The best thing you can do, it put your money in a savings account. Even though it dosn't pay a big interest rate. The stock market is totally rigged against you ever making any money. Without risking everything. save your money. you'll be far better off in the future. The Stock market is for the high rollers.
That is a 100% lie. The stock market isn't rigged one way or the other. With all the media attention based on the market, yeah it looks just like one huge casino, but its not. The stock market is a way for people to grow their money over the long term. Its not a system designed for throwing in huge sums of money on Monday and getting an even bigger amount back out on Friday.
Example, if you had put $10000 into stocks in 1975 when the total sum of the Dow Jones Industrial average was 739 points and then pulled you money out 33 years later in 2009 in the middle of the worst recession we've ever seen when the market was at 6627 points, your money would have multiplied itself 8.96 times for a sum of $89675 which is far better than having held onto that $10000 and letting 30 years of inflation make it worth peanuts. If you were to pull that money out today with the market in the uncertain shape it is at 10450 points that same $10000 would have multiplied 14.14 times for a sum of $141407. And thats using just the broad market as a benchmark. If you had invested in gold right after Nixon took us off the gold standard and gold was still around $35 an ounce. Lets say you bought 25oz of gold in 1975 for $40 an oz. That would mean your initial investment in gold would be $1000. Fast forward to today, gold is selling for $1250 an ounce. That 25oz investment you made 34 years ago would be worth $31250 meaning that your money would have multiplied itself about 31 times. The opposite is also true. If you had bought GM stock in 1975 and waited till now you cash it in, you'd get nothing for your stock except that many pieces of expensive toilet paper. However, the stock market has always done better in the long run than anything else out there and it is extremely rare that a publicly traded company on the Dow Jones Industrial average goes under like Leahman Bros or GM did. According to Wikipedia, there are only 30 companies currently on the Dow Jones Industrials:
Now onto the risk management aspect of the stock market. This is what the media has been harping on and this is what makes the market seem like a rigged casino. Risk management is nothing more than smart business. Lets say that you want to invest in mortgage back securities (MBS) because they are cheap and can make a great return on investment (ROI). But you've seen how bad MBS's can be, so you also invest into a hedge fund that says mortgage backed securities will fail, but you aren't entirely happy with a portfolio full of commercial paper so you buy some tangible assets like silver, gold, and platinum to hedge your portfolio. And lastly, you aren't too impressed with how the US debt bonds are doing, so you buy some debt bonds from the UK (there economy is still backed by Sterling Silver), Germany (they are the only country in Europe with a positive balance sheet for gov't spending), and China (they are the fastest growing economy in the world right now). So now no matter which investment fails, you have a way to recoup your losses. Its only when you run into a huge global meltdown that your portfolio will take a huge beating. And its at times like that that your investment in gold, silver, and platinum will save you.
And you don't have to spend a ton. Always buy low and sell high. Its possible to build a good portfolio on less than $10k if you know what you are doing.