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Stock It To Me

Investing in stocks

This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

I'm an egoist. Like a half-baked Hobbes, I'm the first to admit self-interested desire is the motivating force behind most of my waking hours. The only reason to consider investing--hell, the only reason to consider doing anything--is to get what you want. I know, it sounds vicious, which is why most brokers talk more about goals than greed. Semantics aside, there's no way to reach your goals without having them. So ask yourself the simple question, What do I want?

While you might not know exactly what you want, you can bet that in the capitalist carnival called America, money will get you there. Whether your goals involve retirement, a family or just a better apartment, you're going to need to invest some money in stocks over the next few decades. You know the drill: Over the long haul, stocks are the highest-returning asset class. They beat cash, bonds, even Beanie Babies. But if you're going to buy stocks (or stock mutual funds), you need to know what they are.

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