The first step to investing, especially investing on your own, is to make sure youhave a financial plan. How much are you going to invest? For how long? What are your financial goals? Do you understand your tolerance for risk? All investments carry some risk.

The next step is research, research, research. When investing on your own, you are responsible for your decisions. How will you select one stock, bond, or mutual fund over others? Always make sure that all securities are registered with the SEC, using the SECs EDGAR database. Dont purchase solely on stock tips from others.

There are several ways you can invest on your own, includingOnline InvestingDirect Investing, andDividend Reinvestment Plans.

What do you know about saving and investing? Do you want to see how your financial knowledge measures up against others? Try theInvestor.gov quizzes.