They are looking for people to lie to them on their applications and they are very good at spotting the tall tales. They have a lot of practice! So what do you say to them? You tell them how you came to be in arrears with you finance and don't be embarrassed. They'd sooner help someone who's honest enough to admit a mistake than think you're hiding something. Without this you are not investing but gambling. Let's take an example of the silver markets about 30 years ago. Two brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt decided to corner the silver market along with some of their business associates. They succeeded in driving the price up to around $54 an ounce before the authorities changed the rules on margin trading. They can begin their portfolio with as little as $25 per month to find out if it's something that suits them. For those who have decided that they would like to go for the full blooded approach of buying stocks and shares directly they need to have between $3,000 and $5,000 if they want to use a full service stock broker. One reason for this is because with all the abbreviations that the financial markets use you can sometimes find that you are looking for the wrong definition. That could be a major problem when your investments are at stake! Of course this is the age of the internet so as an alternative to books you can search for financial and stock market terminology online. All the CD providing organizations have websites with complete details on how their services work. These financial institutions are very clear on imparting knowledge about their CD products so that they can attract more customers. You can use this information to do your own research into deciding which financial institution will be the best for you. You could apply a certain percentage on the riskier hares while placing the majority of your cash with the safe and steady tortoises. The next decision is whether you want to select your own portfolio or get a professional to do it for you. Both of course have benefits but by getting advice from a pro and asking them why they choose the investments they did will help you gain a free insight at the same time.