You are asking the right questions, Follybeach, and it's wonderful that you are asking early.Always remember this: A broker is a salesman. Generally speaking, a broker makes money every time you buy something, whether it's a smart buy or not, and a broker makes money every time you sell something, whether it's a smart sell or not. It may be that you hate everything to do with math and so forth, and would really rather have someone do your investing for you, or to guide you; or it may be that you are feeling too uninformed to make your own choices. Nevertheless, I'm telling you what someone wise told me when I was about your own age. Nobody will ever care about your money and your future like you do. As an adult, you would listen to advice, but you wouldn't give up your decision-making to strangers about what kind of car or house you buy, or what kind of health care choices or food choices you make, or .... My point here is that investing for your future is a really important part of your life, and you do not want to give away your power to someone else who may or may not have the same goals that you have.Right now you may choose to have some kind of broker or investment adviser help you with your choices, especially if you know absolutely nothing about investing. In the long run, though, the smartest thing you can do for yourself is start learning about your choices, and learning about your own investing style. For example, some of us are naturally more fearless investors than others, and some of us will lie awake at night worrying about our investments.Do you have a cash emergency fund? That's first. Have you started a ROTH IRA, or do you have access to retirement savings plans at work? There are many folks to discuss options with here, and wonderful resources both on the internet and in books. I'd say talk, listen, read, and learn a bit before you make any choices.RDW
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