Start Investing in the Stock Market

August 9, 2009

You want to begin investing some of your money in the stock market. The problem is you have no idea where to begin. The quickest way to enter this form of investing is through mutual funds.
First, determine which industry, or sector of the economy you would be interested in following or paying attention to, i.e., finance, utilities, commodities, manufacturing, etc. Next, check your local library, or on the internet for a mutual fund rating system which will rate the various mutual funds in each sector. Look for the best rated funds in the industry you are interested in and take down the contact information for each. You will also make note of whether each fund is a "load" or "no-load" fund. It would be best to focus on "no-load" funds to conserve your money. "Load" funds have additional expenses that they charge investors each year that can cut into any profits you may gain. Best to leave those funds off your list.
Call or email the funds directly and request information for a new investor into their fund. They will send the pertinent information reflecting their past history on performance, minimum investment amount, management team, stocks currently in their portfolio, any fees related to the account, and their procedures for funding an account with them. You must certainly consider whether creating an Individual Retirement Account with your account at that mutual fund is in your best interest. Seek advice from your tax preparer in this regard.
There may be minimum amount limits for opening an account. Some go as low as fifty dollars, and some as high as two thousand dollars. Screen these amounts when doing your preliminary research. The next step in investing in mutual funds is to establish a monthly amount that you will be depositing into your mutual fund directly from your checking or savings account. Most funds have this capability and will send you the information in order to establish this process. I recommend that you do so for a couple of reasons: you pay yourself first, every month, and once it becomes established, it becomes automatic and you are building your wealth monthly without being aware of it.
Final step for you is to always monitor the performance of your mutual fund. Quarterly statements will be sent to you. Review them and make any adjustments if need be and if allowed through changing mutual funds within that family of funds. Over time, you will be able to increase the value of your investment. Always remember that you are the captain of your financial ship, so keep aware and lead it with a steady hand.

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