If you’re in your early twenties and thinking that you have a long time before you need to start investing please do yourself a favor and change your thinking.  Sure, retirement seems like ages away but the simple fact is that the people who retire the most comfortably are the ones who start planning for their retirement and investing early. Start now and you won’t have to put in nearly as much later, in fact you may be able to put less in later if you invest wisely now.

Here are a few tips to get you off and running on an investment portfolio that will leave you with a healthy nest egg for the day you actually retire many years from now.

Although riskier that bank savings or bonds, Stocks have much fewer losing years than winning years and have a lot better return on your investment. You could lose money once or twice but in the long run your chances and your return are higher.

Mutual Funds are a great portfolio builder even if you only have a few thousand dollars to invest, as the fund manager can spread your money over several stocks. They do the hard work (for a fee of course) or you can research them yourself at MSN Money and Yahoo Finance, among other sites that have mutual fund investing info.

Index weighted funds are your best bet for keeping your costs down on brokers fees as they charge a very low fee.  Studies over the years have shown that index funds performed much better than managed funds and the tax bills are usually lower with them also.

Finally, choose a 401 (k) retirement plan if your company has one as your contributions are subtracted from your taxable income come tax time, saving you money.

If you start investing now you’ll find that as retirement closes in (and it will) you won’t get that nagging feeling in the back of your brain that you haven’t put enough away to last you through your golden years.