If you're like many of my friends/colleagues or probably the vast majority of worker-bee people in North America, then you're probably asking yourself why do I bother with all of this market crazyness.
It's quite simple: I'm sick and tired of being a piss-poor starving artist. The Arts and culture that generate my income are going down the tubes FAST on this continent all thanks to year after year of slashed education budgets. So I NEED to do something to subsidize my bleak starving-artist income.
So how can you subsidize your income? Investing.
Is investing crazy? Is investing gambling? It can be. ONLY if you make uninformed, uneducated choices or rely on a friend of a friend of a friend's "hot tip" from his broker.
Seriously though folks, take a long hard look at the people you call "the rich". Are they sitting on piles of cash? Or do they have their money invested? Rarely do rich people sit on their hands with large sums of cash. (Now "large" is of course relative)
Rich people stay rich because they keep their money working for them.
How? They buy stocks (shares) of companies both big and small that do things, that make stuff and exploit the common man/woman/child/other. (aka YOU)
Getting back to the previous comment about slashed education budgets: You make the people less educated then will want less and less interesting stuff because anything too complicated frightens their simple little minds. With a less educated populous it becomes far easier to exploit them. They don't know what they had. They don't know what they lost. They don't know what was hard fought for with blood, sweat, tears and even lives. So the expectations of your average poorly educated person becomes less and less.
What happens? The shareholders of the companies that employ these workers make bigger and bigger profits because workers get paid less and less to do more and more.
So how do you get ahead? Simple: buy shares of these companies and you too shall profit.
Now if you can't get over your fears that this crazy stock market is too volatile or that playing the market is just gambling then I really can't help you. I can offer investing strategies that do something that you can comprehend. And no, it doesn't involve sock-drawers or mattresses.
Just remember though: The rich invest. The poor save.