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The sooner you begin to invest, the sooner your money will start earning interest. Like you, I don't have several thousand dollars to invest in one big swoop. So I do monthly purchases.

If you do go with mutual funds, the company you choose to invest with will have rules on the minimum amount to invest and also on the minimum amount you can invest each month.

Stocks or mutual funds. The eternal question. Mutual funds are somewhat easier, but if you feel like you can do stocks then go that way. At that point, it boils down to your choice.

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