Beginning Investor: How to Start

by Charles Rotblut, CFA

Beginning Investor: How To Start Splash image

If you are brand new to investing, the question you are probably asking yourself is: “What should I do first?”

It is not an easy question to answer for someone who is just starting to manage their portfolio. There are many options available, with just subtle differences between some choices. More importantly, you do not want your first investment to be a losing one.

So, how do you start?

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Charles Rotblut, CFA is a vice president at AAII and editor of the AAII Journal. Follow him on Twitter at


Edmund from Florida posted over 3 years ago:

Good advice for anyone, especially someone who is just starting. I have been retired 20 years with someone else, broker or financial adviser, controlling my buys and sells. I am trying to learn enough to make my own decisions.

Richard from New York posted over 3 years ago:

i would like to control at least 50% of my wealth.

Bob from Minnesota posted over 3 years ago:

I have a fairly substantial stock and mutual
fund portfolio. However, a portion of this is
a faulty group of stocks recommended by a
number of internet experts? I would hope to learn AAII system foe evaluating primarily
avaailable stocks. Thank you.

Elmo from Texas posted over 3 years ago:


Much prefer my incoming
e-mail to be shown in order it is received
rather than alphabetically.

Elmo Curry

RAY from Illinois posted over 3 years ago:


Nathan from North Carolina posted over 3 years ago:

I have a modest portfolia of stocks and mutual funds with a broker/finanical advisor dating back 15 years. I would like to become more involved in my investment selections and evaluations.

John from Maryland posted over 3 years ago:

I am a 30+ year passive investor and wish to remain one. I am interested in expanding my portfolio to include ETFs and micro-caps. Your ETF portfolio is well suited to my investment style. Do you have anything similiar for your Shadow Stock Portfolio?

Thank you

Larry from Georgia posted over 3 years ago:

Although I have a Investment Advisor, my penchant for stock investmenting has always rested with me. Years ago I read various periodicals and books, most recently Prof. Jeremy Segals's "Stocks for the Long Haul."

If there in one piece of advice I would give to someone it would be to read as much as you can about investing from as many sources as you possibly can. Happy Investing!

William from California posted over 3 years ago:

I am a relatively beginning investor with about 1/3 of a million to invest. I have about a 20 year time line to work with. I am not yet certain as to if a 20 year time line is really considered "long term" as I am in my early fifties, good health, and plan to work full time until my early to mid seventies, and beyond if my health holds up. I am wondering if my time line would truly be considered "long term" considering my age?

AR from Michigan posted over 2 years ago:

I am retired. Looking to invest 10-25K with a view to generate 10-12% income and hopefully protect & improve priciple. Can handle moderate risk.
Use my initials.


Gerrie from Illinois posted over 2 years ago:

I would like to invest to save for a retirement home. I think I have a relatively high risk tolerance with a moderate to low amount to invest.

Gregory from Georgia posted over 2 years ago:

Does investing have to be passive? I'm retirement age and have been investing in income producing property for years and I beat the S&P 500 or all the Vanguard funds in return every year. The returns on passive investments are pathetic right now...look at the Mutual Fund Portfolio.

Diane from Rhode Island posted over 2 years ago:

I need to invest in a mutual fund which can earn income such as a dividend fund. At this time in my life I've lowered my risk tolerance . I need to rebalance my portfolio .

Faye from Indiana posted over 2 years ago:

I like the comment to read as much as you can from as many sources. this was my first time on this web site,I like the tone,consise and straight foward.

Chris from Illinois posted about 1 year ago:

I'm tired of my advisor saying next year will be different. Since 1997 the stock portion of my portfolio (supposedly moderate growth) has averaged little more than 1%/annum. Advisor does fine with bond portion but as a retiree I hope to at least average the inflation rate with stock portion.

John Odonnell from Connecticut posted about 1 year ago:

I have been investing "by the seat of my pants" and need to learn fundamental and some technical analysis in order to better achieve my goals.

Dennis Lynch from California posted 7 months ago:

I just want to understand investing better
so when I visit my broker and can understand
why he is doing this .

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