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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: Mutual vs. Hedge Fund?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

What’s the difference between a mutual fund and a hedge fund?

A.

They’re both investment opportunities but one is only for the superwealthy. A mutual fund is managed by an investment company that uses the money from selling shares to the public to invest in a range of stocks and bonds. Shareholders get dividends and their share prices can increase in value. A hedge fund is also managed by a company and invests with money from people who buy in, but those people are limited and loaded. Individuals are courted by the hedge funds to invest millions of dollars each. Why do they do it? Hedge funds operate under less stringent laws and regulations and therefore shareholders have an opportunity to make a lot more money, but at greater risk because they short stocks (predict they will decrease in value) something not allowed in mutual funds. So unless you work for a hedge fund, or your second cousin in Connecticut does, you’re not going to have anything to do with one.

-- Alonna Friedman

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