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$1000 is really too small an amount to use to buy a variety of individual stocks. The commissions would kill you.

I'd suggest a mutual fund or an ETF (especially the latter). Schwab is a good place to buy these. (Vanguard used to be the best place, but most of their mutual funds have a minimum of $3000. And Schwab as amazingly low expense ratios -- and low expense ratios are, I think, the number one thing that matters in buying funds).

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