If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Saving and investing

Saving and investing help you reach your short-term and long-term goals by putting money aside for things like emergencies, going to college, buying a house, or retiring. By planning and saving money, you make sure you have enough for what you need and want in the future. Created by Sal Khan.

Want to join the conversation?

  • leaf blue style avatar for user RyanColorado2007
    I'll ask a question that isn't just someone talking to themself... what kinds of companies are the best for investing in? Are some fields more lucrative than others?
    (3 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      I'm an old guy with a nice amount of money tucked away in an investment account. When I started this thing, about 25 years ago, I did not make even a single decision about "what kind of companies" to invest in based on how lucrative they might be when compared to others. Instead, I went to an investment guy and opened an account at the company he represented. My desire was that he, for the percentage he took from my earnings, would do the choosing and deciding for me. I've never regretted that. He's smarter than me. I'm free to live my life without having to focus on market trends and minor percentages. I recommend this approach to you.
      (4 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user NolanW
    Why wont the video work.
    (0 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user

Video transcript

- Let's talk a little bit about saving and investing. So one theme that you'll hear me talk a lot about is how important it is to save. One, it's a sign that you're living sustainably, that you're spending less money than you're bringing in. And it also allows you to build a cushion if anything bad were to happen, if you were to lose your job or there's some medical expenses that are unforeseen or whatever it might be, having that extra cushion is going to be really, really helpful. Really helpful. It's gonna lower your stress level in a lot of ways. The other valuable thing about savings is it allows you to do certain things that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't have it. For example, put a down payment on a car or buy a car outright or put a down payment on a house. You need to save your money in order to do it. And that last category of buying a down payment on a house, one, it might allow you to live in the house that you want but you can also view that as you're making an investment. You're buying a real asset in real estate. And not only is by buying that asset you will save on rent in the future but the house itself might appreciate. And so savings allows you to also invest. Obviously you could buy a house, you could buy rental properties, other forms of real estate. You could buy stocks and bonds. Bonds you're essentially lending money to some group. You could buy Treasury bills, Treasury bonds. That's essentially lending money to the US federal government. You'll get better interest on that than if you just kept your money in a checking or savings account. And a lot better interest than if you just put your money, stuffed it in the mattress where you'll get no interest. But if you wanna take on more risk you could buy stocks. Stocks are you're buying shares of a company. And a lot of folks will say, "Oh, you'll get better return there." But there's also more risk there. Stocks can go up and down pretty dramatically depending on what's happening with the economy, depending on how people are valuing these things. But the bottom line is savings is a great start. It builds a cushion and then you can use those savings and you can think about how you might want to invest it. When you invest, you should never think that you're gonna get a high return without any risk. There's usually a bit of a catch there. But investing is a way that if you invest prudently, you should over time hopefully bring in more money than you are putting in. And so one way to think about that is you're taking your savings and you're getting your money to work for you, for your money to create income that you yourself don't even have to work in order to produce. So if you save enough money and you keep investing it in thoughtful ways that aren't too risky, that money will grow and eventually might be able to create more income than you can on your own. So it's a pretty good place to be if you can get there.