Once you begin to get a good grasp of how the markets operate you can begin to make some investments of your own. However before you start to lay down your hard earned cash you might want to try paper trading. That is where you select a particular stock and decide how much you would like to invest into it but instead of placing an order with a stockbroker you simply record the transaction on paper. Check around and see how they have done for other people if you can. Make some calls to your state consumer affairs bureau and also the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any problems in the past. Don't lose sight of the fact that if you make a mistake in choosing your debt consolidation service it could cost you heavily over time. How much will the overall cost of the loan work out at? 2. How much will be saved each and every month over what is currently being paid? 3. Is there a cheaper option? A re-mortgage for example 4. Would getting a part-time job help rather than taking out a loan? Equally important if someone decides to go ahead is making certain that the loan they are taking out is the cheapest they can get. Some of the best known and most successful investors of all time such as Ben Graham, Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch are all known for looking for straight forward opportunities to put their money into. Warren Buffett's approach of "KISS" or "Keep It Simple Stupid" is something that any novice investor can follow. Think of something as simple as an accident, it doesn't even have to be your fault, and you get hospitalized for a couple of months. Do you think while you're laid there in your hospital bed it's just possible that making the payment for your credit card bill might get forgotten? And what happens when you forget your monthly credit payments? The Venetian traders were probably the first ones to begin dealing with government securities and even back then there was insider trading going on. In fact as early as 1351 there was a law passed in Venice which was designed to stop people spreading rumors that would drive down prices. As more formal commerce spread around Europe so did the need to have stock markets.