When you begin starting an investment, you may find yourself wondering where you should begin. You may have heard friends or co workers talking about their investments, and decided you should give it a try. You may have also found yourself wondering where they got the money to start or how they knew what to invest in. Then again, there are a lot of people who don’t know where to begin, so they never start at all.\r\n\r\nThe wide array of investment related choices, the vast amount of information about investing, and the risk alone is intimidating and may prevent you from taking those first steps towards starting an investment. Keep in mind that is doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, you only need to know a few basics in order to begin your career in the world of investing.\r\n\r\nThe first question most people have is where you get the money to invest. If you look around, you will find plenty of stock mutual funds that allow you to invest with 500 dollars or less. You could use your next bonus at work, your income tax refund, or simply put in some overtime for some extra cash. If you are unable to come up with 500 dollars to start your portfolio, many funds will allow you to skip the initial lump sum investment if you sign up for monthly withdrawals from your checking account.\r\n\r\nWhen starting an investment, you are ready for some long term investments. The step in choosing is knowing what your goals are. The investment type you choose will depend on the amount of time available before you need the money. Most all stocks are considered long term investments, and therefore it’s best to plan on holding stocks or stock mutual funds for five years or longer.\r\n\r\nThe next thing you will need to know when starting an investment is your risk tolerance. If you’re the type of person that hides your money under your mattress because you don’t trust the bank, you’re probably not going to feel very comfortable investing in volatile technology stocks.\r\n\r\nNow, you may be wondering how to choose an investment. Most investors and experts will recommend spreading your money over several different types of investments in order to reduce the risk, because one type of investment typically does well when another one doesn’t. By having money in more than one type of fund, you’re more likely to get a decent combined return in one category takes a downturn.\r\n\r\nWhen you are ready to begin starting an investment, you should use caution and research everything that is available to you. The above will assist you in getting started; the rest is up to you.