1) Start with a plan
You need to know where you are trying to go in order to decide how you’re going to be invested in the market. You don’t want to take on more risk than is necessary to reach your goals. So you don’t have to invest in risky strategy that will beat the market if you can achieve your goals at a below market return.
2) Make sure your management fees are low
At the end of the day, index funds will outperform 85% of actively managed mutual funds over the next 20 years. You shouldn’t have to pay a lot for management or that will cut into your earnings. Also, ETFs and indexes should have an ultra low management fee (< .1%) because no one is managing your account. You can accomplish this by using a Vanguard account. But it costs $3000 to invest in your first index fund.