The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials)
Easiest thing you could do is put as much as you can into the Vanguard 2065 retirement fund and max out retirement accounts. Best thing would be to pick safe companies, pay attention read their proxy statements and vote sensibly, not giving the board whatever they suggest. This is the downside of index funds, which agree with the board over 90% of the time because they have too many positions to track.
The best advice I can think of is for you to start here: https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0060555661
Seriously, close your browser and start reading.
Some books, read them all (in no particular order):
First thing's first: Crash Course for New Investors.
Then, look up The Intelligent Investor .
The Intelligent Investor , it's pretty dry, but WOW really teaches you about investing and changes your perspective on your finances
The Intelligent Investor
Ok, that's basically what I did when I started out. Let me just say, there is a learning curve- and LOTS to learn. However, if investing turns out to be something you enjoy, and you always continue learning, you open the door to higher returns in general (and a very interesting hobby :D ).
At the start, you don't need to know much more than the general facts. Equity, bonds, the market. What the lingo means, and where the resources are. The original book I got for an overview was the following, and I would recommend it: The
The FT Investing Guide - not a cheap book, but will go over the foundational knowledge you need.
I would then follow with The Intelligent Investor , which is THE great value-investment book. It will tell you about how to logically approach investing in companies, and give you a framework for choosing better companies to invest in, and not overpaying for the equity you invest in.
Knowledge of macro economics is also a plus, imo. I started off by reading Economics for Dummies (yes, really).
The basics of accounting is somewhat essential, but it's covered in the FT guide. If you can get to the point where you can understand a typical income statement, balance sheet or statement of cash flows, it should be enough to be a competent investor. It allows you to understand the underlying financial health of a business, which is very important.
Your aim is to find strong companies, with good future prospects, which are undervalued by the market, and invest for the long-term. This will allow you to maximise your returns.
..I was all set to continue writing this wall of text, but I think I'll leave it here for now. If you have any further questions, or would like more clarification on any points, I'd be happy to help. So just let me know.
If you only ever get 1 book, you can read this in a couple days, and it helps you get started with Vanguard.
Once you have a decent amount of money invested, this book will ensure you don't fuck it all up. A much longer read but full of good information on how to take the emotions out of investing, which are basically going to be your biggest foe.