A Guide to Investing

Broadly defined, investing is putting money (or capital) to work for some time into an undertaking, company, or project to generate positive returns (i.e., profits that exceed the initial investment.) Essentially, it is when you allocate your resources with the expectation of generating profit, income, or gains. You can invest directly, starting a business, or indirectly, real estate in hopes of generating revenue or reselling at a higher price.

A Guide to InvestingRisk and return are synonymous with investing; low risk generally means low expected returns, while higher returns are usually accompanied by higher risk. An example of a low-risk investment are Certificates of Deposits (CDs). Fixed-income instruments and bonds are at mid-level risk, and stocks and equities are at the highest risk. Some principles and strategies may enable you to assemble an investment portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals.

Types of Investments


Bonds are debt obligations of entities, such as governments, municipalities, and corporations. Buying a bond implies that you hold a share of an entity’s debt and are entitled to receive periodic interest payments and the return of the bond’s face value when it matures.


Funds are pooled instruments managed by investment managers that enable investors to invest in stocks, bonds, preferred shares, commodities, etc. Two of the most common types of funds are mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Mutual funds do not trade on an exchange and are valued at the end of the trading day; ETFs trade on stock exchanges and, like stocks, are valued constantly throughout the trading day.


Commodities include metals, oil, grain, animal products, financial instruments, and currencies. They can either be traded through commodity futures—agreements to buy or sell a specific quantity of a commodity at a specified price on a particular future date—or ETFs. Commodities can be used for hedging risk or speculative purposes.


A buyer of a company’s stock becomes a fractional company owner. Owners of a company’s stock are known as its shareholders. They can participate in the company’s growth and success by appreciating the stock price and regular dividends paid out of the company’s profits.

How to Invest

You can either invest in a DIY style or have your money managed by a professional. Those who prefer to manageA Guide to Investing their money themselves have online brokerages or discount accounts for ease of trading. This option requires time commitment, skill, education, and staying levelheaded. Investors who prefer professional money management generally have wealth managers looking after their investments. Wealth managers usually charge their clients a percentage of assets under management (AUM). This option is less hands-on but more expensive.

Local Banks and Firms

Weaver, Ware & Martin Wealth Management

With over 100 years of combined experience in financial services and a commitment to client service and satisfaction, Weaver, Ware and Martin Wealth Management is an excellent place to help you reach your financial goals. Built on solid client relationships, WWM Wealth offers personalized service on various products, including investing.

Gardner Wallace Financial Solutions

At Gardner Wallace Financial Solutions, they believe in putting the client first and foremost and making recommendations based on each individual’s needs and goals. They create customized financial plans for each client, utilizing years of knowledge and experience to secure the financial future their clients deserve and want.

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