from undergrad and medical school that I am now starting to pay off. Would it be a good idea to pay this off first before I invest, or would you recommend I invest (after practicing and reading a few financial books mentioned, etc.) and use that money to help pay off the loans quicker? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Meghan. That’s always a tricky question with no clear-cut answer in my opinion. Looking back myself, I put off investing while paying off debt but wish I would’ve done something while paying off debt as I lost out on all those years of compound interest that I can’t get back.

      That being said, do you have access to a 401(k) through work? If you do, I’d recommend sticking with that, especially if a match is offered and throw everything else at the loans. If not, you might also want to look at a Roth IRA as it’d allow you to withdraw funds in an emergency with no penalty – starting out small so you throw the majority of your funds at the debt. It would also depend on the interest rate you’re paying on the loans as the higher they are the more inclined I’d be to focus solely on those.

  • Venice Mitchell says:

    Hi John
    Just wanted to let you know that I have opened an account with Motif and Loyal3. Ive allowed my fears for years control me so i stayedaway from learning more about money n finances. No more. Ive bought stock using Loyal3 n im in the process of funding my Motif to stay buying shares through them.

    I’m in a limited income and csn no longer wirk traditionally so I’m actively trying to get my Retirement Account up n running. Thanks For clear and easy way to understand you about Investing and Finances.

  • Mighty Investor says:

    Nice post, John. I think another crucial aspect to stress about learning to invest is that this is a learned skill like any other. No different than cooking, or skiing, or building a home. People should expect to feel nervous and a little freaked out at first. The key move is to start investing as soon as possible with smaller sums. That way people can get experience through full market cycles early in their investing career–and learn the importance of psychology to becoming a successful investor.

    I just discovered your site for the first time today and am looking forward to exploring it more.

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