How to start investing in the stock market and actually grow your money

A woman using her laptop and looking at stock market paper charts

Many millennials have some mistrust of the stock market, in great part because they came of age during a financial crisis and recession. Yet young people are also aware that they need to be saving money for retirement — with 59% of millennials socking away for retirement before age 25, per a recent study.

Great news, right? The problem is that young people need to not only save up — but also really understand how investing works. After all, there's a big difference between putting money in a bank account earning less than 1% a year and investing it in the stock market. You're taking on less risk in a basic savings or checking account, sure, but you're also less likely to reach long-term financial goals. Indeed, your 20s are exactly the time that you should be most open to riskier investments, as the Wall Street Journal points out.

In the interest of helping you get over your fears, we've devoted the entirety of this week's Payoff podcast to explaining — simply — how to start investing.

First up, hosts Antonia and Chris talk through exactly why they are confused or fearful of investing and stocks, including debunking common misconceptions about what investing even is and how it works.

Then we get some expert help decoding the wide world of investments — like what an "exchange traded fund" or a "robo-advisor" is, exactly — from financial journalist Scott Gamm, who lives in that world every day as a correspondent for The Street and The Street TV

Finally, we launch a new final segment, where we directly respond to listener questions about money and investments. Have a question you want answered in a future episode? Please write to us at

You can subscribe to the Payoff podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, tunein, RadioPublic or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please rate and review, and stay tuned for new episodes every other Wednesday!