Investing 101

Investing is a great way to grow your wealth over time. It can be intimidating for beginners, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it doesn't have to be.

This guide is designed to help you understand the basics of investing and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your investments. From understanding different types of investments to learning how to diversify your portfolio, this guide will help you get started on the path to financial success.

Types of Investments

Explore different types of investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, including the risks and returns with each type.

How Does Investing Work?

Understand the importance on how investments work in order to make the best decisions for you and your future.

4 Ways to Consider Investing With Little Money

Learn about the different strategies for getting started with investing on a tight budget.

How to Start Investing in Your 20's

Learn how investing in your 20's can help with potential for compound growth over time that could lead to potentially significant returns in the future.

How to Start Investing After College

Understand how to think about postgraduate investing while keeping up with other financial commitments.

Long-Term Investments vs. Short-Term Investments

Understanding the differences between long-term and short-term investments may make it easier for you to develop investment strategies.

What to Know About Opening an Investment Account

Learn about the different types of investment accounts before you open an account.

5 Common Investment Myths Debunked

Many people fall prey to misconceptions about investments. Learn the truth about some of the most common investment myths.

How Does Compound Interest Work?

Compound interest can help you grow your money over time. Learn how compound interest works.

Compound Interest Calculator

Calculate the impact compound interest can have on the growth of your assets over time.

How Do Bonds Work?

Learn about the variety of bonds, how interest rates are set, and how they work.

What Is a Stock Split?

When a company decides to increase the total number of outstanding shares, a stock split takes place. Learn more about stock splits, why it occurs and their benefits.

What is a Diversified Portfolio?

Stocks, bonds, and cash are the three largest asset classes you can add to your portfolio. Learn more about the different assets and how to diversify your portfolio.

What is Asset Allocation?

Before choosing particular investments, you might decide on your asset mix for investments. Learn more about what asset allocation is and how to choose one.

What Are Financial Assets?

Learn more about the different financial assets and how they can help you understand where your money comes from, where your money goes to and the things you own.

The Impact of Inflation on Your Savings & Investments

The value of your savings may decline over time due to inflation. Having an understanding of inflation and how it could impact your investments will help you prepare for the future. 

Liquid vs. Non-Liquid Assets

Understanding the distinction between liquid and non-liquid assets could help you see different methods of investing to work with your overall financial strategy.

Investment Terms for Beginners

Understanding basic investment terms can make it easier for you to decide which option to use when reviewing your investments.

How to Invest During a Recession

Understand more about your own investment objectives and ways to profit from the current economic situation before you decide to invest during a recession.

Short-Term and Long-Term Investment Strategies

Identifying fundamental considerations such as investment timeline and tolerance for risk can help form long-term and short-term investment strategies that complement each other and reach goals.

5 Ways to Help Grow Your Investment Skills

Investing can be daunting, but there are ways to improve your skills and feel more confident.

Common Investing Questions

How do I get started investing?

Even if you only have a small amount of money to invest, you can likely get started. Some people start by enrolling in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401(k). Recent U.S. Department of Labor research indicates 62% of Americans have retirement benefits through work. 

Another option is to open an investment account through a bank or investment broker, who can help you buy and sell investments. With this approach, you'll likely have to pay trading and annual fees and other service costs. 

Regardless of what option you choose, you'll probably want to do your research to understand each type of investment that you're interested in pursuing, and exactly how you could earn a return on each. It's crucial to note, however, that no investment of any kind can guarantee growth, and may instead lose value over time.

What is a stock?

With stocks, you invest money in exchange for a share of ownership in a company. Each stock has a specific dollar value connected to the overall value of the company.

Stock prices go up and down based on changes in the market. A company underperforming in a specific quarter or a damaging news report for the company's image are just a couple of factors that can make the stock price go down, which means your investment would lose money. There is a possibility that that could turn back around if you hold onto your stocks, but again, there is no guarantee.

What is an IRA?

IRAs are retirement plans that are similar to 401(k)s, but are typically not managed by your employer. There are seven types of IRAs: nondeductible, Roth, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE), spousal, self-directed and traditional.

Each comes with different annual contribution limits, rules and tax implications. You may want to consider working with a financial professional to see which type may be appropriate for you.

What is diversification?

Diversification is the practice of putting your money in multiple investments and investment types. The goal with this strategy is to ideally reduce your overall investment risk; if one investment doesn't perform well, another one may possibly do better and still produce a net gain. This approach is also not perfect, though — it's still possible to lose money across your investments. With any strategy, it's critical to thoroughly research and inform your decision-making.

What is a mutual fund?

You can buy shares in a mutual fund, which is a professionally managed portfolio that combines money from several investors to buy an array of investments, like stocks and bonds. As a result, mutual funds employ diversification to potentially spread out your risk.

Should I invest?

The answer to this question is a matter of preference — and your risk tolerance. Some people are more comfortable putting their money in a low-interest savings account where it's safe, but others would rather take risks to potentially land a bigger reward.

The key with this approach is to do your due diligence. You'll likely want to research different types of investments and even individual stocks if you decide to go that route. You may find an employer-based retirement plan more appealing because it requires less maintenance. Or you might prefer having more choice and control by opening a brokerage account where you can select the investments.

In the end, investing comes down to your personal financial goals. Whatever you decide is best for you, considering these investing basics first may help. If you need more information before you get started, consider meeting with a financial representative.

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