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I often get approached by investors who have $10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 in total and ask if they should invest in stocks. 


Since the majority of Americans don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal, the question becomes a reoccurring one.  Each recommendation depends on the specifics of the individual such as their age, the income level, dependents, and expectations to name but a few.


Generally speaking, if the investor is young, they might consider investing a certain amount on a regular basis in order to establish a sound and long term retirement plan.  It doesn’t have to be a lot. Indeed, adopting a crippling commitment amount that one cannot continue for whatever the reason is a sure way to derail an otherwise intelligent endeavor.


It is better to start with smaller amounts that is doable no matter what may lay ahead.

Since the young “investor” is new to the world of money, I first issue warnings covering beginning investing mistakes which are so common with new or young investors. I won’t cover them here but there are many (email me for previous article).


Since the young investor has plenty of time to build wealth, I am of the opinion they don’t need an investment advisor (nor their fees) and instead open up a discount brokerage account and buy a well-known and low cost index fund and then add to it on a monthly or quarterly basis. The Vanguard family of funds comes to mind but there are many other fine funds. Generally speaking, the larger the funds envelope of asset allocation or geographical localities, the less volatile it might be.


The reoccurring deposit into the account establishes not only a good habit one takes into adulthood, the compounding of even a small reoccurring amount can grow to a significant amount given enough time.


For older investors that might not have an extremely large nest egg, I remind them what they have is ALL they have, and it’s that amount that keeps them from the line at the local food bank. That means not losing it.


And that may mean placing their nest egg in a principal guaranteed investment.  Today that   could include a savings account, CD’s or a portfolio of U.S. Treasuries, all of which are 100% principal protected by the U.S. government.


Although for the past few decades they offered only a paltry return, these products are now paying a comparatively healthy return. Today, a properly constructed US treasury portfolio might offer an investor annual yields north of 4%.


A triggered annuity might also be another option. Although annuities are not FDIC insured, they can be 100% principal protected by the underlying insurance company. Triggered annuities may offer guaranteed interest rates and possible participation in market rallies yet may avoid any downside.


Even though someone may have a modest investment amount, they may still wish to take some risk in the hopes of growing their nest egg.


If that’s the case, consider more well-known and widely popular growth stocks that have a proven track record and real profits instead of investing in wild startups with lots of promises yet no profits. Going for the gusto might work out in their beer selection but rarely pans out for the inexperienced investor when it comes to stock selection.


On the flip side, I see the most damage done by investing in what I call “privates”. These offerings are not available through a broker but brought to the investor by an advertisement, relative or friend of a friend. Some are story lines about this or that idea or invention that sounds great pushed by some enthusiastic entrepreneur or glitzy advertisement. Other clickbait investments might be seeking money for some property, businesses or startups.


They are great stories for sure but from my experience, instead of big opportunities, they turn out to be big holes where money disappears along with the person that’s at the bottom of the hole with their mouth open.  


Great visual, I know.


Summing this up is to say don’t buy anything that’s not listed in the Wall Street Journal, which is to say whose existence is not widely known and not publically listed.


There are worthwhile and profitable investment opportunities privately available for sure, but I see too many dismal failures that swallow up people’s money to recommend a private to the average investor.


Avoiding some of the common pitfalls suffered by investing newbies and then considering some of the suggestions made here might go a long way in helping you reach your investment goals no matter what your nest egg.

“Watching the markets so you don’t have to”


(As mentioned please use the below disclaimer exactly) THANKS   (Regulations)

This article expresses the opinion of Marc Cuniberti and is not meant as investment advice, or a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, nor represents the opinion of any bank, investment firm or RIA, nor this media outlet, its staff, members or underwriters. Mr. Cuniberti holds a B.A. in Economics with honors, 1979, and California Insurance License #0L34249. His website is, and was recently voted Best Financial Advisor in Nevada County. 530-559-1214.






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There are many financial products in the market, and choosing the ones that best meet an individual client’s needs can be complicated.  Informed decisions about the products in any portfolio are best made after an assessment of individual needs.  Speak with Marc directly. It is that easy. 


Marc Cuniberti (530)559-1214


Market Analyst and Commentator

Small Business Consultant and Mentoring

Economic Advanced Studies and Honors Graduate SDSU in Economics

Radio Talk Show Host

Financial Columnist 

California Insurance Agent and Medicare Approved Agent 


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Insurance can protect you and your family from undue hardship. Some life insurance policies also provide tax-advantaged savings that you can draw on to achieve goals like buying a house or retiring comfortably. I have access to a variety of insurance products that can help meet your security planning needs. No matter your personal situation—if you’re single or in a family; a professional or a seasonal employee; an executive or small business owner—we will work together to design a customized plan.

  • Life
  • Medicare
  • Long-term care
  • Fire Insurance
  • Auto
  • Business
  • Long Term Care
  • Liabilty
  • Event Liability
  • Annuities for income and growth

A Word about Life insurance:

In the event of death, life insurance may offer surviving family members financial security. As a tax-free lump sum payment, it can pay for final expenses and debts, as well as provide income for the deceased’s dependents.


The advantages of life insurance include:

  • An instant estate for your loved ones at a time when funds are most needed
  • Death benefits that are almost always non-taxable for named beneficiaries
  • Avoid probate costs if you name a beneficiary other than your estate
  • Potentially offer your loved ones creditor protection through some life insurance plans
  • Build tax-advantaged capital for retirement purposes or provide liquid savings through some permanent life insurance plans


Long-term Care, Disability and Critical Illness insurance, Lifetime income strategies and Medicare:

Help protect one of your most valuable assets – your income – from unexpected events through long-term care, disability and critical illness insurance.

Income is important for both current financial obligations (e.g. grocery bills and mortgage payments) and for future financial security (e.g. planning for your children’s education or for retirement). Just think what might happen if you suddenly lost your income stream through a long-term illness or disability.

Long-term care and disability insurance products help protect your ability to earn an income, which can be affected if you are afflicted by a disability or other condition.

Questions about Medicare? 

I can help navigage the programs.

I can also help you choose the long-term care and disability insurance products that provide advantages like:

  • May assist in transfer of assets. 
  • Help loved ones 
  • Assist with paying fixed expenses for your business if you become disabled
  • Support the buy-out of a disabled partner’s share of a business.


Critical illness insurance and Medicare Policies

Suffering a critical illness is distressing for both you and your family. Help ease the burden through insurance that will reduce financial stresses and can complement disability and life insurance protection needs. By helping pay for the additional expenses often associated with a critical illness or condition, insurance offers you, your family, and if applicable, your business, added financial security—so you can focus on recovery.

The advantages of critical illness insurance can include:

  • Coverage for up to 22 critical illnesses or conditions
  • An initial lump-sum benefit you can use however you wish—from making mortgage payments to seeking medical treatment outside Canada
  • Home-care costs during illness and recovery periods
  • Even if you’re not disabled from working, you may receive payment
  • The ability to provide a return of premium benefit (optional)
  • Individuals who cannot obtain disability insurance in some cases still qualify for critical illness coverage (e.g. a non-income earning spouse)
  • Medicare Policies and information. Let me walk you through the best options for your situation

Contact me today to determine whether critical illness insurance fits into your financial security plan.


There are also new “hybrid” plans available that combine the benefits of life insurance or annuities with long term care coverage and at a cost that may be more affordable than you think. Contact me today so we can assess your needs and develop the best strategies for your specific situation to give you the peace of mind you require and protect your family and loved ones.


Mark (Marc) Cuniberti- California Department of Insurance License # OL34249


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This website expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti. Past performance does not guarantee results.

Insurance Solutions offered by Marc Cuniberti and not affliated with Vantage Financial Group.