Financial markets are not easy to understand. A complex maze of options leaves many individuals puzzled about the best places to put their money, if they bother to think about putting it anywhere but the bank. That's especially true for inexperienced investors.
Getting Started is here to help you learn, to help you do more with your money, no matter your level of experience. Our guide will lead you through the basics of investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and into the more exotic realms of options, futures and other sophisticated instruments if you're interested.
When it comes to investing, how to buy is often more important than what to buy. Investing is risky -- that's the nature of markets. You can't eliminate that risk but you can be a proactive investor who makes informed decisions. Buying intelligently allows you a margin of safety, a cushion in case events go against you.
In our Getting Started guide we'll tell you what to watch for
-- and just as importantly what to watch out for -- as you research various investments. We'll show you how to buy right, avoid scams, minimize risk and maximize the chances that you'll achieve your savings goals.
We won't tell you what to buy. There are plenty of resources on MarketWatch and the rest of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network to help you there. We will offer valuable tips on buying smarter, better and cheaper, leaving you the freedom to follow your own investment personality -- your relationship with money is something you'll have to recognize about yourself -- one that can change and grow over time.
"Find an approach that mirrors your way of thinking," says John Buckingham, editor of the Prudent Speculator, a top-performing stock newsletter. "Most investors end up not really following anybody's strategy and just cherry-picking ideas they get from a variety of sources. What you need to do is stick with it. You need five years, if not 10, to prove a strategy works."