Greetings, Tom, and welcome. You wrote:<<I have read close to 5 books on various methods of investing. Ranging from the simple to the bar/graph to roll the die.Then I read the book, "The Wealthy Barber". It's a fictional account of 3 persons looking toward their future financial security.The book discusses the "pay yourself" approach, wills, life insurance, home purchases and a few other important topics.Now, of the other books I've read; Peter Lynch, Robert Sheards, Matt Ceto's and a few others I feel that The Wealthy Barber has hit the nail on the head. Because it deals specifically with the basics, at least what I perceive the basics to be.However this book hasn't changed my first step toward financial freedom, it has just confirmed it.The pay yourself approach is an excellent method. The philosophy is to pay yourself 10% of your earnings and have it automatically invested in either a stock or mutual fund.I am going to take this method and start with 7% and open a ROTH IRA and have the money invested into a mutual fund.This is money that I will initially miss, however I'm sure that I can get along without sacrificing much.My next step will be to purchase a term life insurance policy to protect my family and to take care of their needs.Any input is welcome.>>I liked "The Wealthy Barber" when I first read it in 1991. I think it explains some basics in very understandable terms. The idea of "pay yourself first" has been around since antiquity, though, and isn't unique to Mr. Chilton. He just had a very entertaining and folksy way of explaining it. I think it's great you're going to employ the philosophy. I also think that as you do so you should remember that the enlightenment provided by your latest reading shouldn't end there. As you start your plan, you may want to consider a few other issues. You mentioned term insurance to protect the family. I endorse that idea. Have you also thought about a cash emergency fund of three to six months' of living expenses? Have you paid off your short-term debts? Are you aware the vast majority of mutual funds under-perform the market? Have you taken maximum advantage of retirement plans available through your job?I assume you're fairly new to Fooldom and to investing. That's great on both counts! You have wandered into a forum that believes you, as an individual, can do far better for yourself than most professional money managers. Provided, that is, you take some time to learn a few basic investment concepts and do some self-examination to see where you fit on the risk tolerance scale. Therefore, why not take some time now -- not later -- to be sure about what you want to do. Start first by reading The 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, which you can access at http://www.fool.com/school.htm . They will suggest some important things you should consider. Then I suggest you toddle over to your local library, discount bookstore, or even here in the Fool Mart ( http://www.foolmart.com/market/main.asp ) and pick up some easily read, easily understood, inexpensive texts that will thoroughly explain how to invest in stocks using some simple systems that will take but an hour per year of your time (if you're slow) yet produce returns that put the majority of professional money managers to shame. I suggest and commend the following to you: "Beating the Dow" by O'Higgins; "The Dividend Investor" by Petty and Knowles; "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" by the Gardner brothers; "One Up on Wall Street" by Lynch; and "What Works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnessey. All are well worth their low cost and the small investment in time it takes to read them. Get them and read them. You'll be glad you did.While you're doing all that, also take some time to explore the various nooks and crannies of Fooldom to see what others are doing and what they're discussing. You will find loads of good ideas in the Foolish Workshop ( http://www.fool.com/workshop/workshop.htm ) . My 13 Steps to Foolish Retirement Planning and my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer (both available at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement.htm ) will also give you some useful insights.All of these references will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and information that will serve to claify how you want to approach this very personal issue. Don't be afraid to ask a question anywhere in Fooldom. Folks around here are great about answering questions and clearing up misunderstandings.Regards.......Pixy
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