I know that there is a lot of information out there about investing. Over time, we'll get much more specific about tips, strategies, and more. However, one of the most easy to follow tips out there is to look to someone who has done a fantastic job investing over his lifetime - the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett.
Yes, investing is extremely complex and you could spend every waking hour pouring over information and details (as many people do), or if it fits your investment strategy, you could hitch your wagon and follow someone who is currently the world's 4th most wealthy person and let him do the work for you.
For those that may not be familiar, Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate holding company for many large companies including Dairy Queen, GEICO, Fruit of the Loom, and others. By investing in his company, you are investing in his wealth of knowledge, experience, and feel for the market. He'll do the thinking for you. Now, I will always preach diversity and following an investment strategy, so this may not be a fit for everyone, but for some this could add a great piece to your portfolio. From 2000-2009, the S&P 500 had a return of -24.% yet Berkshire came away with a return of 76% for the same period.
So how would you go about investing in his company? As I mentioned in my post on Beginners Guide To Investing, you can open up an online trading account and purchase shares of BRK-A (the stock symbol for Berkshire). Now, in most cases you may not be able to afford a share of this stock, because as of today's trading it is currently going for $154,630 PER SHARE, making it the most expensive stock on the New York Stock Exchange. This is because they have never done a stock split in their history (if you don't know what that means, don't worry about it. We'll get to that some other time). However, for normal folks like you and me, you can get a smaller slice and invest in BRK-B, (a "B" share of their stock) for the much more affordable price of $103.16 per share as of today's trading.
As I mentioned, always diversify your holdings. However, if you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start, looking at a stock like BRK-B might be a place to get your feet wet. A few years ago, I had a little extra money at one point and didn't necessarily know where I wanted to invest it. I turned to BRK-B and thought it was a good place to put some of it (note: diversify). I have been happy with the results. Buffett is known for thinking long term, so this is something to hold onto for awhile, not turn a big profit in a short period of time. If you would like more information about investing like Warren Buffett, click here for a great page to check out and learn more. I'm sure in the future I will come back to some more specifics on Buffett (and could probably write a years-worth of posts on him and his companies) but we'll start slow and easy :)