Are you interested in starting an investment account but unsure of where to even start? You might even wonder how you are going to fund the account. Investing can look intimidating to start with, but you can start one or more accounts that can help you plan for your retirement, save toward a goal or simply increase the value of your money.

Money from Your Employer

Your employer may offer a retirement fund that includes matching deposits as long as you stay at your job for a certain amount of time. When this happens, it is known as being fully vested and means you own all the money. However, even if you don’t plan to stay with your employer for very long or you don’t have much you can contribute, you should take advantage of this funding method. First, there may be tax advantages for you. Second, this value of any deposits you make will increase significantly over time.

Finding Extra Cash

Whether or not you have access through your employer, you may also be looking for more ways to fund investments on your own. Few people have areas where they cannot spend a little less and put that money away instead, and often those approaches are relatively painless. Student loans represent a significant expense for many people, but you may be able to reduce your monthly payment by refinancing your student loan. Your credit needs to be solid, your income needs verifying, but you could be well on your way to lower interest rates and saving the most over time. However, if your credit is not great, don’t despair. You can also secure a cosigner for your refinance without saddling that person with financial obligations other than ensuring you make the payments going forward.

How to Choose the Account

There is more to funding an investment account than just getting the money together to do it. Once you have the cash you need, you need to decide what to do with it. First, think about your goals and your tolerance for risk. You’ll make very different decisions with money for your child’s college education versus money you can afford to lose but that you hope will give you big dividends. You can try a mix of low, medium and high-risk investments. You should also think about the time period in which you have to save and whether you will need to be able to access the money quickly. Many people who are new to investing choose what is known as an investment fund, which allows you to be hands off. Be sure to check the fees on these.

Get Help

Funding an investment account can be important to your long-term security, your family’s security and the growth of your wealth. For these reasons, you shouldn’t go it alone. You can read books and articles online and visit online forums to get advice, and you can also pay a financial professional to help you. If you are funding the account through your workplace, the company can offer employees access to a financial professional who can talk you through the process.