How to Invest

Welcome to How to Invest

From the reporters of MarketWatch and Barron's

When it comes to managing your money and investing, sometimes the hardest thing to do is get started. How to Invest can help.

We start with the basics of budgeting, saving, investing and goal setting. From there, we dig into understanding the markets, trading stocks and ETFs, and dealing with taxes. And finally, we explain how to analyze companies and make smart stock picks, and examine things like emerging markets, futures and options.

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More investing lessons

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No matter your age, here’s how to tell if your finances are on the right track

There's no one-size-fits-all approach. But to put your head in the sand is perhaps the worst strategy of all.

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Should I use a 401(k) or an IRA to save for retirement? A traditional account or the Roth version? Here’s what to know

Roth accounts may make more sense for people just starting out in their careers, when their salaries — and tax brackets — are relatively low

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These 5 great, easy-to-read books about money will change how you think about investing

Bogle, Ellis, the history of manias and the psychology of money can get new investors on the right track

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When is it worth hiring someone to manage your money?

Here’s what to consider before you hire a financial adviser or other professional.

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Robo-advisers give you decent financial advice on the cheap

They can be good choices for new investors, busy people who don’t want to do it themselves or those who don’t have much to invest.

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How to turn $30,000 into millions: the power of time beats a lucky stock pick

Just five years of modest investments if you start early in your working life can leave you with millions when it’s time to retire.

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Saving for college: the pros and cons of 529 savings plans, prepaid plans and how to decide

A 529 plan is one smart way to save, invest and pay for college expenses in a tax-advantageous way.

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These are the most important things to check on a stock’s quote page before deciding whether to buy or sell

There's a lot more to glean from a MarketWatch stock quote page than just the price and the change from the previous session. In fact, price may be one of the least useful pieces of information.

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Investors love to boast about their great stock picks, but beware of those who use fancy math to calculate their gains

The data doesn't lie: Even pros rarely beat the stock market.

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Short-selling stocks — and trying to play short squeezes — can be very dangerous

It’s important to understand how this type of high-stakes trading can influence stock prices, even if you have no intention of doing it yourself.

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