Robo Advisors automatically invests and manages your portfolio. Who are they good for? Money market accounts are good for those who need their money in the near future and need to be able to access it without any commitment. Like a savings account, the greatest risk to money market accounts occurs over time, because their interest rates often make it difficult for investors to keep up with inflation. In this sense, they may be even better than traditional savings and money market accounts, which limit monthly withdrawals.
Index funds make it easy to invest in stocks, but choosing your own stocks is a great way to get even better returns. A 30-year-old who invests for retirement could have 80% of their portfolio in equity funds; the rest would be in bond funds. Choose below the option that best represents how you want to invest and how practical you would like to be when choosing the stocks in which you invest. People who are new to investing and want to gain experience investing without risking their money in the process may find that a stock market simulator is a valuable tool.
An online brokerage account will likely offer you the fastest and most affordable way to buy stocks, funds, and a variety of other investments. This list is rather incomplete not to mention the Robinhood app, which literally doesn't charge you anything to trade stocks. Better known as DRIPS, these are plans that allow you to invest small amounts of money in shares of companies that pay dividends. You can scratch that itch and keep your shirt by dedicating 10% or less of your portfolio to individual stocks.
The stock market goes up and down, and if you're prone to panicking when it does, you'd better invest a little more conservatively, with a lighter allocation to stocks. Many large companies offer DRIPS, so if you want to invest directly in stocks and you like certain companies, you can invest in those companies, usually without having to pay any type of investment fee. A buy-and-hold strategy that uses equity mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs is often a better option for beginners. Investors who trade individual stocks rather than funds tend to underperform the market in the long term.
In addition, you can invest less to start with a fund than you would likely pay to invest in individual stocks. Unless you're trying to beat the odds and succeed in intraday trading, it's good to avoid the habit of compulsively checking your stocks several times a day, every day. Index funds and ETFs are a kind of investment fund that tracks an index; for example, a standard 26% Poor's 500 fund replicates that index by buying the shares of the companies that compose it.