Investing 101 – How to Invest in Stocks and Bonds

Saving is important, but not enough to outstrip inflation over the long haul. That is why investing is key.

Establish your investment goals and time frame. Once you know this information, getting started will be much simpler.


When considering investing, stocks are probably what come to mind first. Unfortunately, however, many don’t fully grasp their operation or how best to invest in them.

Stocks (or equities), also known as shares, give you ownership in a company and are an essential part of most portfolios, providing long-term growth through dividends and price appreciation.

Before How2invest, set goals and determine your available funds. Take into account after-tax income, regular expenses and total debt when establishing this figure. This will give an accurate indication of how much can be invested.

Step two is opening an account with a broker. NerdWallet’s ratings of online brokers and robo-advisors take into account fees, minimum investments, investment choices and investment goals to help you find one best suited to your goals and investor profile. For beginners just starting out, low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds provide an affordable way to gain exposure to stocks.


Bonds are an indispensable component of a balanced investment portfolio. Their relative safety makes them ideal for mitigating volatile market movements and acting as a hedge against unpredictable price movements.

Bonds provide investors with a way to invest in companies or governments at interest-bearing rates with regular repayment of both principal and interest at a future date – adding diversification to a portfolio. Individual bonds or bond funds may be purchased via brokerage accounts.

Treasury bonds (with maturities of one year or less) and municipals tend to offer the safest returns, but their yields may not keep pace with inflation.

If you want greater diversification, consider employing a bond ladder strategy by purchasing bonds with staggered maturities (for instance one year, two years, three years and four years). This approach helps limit exposure to rising interest rates while simultaneously taking advantage of any upside if rates go up.

Real estate

Real estate can be an excellent and tax-efficient way to build wealth. From vacation homes and long-term rentals to land for development, investing in real estate is an invaluable and tax-efficient way to diversify your portfolio and diversify income sources. Unlike stocks or bonds, which have no tangible value and provide no stable income stream; instead real estate has tangible assets with tangible values that provide tangible income streams; plus you have control of either managing it yourself or hiring a management company; additionally there may also be ways of investing without actually owning physical properties such as REITs or online real estate platforms.

Real estate investment offers numerous advantages despite its initial high upfront investment cost, such as diversifying your portfolio. Prices tend to appreciate over time and less sensitive to short-term market fluctuations; however natural disasters may cause property damage that impacts rental demand negatively and unscheduled maintenance expenses can eat into profits; to protect profits further and minimize natural disaster risks consider purchasing in areas with lower insurance premiums or hiring professional property managers to manage rentals for you.