First things first, before starting out you need to get your finances in order otherwise stock market investments are kind of pointless.
I would always recommend that anyone who goes in to the stock market should go in with open eyes and a bit of knowledge. Yes its a very rewarding place but it can also be a place of sorrow if under estimated.
It took me until I was in my 30s to start investing. Time is your greatest friend when it comes to the stock market, that’s how you earn compound interest, which Einstein called one of the wonders of the world.
If you want to invest then do it for the long term to reap the rewards. You shouldn’t be dipping in and out with your money, this is how you make big losses.
One of the reasons I believe I have been successful with my investments so far is that I have a diverse portfolio. Investopedia recommends having around 15-20 stocks to create a diverse portfolio.
When you are just starting out if you want a safe bet then Index funds or ETF (exchange-traded fund) are a good place to start. The S&P 500 index fund for example measures the overall success of all of the S&P 500 companies.
This is of course a personal choice, but I have included it on this list because it has worked well for me. It has helped me, more than anything save time researching every stock because all of this is already done for me. I personally use Motley Fools Stock advisor.
Understand that some months or years that the market will be up and others it will be up massively. This is why its important to invest for the long term so that you can weather the storms that are part of the package.