How to Invest Smart

by Julia Forneris, Demand Media
    Mapping out your investment strategy begins with communication.

    Mapping out your investment strategy begins with communication.

    First comes marriage, then comes discussing finances as a couple. If some envelopes filled with cash were among your wedding presents, you and your spouse have some decisions to make. Investing a portion of your money makes sense for both the present and the future. The invested funds would be out of your bank account so you can't spend it right away and proper investing gives you a chance to grow it over time. Investing might seem like something for professionals, but with proper research, you can do it yourself.

    Goals

    Step 1

    Determine what you and your spouse (or significant other) want to accomplish with your money. Outline both your short-term and long-term financial goals and possible expenses, such as saving for a house purchase or funding retirement.

    Step 2

    Set aside a portion of your money as a "rainy day" fund for unexpected expenses, such as job loss or car repairs. This money should be invested in a way that will let you draw on it if needed, such as a savings account.

    Step 3

    Discuss your goals with others who have financial knowledge; you may choose to go to a financial adviser as well as talking with knowledgeable family or friends who care about your future. Inquire about the proper ways to invest your money to line up with your goals.

    Investing

    Step 1

    Diversify your investments. You've heard the advice to not "put all your eggs in one basket" and this goes for your nest egg as well. Allocate your money among savings accounts, stocks and bonds, among other vehicles.

    Step 2

    Spread your risk. Since you're just starting out, you can afford to invest in some higher-risk areas, such as stocks for fast-growing younger companies. You have many years before retirement so you can afford to ride the highs and lows of the stock market. You should also have some safer investments.

    Step 3

    Review your investments and goals periodically. Keep an eye on what works and what doesn't and adjust your portfolio accordingly.

    About the Author

    Julia Forneris has been a writer and editor since 2002. Her work has appeared in economics magazines such as "Region Focus" and on various websites. The editor of Scratch That! Editorial, Forneris holds a Master of Arts in literature from Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Photo Credits

    • David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images