Some advice below if you are new to investment:
1. Do some research. Given you are someone who has reached this article, you can understand some basics. Try to educate yourself as much as possible.
2. Don’t try to outdo those ‘smart’ friends. Quite a lot of ‘expert’ friends take it upon themselves to show off how better they are at timing the market and picking stocks / funds. Don’t get affected by all the noise. You are the best manager of your money.
3. Start safe and spread your bets. Safety first applies more so with hard earned money. Better start with some mutual funds at first before trying to be a stock-picking expert. Read Arthashastra’s article on Asset Allocation.
4. It is never too late. “I should have done this 5 years ago”, “Other friends invested much earlier and made money” all these are quite useless thoughts. There is no right time to enter, no right time to exit. There is always a ‘right philosophy’ of investing.
5. Don’t give in to hype. There are 100s out there trying to make money, so don’t give in to all the hype. Follow a well thought out plan of investing.
6. Balance mid-term, long-term goals with short-term liquidity needs. Entire Financial Planning is just this. We are often afraid of locking our money as any sudden emergency may force us to pull money back. This is a valid concern and be OK with it and judge for yourself how you can balance out by locking some money for your mid-term and long term goals. You know it best.