There are simple rules for financial freedom and everybody is interested in saving some of their discretionary income and having that discretionary, saved income increase in value. The best focus for savings is by investing in a 401k plan and making payments to the plan automatically. This is the best way to start an account that can provide you with income protection and financial freedom when you retire.
Many corporations and large businesses offer their employees special benefits, if investing with the same company that they work for. Some businesses will even offer a mind numbing extra credit for employees as an incentive. If your company offers this excellent arrangement then your decision has been made for you. Sit back and watch your 401k and savings plan grow and grow and grow.
There are those few people who want to have a hand on the investing being done, these self-directed few may have fears of financial markets or brokers, and are the kinds of people who think about keeping all their money under mattresses.
It is an important fact that investing is not oriented toward the small investor. Jumbo CD’s pay a higher secured percent than other CD’s but you must have $100,000. to invest. Also the stock market is not for the poor, most investors purchase “lots” which are 100 shares of a particular stock. If a stock has a market value of $200, a lot will cost the investor $20,000.
Perhaps the only non exclusive market for the small investor is the Forex, the foreign exchange currency market. In this marketplace a small investor can take a position on a pair of currencies, one valued against the other. This is where George Soros made a $1 billion on a single investment. He felt that the British pound, the currency would quickly devalue and he was right, very, very right. The only problem with the Forex markets is that most people lose and lose quickly. It is a market with great volatility. There was a funny episode on “South Park” where one of the kids had some money and went to a bank and to a bank officer who was licensed to handle these investments. The money went into the account went up, went down but finally lost all of its value.
For the interested beginning investor, there are books to help to become better at this game within a game. “The Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” about the spectacular investor, Jesse Livermore is a highly recommended first read and an essential first step on this financial journey.