Legend has it that Joseph Kennedy sold all the stock he owned the day before "Black Thursday," the start of the catastrophic 1929 stock market crash. Many investors suffered enormous losses in the crash, which became one of the hallmarks of the Great Depression.
What made Kennedy sell? According to the story, he got a stock tip from a shoeshine boy. In the 1920s, the stock market was the realm of the rich and powerful. Kennedy thought that if a shoeshine boy could own stock, something must have gone terribly wrong.
When you're fresh out of college, planning for your financial future may mean brown-bagging your lunch so you can afford to go out to dinner with your friends. But after a few years of living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might be pleasantly surprised to see that your checking account balance is actually growing month by month. So what should you do with that extra $100 or $500? You could buy a Nintendo Wii, pick up the new iPhone, or you could invest your money.