But what you do with the thousand is as important as what you don't do. For a beginning investor, one of the most important goals should be to keep costs low, diversify and invest in line with your personal risk tolerance.
"It certainly wouldn't make sense for an individual just getting started to invest all in penny stocks, bitcoins or other concentrated positions. These types of investments have much higher speculative risk," Loescher says.
Nawrocki says buying individual stocks isn't a good idea unless you already have a rainy-day fund and retirement savings account. Norma Yaeger, a retired president of two stock brokerage firms, echoes that sentiment.
"Buying a single stock is gambling, and the stock market is not for gambling. It is for sound investments," Yaeger says. "Morningstar.com is a service that rates most [mutual] funds and is a good place to begin to find a good growth fund. The fund must be a no-load fund, which means no commissions charged to investor."