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Investing for the beginner can be confusing and there are many ways to get started. The first thing to do is find a broker that you feel comfortable with, either online or at a local office. Perhaps talk with someone you trust who is already investing to get a recommendation. Enter the market slowly. Itís usually advisable to take your time. If youíre investing a large sum of money, take several months to invest all of your money to minimize risk. Set time aside each day, or each week, to review all the news of your investments. As your knowledge and experience grows, you can adjust your portfolio on a regular basis. Every year or so, you may want to sell some of one type of your investment and buy another. You may also adjust your portfolio by adding additional funds. These funds can be used to expand the number of holdings or added to existing holdings.

Prior to investing, take some time to research the different types of stocks and to learn about the NYSE and NASDAQ. There is a huge amount of information online. Basically, people invest to create wealth, but itís good to know your goals. Are you looking to invest for retirement, or start a college fund for your children, or want to save for a large purchase or around-the-world vacation. Of course, the younger you are and the earlier you get started, you have ďtimeĒ on your side when investing. Example: if you invest $2,000 in the stock market and it returns 10 percent a year (which is the S&P 500ís historical average,) that $2,000 will grow to $34,898 in 30 years. If youíre in your 20s, thatís quite a return. Especially, as you get older and more stable, you can add to it. Of course, itís never too late to begin, however. If youíre nearing retirement age and have never invested, you might benefit best from investing in a traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account.) A traditional IRA gives an immediate tax benefit when you contribute, but is taxed later when you start taking the money out of the account. There are also restrictions on how much you can contribute to the IRA each year. An older investor might also think about opening a standard brokerage account where you have full control over your money and no restrictions on the amount you can invest. A professional can help you sort through all of the options.


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