Let's face it: investing in the stock market is never completely safe, though some investments may be much safer than others. Your money isn't monopoly money, and you are not playing the game of life--you're in it. So take a look at the facts before you make stock investing a regular part of your income.
Stock investments should be supplemental. If your money is going off in all different directions and you are left with too little to afford your own lifestyle, then investing in the stock market is not a good way to gain back the control you ought to have. Before even considering stock investing, save enough money to pay off any loans or high-interest credit card bills you may have. Make sure that your income is stable, and that you're spending matches this stability.
Also, make sure that you have a cushion of savings to fall back on in case of changes in your life that you can't predict. Stock investing is a good idea if you have extra cash to invest in addition to your normal savings, not if you are down to your last dollar.
This doesn't mean that you need to have massive amounts of disposable income to make stock investing worthwhile for you. Even investments as small as $20 make sense, as long as the fees you pay to invest in stocks aren't too high. No matter what you spend on stock investments, from brokers' fees to the cost of mailing a letter to the time it takes you to do research, make sure that your investment costs are no more than 2% of the worth of your stocks.
To begin investing in stocks, take a look at what information you can find on the Internet. Familiarize yourself with market terms and common practices, along with competitive rates and fees. The more you know about what you are getting into, the safer stock investing will be for you. No one can penalize you for too much education, and in fact you will find that you'll pay less fees if you are informed and know which services to ask for, and which ones to refuse.
Though they can provide relevant information, you may not want to use an online service unless you are experienced enough to know what to expect and how to control your stock investments from home.
Whether you decide to use a broker or an online service to manage your stock investments, find out what kind of customer services the company has and how easy it is to get in touch with them.
You don't want your venture into stock investing to turn into a nightmare of unanswered calls and piled up questions. If you are using an online service, make sure their site is easy to navigate and fast.
Test how long it will take for their representatives to answer your e-mails, and find out if they have an actual business address and where it is in relation to your home or office. If you are using a broker, take the time to make sure that the services you are paying for are the ones you will need and want.
Stock investing can be an efficient way to build your savings for the future. Don't deny yourself money that could easily be yours, and, most importantly, don't deny yourself access to the facts.