In the 1970s I got my M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Back then everyone was teaching the efficient-market hypothesis: the theory that it's impossible to outperform the market regularly because existing prices reflect all the information that's presently known about an asset. If you outperform, it's generally because of luck.
My school experiences taught me to buy index funds. As far as I'm concerned, they're the only starting point for an individual investor. You can't control market risks, but you can control costs.
NEXT: Don't save too much