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 Investing Basics

3. Start Investing


Now that you know your goals and have planned your investment mix, the next step is to put that knowledge and planning into action and start investing. For long-term investing, waiting for the right moment to begin investing rarely works best. Starting early, and investing what you can regularly, usually takes you a lot further than waiting—because you generally can’t make up for lost time.

Open an account

Open an account.

Schwab can help you get started with the right accounts quickly and easily. Find the right account.

Fund the account

Fund the account.

Deposit money into the account. 

Choose your investments

Choose your investments.

Pick actual investments to fit your plan. Get help finding investments.

Talk to a Schwab investment professional


When is the right time to invest
When is the right time to Invest?
See examples ranging from those who time the market and those who don't.


Top Questions

You can begin investing with Schwab for as little as $100 a month through our Automatic Investment Plan1. This plan lets you invest in Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource® funds—without loads or transaction fees—through a Schwab One® brokerage or IRA account, so you can build your portfolio at your own pace.

Benefits include:
  • Easy to invest small amounts regularly. Invest as little as $100, as often as you like— bimonthly, monthly, or quarterly.
  • A wide selection of funds. Every fund on the Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource Select List® is eligible for investment. They’re all free of load fees and transaction fees and have been analyzed by the professionals at Schwab.
  • Convenience. If you like the automatic nature of a 401(k) plan, automatic investing can work the same way for your brokerage accounts, in combination with Direct Deposit or regular online transfers.
  • The power of dollar-cost averaging. With automatic investing, you buy more when the price is lower, and buy less when the price is higher.
  • No set-up fees. There’s no fee to set up an Automatic Investment Plan. Pause or cancel your plan at any time with no penalty.

If you have more questions or need help getting started, call us at 800-435-4000.

The rate of return on an investment simply refers to the rate of a gain or loss over a specified period (usually quarterly or annually). Securities are usually judged based on their past rates of return, which can be compared against the rates for the same type of investment to determine which securities may give you the best actual return (gain) on your investment. Keep in mind that past performance does not indicate or guarantee future results and it is possible to lost money while investing.
While cash investments are generally safer than other investment types, when interest rates fall, the return on your investment could be less than the rate of inflation. And over an extended period, even a modest 2% inflation can significantly erode the purchasing power of your investments. In fact, if you don’t protect for inflation, over a 30-year period, the value of your investments could decrease by almost 50% after adjusting for inflation.2 That’s why it’s important for your  to include a mix of investments with potential to deliver higher returns (such as stocks, bonds, and even tax-advantaged mutual funds) in an attempt to offset the loss of purchasing power that inflation can bring.

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