These days it looks like everyone is worried about their financial stability, and whether their savings are safe and sound. In the past few years, many people have seen market changes and economic instability affect their savings accounts and retirement funds, and it can be very disheartening to learn that all of the money you worked so hard to put away is gone in an instant. Many people think of investing as a way to bulk up their financial portfolios and ensure some income in the future when they may not be working as much. It's important to realize that making an investment in the stock market is different than saving, but it can be a good idea when pursued cautiously.
Most people choose to define investing as a way to make money by spending your money. Another way to think about it is that it's a way to have your money working for you all the time, instead of merely sitting in an account somewhere small small amounts of interest. The big difference between investments and savings accounts is that people who save are mostly concerned with protecting the amount of money that they started with. Investors are more interested in using that lump sum to earn significant returns on their money in a shorter amount of time.
There are a couple of important concepts to understand about investing, and they are ownership and risk. One of the most attractive qualities of public investments is that the owners of the stock in a company are in effect part owners of the company itself. Just like the acting owners, these shareholders have the ability to vote on decisions that affect the whole company, and in some cases, share in the profits that the company achieves.
Risk is another important concept of investing, and it is the reason why it is always good to seek financial advice before you start to sink your money into the stock market. The value of stocks and companies fluctuates regularly, although usually it is so small that it does not affect the total investment. In some cases, companies that seem very promising end up going bankrupt after a few years, and the shareholders are left with worthless pieces of paper that used to represent their money. Understanding this risk will help you to research the companies that you're interested in and make sound decisions about who you trust with your money.