3 Best Places to Invest Money in Stocks

For 2012 and beyond there are 3 very popular ways or places to invest money in stocks, and your best place to invest will depend on how actively you want to invest in the stock market. Do you want to try to pick the best stocks yourself or would you rather invest your money with a fund and leave the money management to professionals?You can invest money in stocks online by simply opening an account with a major discount stock broker (like TD Ameritrade or E-Trade) and invest in individual stocks, in exchange traded funds (ETFs), or in mutual funds. You can also invest your money in stock mutual funds and get personal attention with low cost if you invest directly with a no-load fund company like Vanguard, Fidelity, or T Rowe Price. Here are the 3 best ways or best places to invest in stocks depending on how active you want to be in the management of your money.If you really want to invest money in individual stocks in an attempt to find the best stocks each year your best place to invest is with a discount stock broker. Unless you really know what you are doing I wouldn’t invest much money in individual stocks. When you invest money here it requires that you stay on top of things. The odds of the average person making money and beating the stock market in 2012 and beyond by buying and selling individual stocks are slim. Few investors beat the stock market.Your second choice if you want to invest money in stocks is to invest in exchange traded stock funds or stock mutual funds through a discount broker. This is your best place to invest if you are capable of picking your own funds and want to own a diversified portfolio of stocks vs. individual stocks. Diversification lowers your risk by spreading your money around. Professional money managers make the stock picking decisions for you.The third choice is for people who do not want active participation in the stock market, but do want assistance and service. Their best place to invest money in stocks in 2012 and beyond is through no-load mutual fund companies. Here you open a mutual fund account directly with the fund company vs. a broker. Now you can invest money in a diversified portfolio of stocks with professional money managers working for you. The cost to invest can be much less than you might think if you invest with the fund companies mentioned above. Plus, you can call them and get personal attention – even if you only have a few thousand to invest.Your main objective when you invest money in stocks should be to earn a higher rate of return at an acceptable level of risk. Trying to pick the best stocks is best left to folks who want to speculate. Stock mutual funds are designed for the average investor. Your cost to invest $10,000 in stock mutual funds (with professional management) can be less than $50 a year with the right no-load (no sales charges) fund companies. That’s the best place to invest money in stocks that I know of if you really want to put your money to work for 2012 and beyond without being actively involved in the stock market.

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