1) Research research research it pays to look into fees for stocks,bonds,mutual funds or EFTS. Watch the percentage or you may well find your hard earned cash being gobbled up on fees.
2) How do you want to invest ? Stock broker or are you and online do it yourself trader. Both charge fees and therefore you need to decide what your comfortable with. I use Degiro. It charges very low fees and there are other online do it yourself trading options so do your homework.
3) What to invest in? Bonds are traditionally believed to be safer but not always. Shares and if so who is it the Apples or Microsoft's of this world. There are websites such as Justetf which will build a portfolio for you. I would recommend double checking and researching the stocks which these sites recommend for you to make sure you are comfortable with them.
4) Risk - this is such an important aspect. If you are the kind to lie wake at night worrying if you loose 100 euros then your cautious and there is no point investing in high risk shares. Shares and stocks are not a get rich scheme and you need to know what you are doing and unfortunately be prepared to loose money if you gamble. Sorry but it's true. I recommend Morningstar for research. I recommend you complete the Irish Life questionnaire to see what kind of investor you are.
5) Strategy -what kind of investor are you are you a day trader or a long term investor. Both are very different and require a different strategy.
6) Research again because the value of bonds and shares can go up and down in the matter of minutes. Before you buy decide how much you are prepared to buy for. If the stock is high maybe leave it until it falls to a price you are happy to pay etc.
7) Be prepared to make mistakes and learn - but do not gamble recklessly. I have saw stocks dipped and sold as I was afraid but I should have held on. I did not have a clear strategy when I started and so I chose some stocks that were not suitable for what I wanted out of my investments. It happens and its ok. Live and learn but don't invest lots until you are sure on a stock.
8)Tax man -you must pay stamp duty on shares when you buy them. Equally, you are taxed at 20-40% pending on your income bracket for any dividends you may earn and when you sell shares yes, the tax man needs to be paid again. This is in Ireland in other countries such as the UK, investing in ISA's I believe are charged lower tax. Look into your investing and in Ireland the most tax efficient way to invest is in a pension.
I would also love to hear others investing lessons and stories. Thanks :)