The big picture

If you think investing is for other people, here's another way to look at it: Investing is more than a matter of numbers; it's a tool to help you achieve your dreams. It doesn't matter if you're saving to buy a home, send your kids to college or retire comfortably—investing wisely will help you get there.

Do you think you need a lot of money to get started? You don't. Does someone else already manage your money for you? That's fine—but you can still be involved in shaping your financial future.

Still unsure? Here are three general guidelines for every investor:

Decide what you want. Start by setting goals. When you have a tangible idea of what you want to achieve, it will be easier—and more rewarding—to go about achieving it.

Understand the basics. The principles of investing don't change. The economy changes, markets change, your own needs and goals may change, but the strategies you use to meet those goals and handle market fluctuations remain the same. Learn them once, and you've learned them for good.

Keep a long-term perspective. Investing is not a quick fix; it requires an ongoing commitment. You need to stick with it to get results. But the results you're working toward are real and related to your life, whether investing helps you buy a home, educate your kids or have a comfortable retirement.

Don't know where to begin?

When you're first starting out, the new words and concepts may seem overwhelming. If you are new to investing, or just feeling a bit rusty, start with a few of the building blocks: stocks, bond and cash.

Ready to move on? Explore mutual funds or learn about exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

After that, you'll be ready to create your own investment plan.


The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager.

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