Hi everyone. Thought I'd go ahead and write my first post to this very friendly and helpful forum. As the thread title says, I'm new to investments and have spent the past month or so reading and absorbing what information I can. I am in my mid 20's and have been working full time for about a year and half. I'd like to invest the savings I have accumulated thus far but just like any beginner I am hesitant because of the vast range of choices out there. My plan at the moment is to spread some of my savings around in a few investments. One is to open up a share trading account, probably CommSec, and buy some blue chip shares (probably BHP, RIO and the 4 big banks). I'm in it for the long term so for now I will be buying and holding. I've read a few good things about index funds and have been looking into the Vanguard range (Australian Shares and Property Securities). Is an actively managed fund a better way to go? Does this sound like a reasonable way to get started in investing? I have also been contemplating whether it would be worthwhile to see a financial adviser at this point? My investment will probably range from 15K-20K. Is it it better to learn myself at first and start seeing an adviser when my portfolio has grown? What approach have other beginners taken?