I buy funds, I really like the HSBC index funds because their Total Expense Ration is so low (0.27% for the UK and European). I go for as broad a market as possible so FTSE All-Share and S&P 500 rather than FTSE100 and Dow, plus wide ranging Pacific (China, Taiwan, Australia etc) and EM (Brazil, India etc) index funds. There's plenty of research out there that shows that most fund managers and active investors fail to beat the market, so you might as well buy the market - hence I only bother with index funds, plus they tend to have the lowest charges. I've contemplated switching to ETFs rather than funds because the expenses can be even lower, but that means switching my accounts over to other providers to get the best deal which in itself can incur costs. Bond indexing isn't as popular in the UK which is a pain, but you can do so with ETFs. The idea with these is to find an index or fund which invests in shorter term bonds, i.e. 10 years or less, so you don't get locked into a low interest rate for 20-30 years. Again, diversify across companies and governments. Diversify, re-invest all income, invest regulary, rebalance. Come back in 40 years and you have a huge pot of money, in theory at least. It's not glamorous, and it won't make me rich, but it'll give me a comfortable life and retirement.