I am currently 19 years old and three years away from graduation. I have saved up money from working since I was 12 years of age. Upon graduation of high school, I set some money aside to invest in the stock market. I currently own stock and did extensive research on the company and consulted my parents before I invested. I was wondering if anyone thinks I am risking too much too early or whether or not it was a good idea to enter the market. I regularly check the stocks I own and talk with a broker in my town. Just wanted some input and possibly some tips.

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Posted by Fletcher Quigley (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 0)
Asked on December 7, 2015 11:17 am
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Hey Fletcher. I don't know anything about investing but I'm wondering if you are saving for retirement with an IRA? I have started one to save for my own retirement and I think that's more important than investing in stocks at this point. I'm 19 as well. Good luck with your investments!
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Posted by Eva Baker (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 14)
Answered: December 17, 2015 9:37 pm
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Selecting and monitoring stocks on your own is both fun and educational, even if your winners don't ultimately offset your inevitable mistakes. However, my experience gained over 30 years of investing, is that my "serious money" invested in diversified stock mutual funds have performed much better than my occasional solo efforts. Mutual fund or exchange traded fund investing offers beginning investors immediate diversification --- a big risk reducer.

It's surprising to many new investors that even professional mutual fund portfolio managers seldom outperform unmanaged index funds over multi-year time periods. If these professional full-time portfolio managers seldom beat an unmanaged index over time, you and I shouldn't expect our own stock picks to outperform simple computer-managed index funds or index ETFs.
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Posted by Jacob Herschler (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 7)
Answered: December 16, 2015 6:39 pm
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I will use myself as a cautionary tale. My first investment was in commercial real estate around the age of 13. I had saved close to $10K, and I invested with my dad and grandfather in what looked like an appealing place to build a small retail outlet. However, some rezoning left the purchase useless less than six months after purchasing it. Today, the plot of land is worth negative money.

Even though I lost a ton of money, i also learned many valuable lessons about investing. For example, rich people don't always know what they're doing, diversification is critical, you need a plan B, think for the long term and there are always new ways to earn and invest money.

I believe that just starting is the most important thing you can do. Whether its a single stock or an index fund. However, once you start investing, you need to develop an investing philosophy (what do you think various markets will do over the next 50 years), and an investing strategy that aligns with your philosophy.

Learn about Modern Portfolio Theory, and start to treat your investments like a portfolio.

If you lose every penny in this investment, consider it an education. If you make bank, you still have a lot to learn. Best of luck!
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Posted by Hannah Rounds (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 17)
Answered: December 8, 2015 10:44 am
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There are two styles, and more obviously, of investing: short-term and long term. If you are investing in the short term and looking for quick return on your investment, that would take a lot of attention and time on your part watching the movement of your stock. I suspect, however, that you're looking more at long term investment, and those can be more stable and in the long run safer to leave money sitting in. It may be a good idea to diversify: ie invest in multiple companies. That way, if one really goes down the tubes, you won't have put all your money into it.
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Posted by Lily Woodbury (MONEY FORUMS: 6, Answers: 3)
Answered: December 7, 2015 7:06 pm
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