Getting your foot in the door of investment can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing. Of course, this is what most people will tell you if you mention wanting to begin to invest in different businesses. But if you really do your research and know what kinds of stocks are good for short term and long term investing, then you may be able to break into the world of investment without losing money to begin with. If you want to become a successful investor and actually see returns on the money that you put out into the market, then you need to be sure you have money you are willing to lose.

Investing in a 401(k) plan can be a good start to understanding what investing your money takes away at a moment and gives back to you later. Being employer-sponsored, a 401(k) is an easy way to automatically deduct from your pay and place the money into a retirement savings. These investments also come with tax benefits, and usually the contributions are made with the pre-tax money you earn, so you wont have to pay taxes on the money you earn until the investment funds are taken out.

Never try to invest in a business if you cant afford to lose the money you put in. Sure, you are always taking a risk with investing your money in others, but if you want to make money without having to be active in both the investment and the business all the time, then investing in the stock market can be a very rewarding investment to make. You always want to make sure that you are able to cover expenses and debt that you may have accumulated before you even begin to think about investing in stocks. If the stock market decides to decline in value, then at least you know that you can sustain yourself without worrying about the money you lost at that time.

Start Investing Young

Investing at a young age is a better idea than later, since you can ride out the trends and bumps along the way and see years of data to decide when it may be time to pull the money out and cash in on the earnings. Another way to invest your money with a guaranteed return are bonds. Loan the money you can afford to give up for a number of years, wait it out, and earn interest along the way. This means that you cant get the money back for a longer amount of time than if you want to get out of the stock market, but at least you know you will be getting it back in the first place.

An important thing to remember is that the longer time you give your investment money to set into the market, the better chance you have to get a significant return on it. Usually over periods of 10 years or longer, the returns are positive and have good percentages, meaning you get back what you put in and more. But you have to remember that this is 10 years that we are talking about, which means ten years of fluctuation with dips and high points. Never be to hasty to pull your money out when you think you are losing too much, and if you invested your money without thinking that you could lose it all, then you will be in a world of hurt.

Basically, say you have a thousand dollars that you can afford to lose. You have saved this money up for the past 3 years or so and you knew you wanted to invest with it. This is a very good start to stock market investment. Now what is up to you is to decide which business you think will succeed in the future, and bring your shares in the company up to a better value. Prior preparation will prevent you from losing everything you put in, and I cant really stress that enough. Always make sure you can afford to lose the money you put in, and never be afraid when you do lose that money. The stock market is constantly fluctuating, so if it all goes down at one point, just start saving up extra money again and try again. Wealthy investors did not gain their wealth in a single day. It takes years of waiting and planning to bring a healthy return back to your pocket.

To learn more, visit TheStreet.com for additional advice.