Chuckle... reading all above.. I been in investments for many years (starting when I was 20 years old). Anyone can start invest it, starting with small, slow growth and safe investment. There are 3 different level of investments, stocks, mutual funds and bonds. Mutual funds are best way to invest it, since it's more safer than stocks. So, starting out with mutual funds, and once it grow, then you can sell mutual funds and buy less aggressive stocks. Then you can build it from there and buy next level of more aggressive stocks. Aggressive stocks or more volatile than mutual funds.
Of course back in end of 2008, when stock markets nearly crashed, I lost significant amount of money but it will grow back again. So, today, it came back about 3/4 of the way it was before. Buying companies stocks are very risky... if company closed, you will loose everything. So, it's better to have like international stocks instead of individual stocks. Also, good idea to diversify various investments... like stocks, mutual and bonds all together.
So, I'm safe to retired.
Added: one more thing... I have about 68 differents stocks, mutual funds and international funds... that what I mean by diversify it...
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