It may come as a surprise to some, but there is no magic formula for investing. There are many factors which weigh in to the equation. It also must be understood that not all investments are high risk. Some carry little to no risk at all. The fact that you are looking into investing is a good start. Regardless of where you are right now, you can make wise investment choices that can pay off in the future. Even investing a few dollars a week is better than not acting at all. Planning for the future should be foremost in your mind, regardless of your age.
Those investments that tend to pay off big, and quickly, are also usually the ones that carry the highest risk. Keeping money invested long term somewhere can pay well, but it usually has to be a very long term commitment. Risk is a major factor in how you invest. What kinds of risks are you willing to take to make money for the future? The risk and time considerations help determine which investments may be right for you. You must decide how much play to give the money you invest. Some people are willing to take a much bigger gamble than others.
Your current age should be a deciding factor in where and how much to invest. People in their 30's are going to make very different choices than those who are in their 50's and beyond. Younger people sometimes are willing to give the money a little play, since they have years ahead of them. Older people tend to think long term for their families, and usually put most of their money into low risk investments. The stock market is always a gamble, but it is one that people of all ages play.
Annuities, stocks, bonds, insurance; they are all ways of investing money. Real estate is another option. There are so many investments from which to choose, some rely on the help of a financial planner or investment broker. Of course, there are those who prefer to do their own research and choose their own investments. Whichever way you are comfortable is best for you. Although there are many horror stories about investments, there are just as many, albeit not as publicized, which have turned out successfully. The right investments for you are not necessarily going to be the right investments for someone else.
Chris Beanie, author of the popular investing and trading book: The Best Trading System http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-Trading-System-ebook/dp/B006NGV83I
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.