Interested in investing in your future? You’ve made the right decision. As a woman, investing is identical on paper when compared to investing by men. But doing it on your own means you can do some things differently. Investing can be challenging at first, but once you understand it you’ll be able to make wise decisions. Whether you’re saving for your retirement, or investing for money for your children’s college fund, consider this advice when it comes to investing:

1) Define your Goals

What are your investment goals? Live a comfortable retirement lifestyle? Ensure your grandkids’ college education?  Know that everything you plan for is accounted for? Save enough for an emergency fund in addition to everything else too, in case something goes wrong?

Once you’ve defined your goals, turn them into an achievable plan. Determine how much money you have to invest right now and try to imagine how you can get this money to start working for you. This plan isn’t binding by any means, but it should be what guides you on your financial path for the next many years. Make sure your plan is in line with your goals, and make sure it is adaptable incase any unforeseen actions happen in the future. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a solid plan.

2) Consult With a Professional

Consider hiring a financial consultant.  You’ll be guaranteed to have an edge when it comes to investing. To find a reliable consultant search for reviews online or ask your friends for referrals. When you hire a financial consultant, however, always maintain an active role in your investments. Don’t simply just hand the reigns to an advisor, always maintain control.

In addition to consulting with a professional, read up on investments. Check out great books like Kenneth Fisher’s “Only Three Questions,” which will definitely give you an edge when it comes to investing. (More about Author Ken Fisher).  Try and learn some things that others don’t, and always do your homework!

3) Be Sure to Diversify

Ahh, the quintessential investment advice: diversify! Spreading out your investments is by far the best thing you can do to minimize potential losses in the investing world. Also known as “not putting all your eggs in one basket,” diversifying minimizes your investing risks by spreading that risk out. You’ll have a much greater sense of security if you diversify, since you won’t be left up a creek without a paddle should one industry happen to suffer.

Diversifying can be as simple as finding a good fund to invest in. More high-risk ways to diversify include purchasing stocks in different sectors, which likely results in more reward. Consult with your financial advisor before determining which ways to diversify your portfolio, as he or she will likely have great advice that could make all your investment goals come to fruition.