Say you have $15,000 of capital to invest. You want to put the majority of your capital into low risk investments that will yield positive gains over the course of your working career.
$5,000: Government bonds and mutual funds, split how you want.
$9,500: Low risk, trusted companies with positive historical growth. If the stock market is very unfamiliar for you, I recommend Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, and Zack's to learn about smart investments you can make. You can also research the investments that hedge fund managers and top investors are making. Google "Warren Buffett or Carl Icahn portfolio", and this will give you an idea of stocks you can put your money into.
Do not leave your money into a certain company for more than 25 years. Rebalance your portfolio and take the gains when you feel you need them. You have no idea when to take your profits now, but 5 years from now, you will be a smart and experienced investor.
A safe investment strategy to start is to put your money into an ETF that mimics the S&P 500. Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 has yielded gains of about 270%. During the financial crisis a few years back, the S&P 500 had lost over 50% of its value when it reached its low point. However, from when it hit rock bottom in 2009, it has had as high percentage gains in six years as it did in 12 years from 1995 to 2007, which about 200%. The market is very strong and will treat your money well if you invest wisely.
$500: Medium - High risk Speculative Stocks
There is a reason this category accounts for only approximately 3% of your portfolio. This may take some research on the weekend, but the returns that may result can be extraordinary. Speculative companies are often innovative, low priced stocks that see high volatility, gains or losses of more than 10% over a single month. The likelihood of your $500 investment being completely evaporated is very slim, but if you lose $300 here, the thousands invested in the S&P 500, low risk stocks, government bonds, and mutual funds will more than recuperate the losses.
If your pick is a winner, however, expect that the $500 investment could easily double, triple, or gain even more in a single year or over the course of just a few, perhaps, 2-4 years will see a very large return.
I hope this advice helps and happy investing! Sending your money to smart investments is the key to financial security, freedom, and later, a comfortable retirement.