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Asking just about anyone about his or her goals will return an answer that, in some form or another, involves making money. In fact, the primary goal of many is to become flat out rich. Unfortunately, unless you hit the lottery tomorrow or have a great business idea, becoming rich quick isn’t easy or even practical for many. Luckily, gaining a financially secure future with some planning and wise decisions is something that is much more obtainable.

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Getting a well paying job with room for growth is largely the number one factor towards obtaining this. However, if you’re blowing all of your hard earned cash on material objects, you’re not helping your future. Instead using your money wisely and investing it into a diversified portfolio of assets is something that will help you secure a financially secure future and money for decades to come.

There are thousands of different caveats in the world of investing, but you need to start somewhere. This is why 401ks and mutual funds are a great starting place for long-term investments. Real estate is another investment that requires more planning but can reap massive rewards. Finally, there are financial markets that include stocks, FOREX and Contracts For Difference (CFDs), which can make or break your bottom line. Let’s take a look at each.

401ks & Mutual Funds

In terms of minimized risk, 401ks and mutual funds are the ways to go in terms of long-term investments. If you have a career chances are your employer offers a 401k plan. Sometimes, they will even match your contribution up to a certain amount every month. If this is the case with you, make sure that you are doing everything you can to contribute the amount that your employer will match. This is essentially free money that will be put in an account to mature over time. When retirement rolls around, if you’ve properly tended to your 401k you will have a sizeable chunk of change to keep you satisfied for quite some time.

Alternatively, there are many different mutual funds in which you can invest. These mutual funds are a pool of money provided by individual investors and then managed by an expert. While there is some risk involved in this, it’s largely considered less risky than our next two points.

Real Estate

Many of the world’s richest people have gotten there thanks to real estate. Unfortunately not all of us can be Donald Trump, but many of us can get into the world of real estate. Investing into something like a 2 family apartment building is something that will give you profit for years to come. Simply rent out those two units and reap the rewards or even live in one and have the rent from the other help pay for your mortgage.

Financial Markets

Finally, there are financial markets. Everyone has heard of the get quick rich scheme that involves something like day trading only to end in ruins. This doesn’t have to be the case if you are smart with your investments and make sure you diversify your assets. Investing all of your money into one stock, for example, is never a good idea because what if that stock crashes? Instead, investing in many different companies and even dabbling in other investments such as FOREX and Contracts For Difference (CFDs) will give you a more diversified portfolio. This way if something happens with one of your investments, you have several other investments to make up the loss. Just remember the saying, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket