OK, so maybe it's not nearly as symmetrical as William Blake's famous poem, "The Tyger," but still, your financial life isn't all about investing. There's also debt to manage, scams to avoid, employer benefits to stretch, and, alas, taxes to pay.
The Fool has long been a resource for both sides of your financial life, which only makes sense, right? Once you have a firm grip on your personal finances -- which is an ongoing proposition, by the way -- you'll be in a much better position to dive into the stock market and make the most of your investments.
On that front ...
I'm a longtime advocate of top-notch mutual funds, which are the investment vehicle of choice for more than 90 million of us for a simple reason. They're convenient and -- provided you pick 'em intelligently and construct an asset allocation game plan that meshes with your risk tolerance -- they can fatten your nest egg while letting you get your beauty rest.
Moreover, having top-notch mutual funds in a diversified portfolio can assuage some of the inevitable nail-biting that comes with making an individual stock purchase -- an inherently riskier option than investing in funds.
That said, Mr. Market appears to be handing out all kinds of bargains these days. Indeed, a number of large-cap stalwarts in particular look downright juicy.
Chip-making behemoth Intel
Get in style
To be sure, just because the aforementioned stocks look cheap doesn't mean that you should necessarily take the plunge, of course. For starters, you'll want to see how each of those names would affect the "style" of your overall portfolio -- i.e., where your basket of investments falls on the market-cap and valuation spectrums -- and ensure that a new look, so to speak, would look good on you.
Beyond that -- and this is especially true for stock-market newbies -- you'll also want to ensure that you have the big picture of your financial life in mind as you go about the business of diving into equities for fun and profit.
Step on the gas
Our upcoming Motley Fool GreenLight service aims to help you do just that. My colleague Dayana Yochim runs point on the personal finance side of the service, zeroing in on money-making and time-saving tips on everything from credit cards to tax prep. I hold down the investing fort, focusing on asset allocation, macro matters, and Foolish ways for investors to put their money to work in the market. Sound like an intriguing combination? Click here to find out more.
Champion Funds and GreenLight advisor Shannon Zimmerman didn't own any of the securities mentioned above at the time of publication. Intel, UnitedHealth Group, and Cendant are Inside Value picks. UnitedHealth Group is a Stock Advisor pick. You can check out the Fool's strict disclosure policy by clicking righthere.