Today, Fool.com finance analysts Anand Chokkavelu and Matt Koppenheffer look at the one thing all investors need to do before they buy a stock: make sure they can afford it.

Matt and Anand are reacting to a report they read indicating that 41% of Americans have less than $500 readily available in savings. While we all may worry about making the best investments possible, many of us should probably take a step back and ask ourselves whether we're in a position to be dedicating any meaningful portion of our capital to something like investments.

See more in the following video.

Anand Chokkavelu has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.