Welcome to Investment Options 101. We provide a wealth of information on various investment options. Every investor has different goals, investment amount and horizon. We explore different investment options, products, returns and risks associated with each in our blog. Let’s discuss below how to get started with various investment options.

Fastest & Easiest Way to Start Investing Smartly

Most people know they need to start saving for retirement and other major life events. But they usually lack the time, energy or expertise to develop a grounded investing plan and to sift through the tens of thousands of investment options available.

Enter Betterment.com. The process of investing is made so incredibly easy that within five minutes of visiting the site they will have you set up with a fully diversified portfolio customized to your specific financial situation. They achieve this through low-cost, well-grounded, and automatically implemented financial advice designed for smart, busy people. Accounts are broadly diversified, regularly rebalanced—with the liquidity and simplicity of an online bank account.

Get a $25 Account Bonus when you sign up for Betterment. Start now!

You save a bundle in fees. There are no commissions or minimum balance fees. Customers pay between 0.15% and 0.35% of assets per year, less than 25% of what they’d pay elsewhere. Betterment was voted “Best of Show” at Finovate.

How to start investing in Currency or Forex?

This is one of the most promising investment options for 2012. News on Europe’s debt trouble and efforts to resolve it drives the global market. Investing wisely in Forex presents a perfect opportunity to make a good amount of money with moderate risk. If you have never invested in foreign currency or Forex, you need to learn the terms and techniques for Forex trading using a practice account. We highly recommend trying it out for free with virtual money in a practice account. There are various platforms out there allowing you to trade forex. We recommend using eToro. It has awesome easy to use interface, wonderful eCourse and social platform allowing you to see what other traders are trading and which strategy is returning maximum return. An amazing way of linking social network and investing. It is perfect for learning. Don’t forget to check it out by signing up for the practice account below.

eToro – Forex Platform. Free Unlimited Practice Account.

How to start investing in Stocks?

This is one of the most common and easily available personal investment option to people. You can trade stocks online for any public companies in the United States. There are many online systems (called online brokers) you can use. The online brokers charge fees (called commissions) for each trade you make. These fees range from $5 to $30. We recommend using OptionsHouse which only charges $4.95 for each trade and provide many useful features and an easy to understand interface. You can take advantage of one of the following offers they have when you open the account.

  1. Get 100 Commission-Free Trades at OptionsHouse.com! (Requires minimum $5,000 opening balance) OR
  2. Get a free Kindle Fire from OptionsHouse. (Requires minimum $10,000 opening balance) OR
  3. Get a Free Dell Monitor When You Open and Fund an Account at OptionsHouse. (Requires minimum $10,000 opening balance).

Once you have the account with an online broker, you need to know what stocks you want to buy and then when to sell them. There are several services available which will help you make these decisions. We recommend Zack’s premium research, enroll for free trial and get the stock picking tips.

Zacks Investment Research: Free Trial. Buy the BEST stocks, Sell the Worst Stocks, Stock Screens and more!

We also recommend one more useful service provided by the Fast Money fame Jim Cramer. Also sign up for the free trial with his action alert plus service and get his tips.

Sign up for a free trial of Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS!

You are all set with trading stocks, be sure to follow the market regularly and prepare your strategy.

Best IRA Investment Option

The deadline for contributing to IRA for tax year 2011 passed on April 17, 2012. But it is perfect time to start contributing towards tax year 2012. People have been asking me this question since beginning of the year. How/where should one open an IRA account? There are many different options out there for an IRA. This is a very important decision one would need to make since it involves their retirement. There are many things to consider for IRA investment account. It is complicated to find out different investment options, fee structures, maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements etc. On top of that, diversifying a retirement portfolio is the most important thing.

But thankfully, there is an easy answer, simply open the Best IRA account of 2012 at Betterment.com.

They have made it so simple for everyone. They only charge 0.15% to 0.35% annual fee on the portfolio which is very reasonable and lowest among competitors, no other commissions or transaction fee . The only decision customer needs to make is how they would like to diversify the portfolio. They have model portfolios built for different age groups and risks. They even work with you to create a custom portfolio if you would like. You have the full control of your money throughout. This will give you the best returns, factoring cost and time. You will be very happy and satisfied going with Betterment. Don’t forget to shoot me an email about your experience with them.

To learn more about IRA, read IRA Basics. If you are considering options for rolling over your 401(k), read Rolling over 401(k).

Mutual Funds

Like other investment choices, investing in mutual funds involves risk. One needs to understand both the upsides and the downsides of mutual fund investing and how to choose products that match your goals and tolerance for risk.

Sign up for Zecco here

In a mutual fund, the company pools money from many investors and invests the money in stocks, bonds, money-market instruments, other securities or assets, or some combination of these. The combined holdings the mutual fund owns are known as its portfolio. Each share represents an investor’s proportionate ownership of the fund’s holdings and the income those holdings generate.

Investing in mutual funds offers professional management, diversification, affordability and liquidity benefits. But it will also have costs associated despite negative returns, lack of control on how the funds are made-up and price uncertainty as disadvantages.

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