No. of Recommendations: 5
Hi scwrigh2,

Congratulations on being so smart as to start a Roth at the age of 24, and to have so much to fund it. $5500 is a big chunk of money at your age and to start an IRA. I started mine with $1000, and that was 32 years ago. I started with mutual funds since at that time, it cost more to buy stocks and you had to pick up the phone and have someone make the trade for you. the Stone Age to be sure.

I disagree with the idea of mutual funds being the only way to go at your age. Or any age. If you have no interest in learning about and choosing individual companies in which to invest, index funds are the way to go. In that case, I would read up on Index Fund investing... google John Bogle which is a good place to start... and then choose a handful of Vanguard funds.

I have recommended a different course of action for my daughter and nieces and nephews. I suggest taking a one year subscription to the Fool Stock Advisor newsletter which is investing in an education about stocks. Don't expect a stodgy stiff newsletter. Like the Fool brand, the newsletters are fresh, skew young, playful, but with important and priceless information. You can read about the companies they recommend, go on their great community boards and discuss and read about every stock, or just buy a handful of stocks and check out the newsletter once a month and or not. You're young and so probably don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done. But having a Stock Advisor subscription does not have to be time consuming. You can scan and toss it, or devour it and dream about when you have more money to invest. The key thing is that over time, you'll get good advice, the Fool team does all the heavy lifting in terms of finding and analyzing their picks, and they teach you about building a portfolio for a lifetime. I went from not making much money and putting in !000 per year for some years, then my career took off and I was able some years to invest 40,000. I first read about the Fool back in 1998 and because of them, bought AOL, AMZN and SBUX, among others. This was pretty much before people had heard of them or used them. I made a lot of money, some of which I gave back to the market... AOL when it dove to the basement... but I still have those (and additionally purchased) shares of AMZN and SMUX today. If a market correction ever gives me a good price, I'd still buy more of them as they are long term holdings for me.And exceptionally well run companies. In other words, I am certain I will have them to pass down when I am gone.

I believe in educating yourself for your future investing life now. You can take a free 30 day trial to the Stock Advisor. I suggest you do it. Once you do, go onto the boards and read about some of the holdings I suggested to my daughter, nephews and nieces: Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google, LinkedIn, Whole Foods Market, Costco and so many others. I hold all of those companies and expect I always will. They now hold them, too. I have averaged a 19% gain per year since 2003. That is astounding, and I couldn't have done it without the Fool. I haven't bothered to go back before 2003 because I changed brokerages and lost some records that I have no interest in recreating. I think a ten year record including the horrors of the market meltdown in 2008 is a pretty good indication that the Fool has helped me to learn and feel confident in investing in the market. I now subscribe to Stock Advisor, RuleBreakers, and Supernova. But I think taking Stock Advisor out for a spin first makes the most sense. In a few years, you will probably want to try RuleBreakers, which I also love.

Personally, in your situation, I would open an account at one of the brokerages where it cost no more than 10 bucks to make a trade, and then I would buy roughly equal positions in 5 different companies. I wouldn't go crazy chasing more exciting but chancy tech companies like 3D printing companies (which I do own and find exciting, but I have lots more cash to invest than you.) I would choose 5 core positions that will be there many years down the road.

This is a huge step, and I'm very excited for you. Have fun, good luck, and please... take out a free Stock Advisor subscription. It will be the best investment you'll ever make. You can go here to read more:


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