Quick Guide to Investing

Before you invest.

You don’t need a degree in economics or in-depth knowledge of financial markets to invest. In fact, it’s the people who make the simplest plans and stick with them who often turn out to be the most successful investors. All you really need is a specific goal or two – like retirement or a new home – along with the discipline to invest even just a small amount each month towards that goal. This guide is designed to make the process of investing a little less intimidating – offering information, insights and resources to help you make more informed decisions.

Investing Rules of Thumb

  1. Have a specific goal. Investing "just to make money" often leads to frustration 
  2. Risk sounds scary, but some risk is necessary to reap rewards 
  3. Stock market investing works best over the long term, so try not to make snap decisions based on daily or weekly gains and losses 
  4. Take more risks for long-term goals, and be more conservative for short-term goals 
  5. Consider opening a separate savings account to hold funds earmarked for investments

How this quick guide to investing is organized.

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to investing. We all have different goals and time horizons, behaviors, biases and fears. So for those just getting started with investing, it’s important to understand these factors before you begin. To help you, we’ve divided this guide into four sections; each requiring only a few minutes to review:


Set goals

Find out how to set measurable goals and start on the path toward achieving them.


Determine your risk tolerance

Identify the right types of investments to meet your goals without keeping you up at night.


Choose investments

Navigate the vast array of individual investments to find the best fit for your needs.


Monitor your progress

Learn how to make sure your portfolio keeps up as your needs and circumstances change.

In each section, we offer calculators, worksheets and clear action steps that will help you focus on the investment concepts that matter most, and get you on the road to investment success.

What questions do you have about investing?

So much about investing is personal, that there are no universal answers to even the most common questions such as:

  • Which types of investments are right for me?
  • How much investment risk should I take?
  • Will investing affect my taxes?
  • How should I allocate my money between retirement and non-retirement savings?

That’s why talking with an advisor can be so important. Call 877.962.9032 and get connected with a SunTrust Investment Service advisor (STIS) who can answer these and any other questions about investing.

This simple calculator allows you to see how investing just a small amount each month can have a dramatic impact on your savings over time.


Contact the STIS Client Advisory Center

Find a SunTrust Location


Investing & Retirement Resource Center

Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at www.suntrust.com/investmentinfo.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.