Personal finance and investing are scary words for many people. Without the help of a financial advisor it's difficult to know where to start. There are so many things and places you can invest in. Everything from high interest savings accounts, RRSPs, real estate, stocks, and the list goes on and on. If you are new to investing you may want to start off with something that is considered low risk. However, low risk also tends to have less chance of a big pay-off whereas investments like stocks have a high return potential. Before you start investing your money you should look at your current debt situation. If you have any high interest debt you should consider paying it off with any money you have set aside before investing it. For example, if you are carrying a high balance on a credit card with a high interest rate it doesn't make much sense to invest in a savings account that nets you a much lower interest rate. Pay off high interest debt first and then you have a relatively clean slate to begin with. When you are ready to invest you should determine what exactly it is you're hoping to get out of your investment. If you're looking for long term financial security into your old age then the obvious investment answer would be RRSPs. However, if you're looking for something that's going to pay off much sooner and get more for your investment dollar you should consider other options. Many people are lured into personal finance world with the dream of purchasing stocks in a starter company for very little money and then having their stocks sky rocket in value. While this does happen periodically there is a very real possibility that your stocks will go down in value. Before investing in stocks you need to determine if you can handle the inevitable ups and downs of the stock investment world. If your stock does down significantly will you be able to look at the situation objectively and determine whether it's worth continuing? If you aren't one for risks in other aspects of your life then investing in stocks may not be for you. If you do want to invest in stocks you may want to consider a mutual fund for your personal finance investment. This allows your money to be professionally managed and invested in a variety of areas.
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