The stock market can seem like an amorphous cloud. With so many options, how will you know where to put your money? Maybe you’re thinking it might be easier to simply tuck that money away for a rainy day. But don’t worry, and don’t hide your money! The stock market can yield great dividends for risky and cautious investors alike. If you’re wondering where to begin, here are a few tips to get you started as an investor.

Find What You Stand For

An investment is essentially your financial support of an individual, company, or cause. Some investments that yield great dividends might not be the best for the world. That may or may not matter to you as an investor, but it is nevertheless important to consider before you can take the next steps. Depending on how risky you are willing to get, startups can be a good investment to reflect your beliefs–if you have done your homework. Knowing why a company will grow is imperative to making a smart investment. If your beliefs align with the company’s, you can feel even better about giving them your money.

Do Your Research

Whether you’re investing a little or a lot, it’s important to do your research. There are many ways online to learn about the investments that interest you. For example, with a risky investment like medical marijuana, you could spend some time reading up on marijuana stocks to track how the stock is doing. Sites like this will give you the scoop on your investment as it stands in politics, and more. For a less straightforward stock like Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, you may want to read blockchain news articles to become informed on the basics of the market. It’s also a great place to go if you have no idea what the cryptocurrency hype is about but want to get in on the investment. An informed investment decision can make all the difference between huge dividends and a huge bust.

Ask for Help

There is nothing wrong with seeking the advice of a financial planner. These professionals are trained to have a keen eye on the economy, and can help you plan your financial future based on your risk-level preferences. In a way, hiring a CFP is like an investment in itself. Their advice will lead you to the best fit for you. This will make your life as an investor less stressful, and hopefully more prosperous–with more dollars going into your bank than going out.

Take the Leap

Plenty of people wait around for the economy to “get better” in order to invest.The fact is we live in a society where the economy will always be in flux. No matter how it looks today, it will look much different in ten and even twenty years. As an investor, you can feel confident walking in with a long-term mindset. You know your dividends will be on their way, as investing is a game of longevity. There is no such thing as quick money, but with these tools you could make big money in the long run.