Most people feel a sense of excitement when they think about investing – whether it’s in the stock market, real estate or precious metals such as gold. However, these same people often feel somewhat afraid of the actual process of [tag-tec]investing[/tag-tec]. Maybe you would like to use an investment firm but don’t feel it’s in your budget right now. Here are some things to consider about how to be your own investor.

1. By definition, an investor is a person who purchases income-producing assets.
This is a fairly easy concept for most people to grasp. For example, people often want to try to invest in real estate for themselves because in most cases the longer they own the property the more the property will be worth. Or maybe they just want to have a better understanding of the investments that are being made on their behalf through a company-sponsored investment or retirement program.

2. Do as much self study as possible so that you know what you’re doing.
Use your local library or bookstore to obtain books by well-known financial advisors – and then read them. Learn about basic investment terms and types of investments. Watch financial programs on television or on the Internet. Become an informed investor.

3. One of the cardinal rules of investing is to never invest more than you can afford to lose. So if you’re just starting to invest in stocks or mutual funds, only use money that you have specifically set aside for the purpose of investing. Don’t invest your emergency fund or take money from other necessary savings accounts.

Remember that it’s just money and don’t become obsessed with seeing immediate returns. Most investments are long term and you can’t judge the true gain or loss for several years.

4. When you’re first starting to invest, you should try to invest in less risky stocks or funds. As you become more comfortable with the investment process and the types of investments available, then you can increase your risk.

5. Consider joining an investment club. This type of club is made up of like-minded individuals who collectively invest in certain types of funds. It is an excellent place to learn about investing as other members may have more investment experience than you do so you will actually be part of an investment team. Investment clubs usually research their investments very carefully. Investing with a group also enables you to invest in funds that might be out of your individual reach. Consequently, you won’t stand to lose as much money if the investment goes bad.

6. If you decide to try investing in real estate, consider finding an experienced partner so you don’t have to shoulder the risk alone. A partner can help you find the right type of property and advise you on management and repair issues. Just like anything else, having an advisor or mentor makes any learning process easier and less risky.

Investing can be a profitable and exciting way to use your money. After learning how to be your own investor, you can feel confident that you know where your money is and that you understand how it’s working for you.