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Fuskie is right on with his suggestions. 401K and IRS or Roth IRA are great ideas.

The most important thing is to set up a regular saving program. And make sure that as you get raises and better jobs etc, that part of those gains go into your savings and/or investments. Ie, pay yourself first.

Most people begin with mutual funds or etfs, especially index funds. If you want to invest in stocks consider the CAPs program. In a CAPs portfolio you can test your skill at stock picking without losing cash. TMF rates your portfolio's performance vs the S&P 500 every day once you pick seven stocks. A positive score indicates you are beating the S&P. Once you learn to beat the S&P 500, you can easily convert to cash investments. Until then you are best off to use mutual funds and let the pros do the stock picking.

And note when you are looking for investment ideas, you can easily check the stocks in any posters CAPs portfolios. Find a few that match your interests and they can be a useful source of investment ideas.
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