Paul Wannemacher, Resident Financial Planner
If you have the money to get started, it pays to start as early as possible to allow the power of compounding returns to begin building your wealth. Even if the markets look shaky in the short run, over the long run the 7-10% long run returns from the stock markets make it worth it. My son started his Roth IRA at age 16 from part-time job savings and already that has really added up. If you're working and your employer doesn't offer you a 401(k) match, start a Roth IRA as soon as you can.
You don't have to be a market expert to invest, and actually over the past decade timing or trying to best the market by stock picking has gotten increasing tougher to do. Consider using low-cost, no-load indexing and just making regular installments over time. There are also some excellent "fund of funds" called Asset Allocation funds that allow you to have many holdings and sectors in one fund - these are especially good as you're startiung out. Try Morningstar fo rtheir Asset Allocation fund ratings as a potential starting place.
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