I'm looking into long-term investments. So far, I've looked at stocks, mutual funds, IRAs, and 401Ks. I'm 22 and recently begun my first full time job. I know the basics of these investments, though am also interested in learning specifics and about (U.S. federal) taxation.
Basically, are there any typical investment methods that people use for long-term security? I'm not looking for penny stocks or quick turnaround, I just want to weight my options at beating inflation and having my money grow decently.
Edit: To be clear, of course I am already taking the match on my work 401(k) and have been looking into a Roth IRA and stocks and know the basics of these (though I'm not entirely sure of what tax forms I'd need).