Stocks seems like a risky business to me. What resources will help me feel more comfortable investing in the market?
Zanna, your inquiry is most appropriate! Drawing upon 40+ years of experience in a wide range of market conditions, participating directly (personally investing your monies in stocks, mutual funds, etc) or indirectly (i.e. an employer's profit sharing – 401(k) plan) in the stock market always carries an varying element of risk.
The amount of risk that you can take in terms of monetary loss is unique to you as there are many variables that must be considered prior to one investing in the financial markets. I caution you to avoid being influenced by well-meaning peers and/or colleagues who have had either negative or positive experiences over time in the financial markets.
That being said, and in answering your question about available resources, there numerous, resources that you can read online utilizing a range of well-known sites. But, you should be careful not to allow the sites to influence you towards a particular product, mutual fund or other investments.
I recommend a paperback book titled "Stock Market 101" written by Clark Holloway and published by Jain Publishing Co. of California. This book is an excellent primer in that it takes an approach that proper knowledge combined with the discipline is the best ways to succeed in the markets.
After carefully reviewing this book and because the markets are quite complex, you should understand that you cannot be objective with your own monies. I recommend that you obtain the services of an experience, independent financial planner who charges an upfront hourly fee and to whom you can address your questions to my basis specific to your situation. Good luck in your endeavor. Roger Bell | 08.27.15 @ 14:26