how to: invest your money

Saving money and learning about investing is always a smart plan. Even if you’re newly hitched, it’s never too soon to start planning for those golden years. Think about it: Do you imagine yourselves lying on a beach or working behind a desk? If you picked the beach (or travel, or golf, or anything other than the 9-to-5 grind), you’ve come to the right place. We have all kinds of investment advice, including the basics of how to invest wisely and what all those financial terms really mean. Not sure where to begin? Start with our five easy steps to invest your money. We also have investing advice and Q&A on all kinds of financial basics about investing -- learn the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, how to invest your savings, and your options if you can only invest a small amount. Our basic investing advice will help you get ready. But before you invest your money, you should be sure you’re out of debt: Use our debt calculator to help plan your payments, and follow our simple steps to go from credit card misery to debt free. And if your problem is a lack of cash, we’ve got tips for you, too. Learn the habits of spending-savvy couples, and find easy ways to save more of each month’s paycheck and stick to your budget. Don’t want to go it alone? Check out our local pages to find a financial planner in your area for some in-person investment advice.

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Money Q&A: Do I Need a Broker?


The Nest Q&A

Should I use a broker or invest on my own?


Anyone in the field is going to say yes to using a broker, but it’s pretty much true. Investing is tricky and time-consuming, so you need help even if you don’t turn over your portfolio to a planner and check in yearly. “By going through a professional, you'll learn the basics and be pointed in the right direction to enable you to make educated decisions,” says Lisa Sherman, a CFP at Gilman + Ciocia, Inc. in New City, New York. You probably think you’re pretty financially savvy on your own, and you could be right, but even the best of us need guidance. The average investor thinks he should pull out of the market when it’s down and get back in as it starts to rise. Do you agree? If so, get help. Any good planner would say the opposite.

-- Alonna Friedman

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