Preparing to Invest: How to get started

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Investments can be a source of great potential earnings. The two most common reasons that a person does not invest are either they do not have the money or they do not know how to get started. These are some ways to prepare for investing and some things to consider before investing.

Saving Money to Invest

* Lower debt

Everyone has debt and most will always have some debt, however if you have outstanding credit card debt, then this may not be a good time to invest. Credit card debt can be consuming and the best way to become financially stable and to create and atmosphere in which you are able to save money, you must pay off high interest rate credit cards. If you have more than two credit cards or your cards have reached the maximum limit and you are making minimum payments then you should invest all extra money into paying off these debts before investing in other ways.

* Create Emergency Funds

Everyone should have an emergency fund for unexpected debts or accidents. Financial advisors will recommend that you have at least three months of funds or 15% of annual income to fall back on in the event that you lose your job or incur unexpected expenses.

* Maximize Employment Benefits

If your employer offers a 401 K plan, be sure that you are taking full advantage of this plan. Strive to put in the maximum amount allowed each month. You may not think of this as an "investment" however, 401 K and similar plans are some of the best investments a person can make for their future.

Before You Invest

* Consider Your Options

There are many different ways to invest your money. Do not rush into a decision based on advice from friends or family. Research and consult many sources before deciding on the investment plan that is right for you. You should have a goal in mind. Ask yourself how soon that you want to see the return from the investment and how much money that you would like to make as well as how much money you could conceivably loose.

* Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors can be an excellent source of information when deciding on your investment strategies. In fact, if you are not familiar with the processes involved, they are almost essential. Before choosing a financial advisor, you should interview several to find out what exactly you are getting for your money and always ask for references when interviewing an advisor.

Timothy Gorman is a successful Webmaster and publisher of He provides more debt relief, credit counseling, repair and free financial planning information that you can research in your pajamas on his website.

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