Start Investing Wisely

It takes only a little seed money to become a smart, long-term investor.

Saving is good. Investing is better. If you save $100 a month and earn 0.95% annually (currently the highest yield for savings accounts, according to, you’ll have more than $58,400 in 40 years, excluding taxes. If you invest the same amount and earn an 8% annual return, your total grows to about $324,180.

Your first experience with investing will likely be within a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan (see Free Money for Retirement). Those dollars are earmarked for the faraway future. So you can afford to take on risk and should consider putting your entire portfolio in stocks.

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.