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: Stock Purchase Plans?


The Nest Q&A

Should I participate in my company's stock purchase plan?


Don’t let the current state of the economy scare you away from a potentially good investment in the company where you work. An employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) allows you to invest your earned income in company stock at a discount. This is totally different from whatever options you may have with your 401(k) to invest in company stock, the matching contributions your company might hand out in stock, or even the similarly named employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which allows you to invest your pre-tax retirement savings in company stock.

The ESPP is more like a stock option, where you'll have a window of opportunity to buy stock at a particular price. The whole transaction may take place through payroll, so there could be little paperwork. Depending on how well your company performs, your financial rewards may vary, so you could profit a little or a lot.

-- The Nest Editors

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