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Investing Advice please! When you made your first investments (outside of your 401k and benefits at work) how much did you invest and what did you consider when deciding how to invest your $$?

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I made sure to build up my emergency fund as much as I could after I maxed out my Roth. I contribute $250 from each paycheck to a mutual fund on top of a grand to the emergency fund and I'm about to open up a separate account for a down payment that's not tied to investing. I also invest about ⅔ of my HSA balance. For me it depends on what's my nearest priority in the future, and what would be the best method for holding that money (investing in a riskier fund with little to not growth with the current market, or holding it in a savings account so I know it won't get wiped out when I need it in a year)

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When I made my first investments, I had the minimum required to open a scottrade account or a little more (like $1500) and I knew nothing about investing so I thought I was going to be some kind of activist investor ("wow my portfolio is worth $20 more today! Sell!"). I recommend some books like The Little Book That Beats The Market by Joel Greenblatt. You have to justify your investing decisions against the value of your own time, so a good starter move is a market index fund with low mgmt fee like vanguard total index fund (vti I think).

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Agree w pwc1. To take a consultative approach: you have to think about your goals for that money (emergency fund, grad school, house, retirement, etc) and the time horizons and risk appetites for your goals. Also, cash is a valid investment vehicle depending on your answers to those questions and market conditions, particularly with a near term goal and a frothy market.

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My father-in-law got me a subscription to money magazine. Great resource so far.

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