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Q: My partner and I want to try playing the stock market. What do you recommend we start with?

Diana says...
Try mutual funds. When you invest in these, you’re investing in a pool of securities that are managed by professional portfolio managers. Spreading your dollars across a mix of securities reduces your risk of betting on a single investment. But all mutual-fund products are not created equal, so make sure to ask these three key questions before buying: 1) What is the track record of the fund? (Preferably over five years.) 2) What type of securities does it hold? 3) What are the annual expense fees? (They’re known as MERs or management expense ratios.)

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.