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: Is $100 Enough to Invest Every Month?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

I only have $100 a month to put towards investments. Is that enough, what kind of investments are best for this amount?

A.

Yes, but is a C-note really all you can cough up? Cut your phone service and just use a cell if you need to scrape up extra cash. When you're ready to invest, choose a broadly diverse mutual fund that uses asset allocation modeling. That means you’re going to get a diversified portfolio even with an initial small investment. Plus, because these asset classes react differently to market fluctuations, this will reduce volatility and increaese your returns over time. Helpful hint: Each month, have all subsequent investments set to automatically come out of your bank account and be deposited into your fund so you’re not tempted to reinstall that landline.

Nestpert Bryan D. Beatty, a CFP in Vienna, Virginia

-- Caitlin Losey

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