A Financial Adviser Answers All the Investing Questions You DM'd Us on Instagram

When it comes to your finances, do you take a head-on or head-in-the-sand approach? If you identify with the latter, the good news is you're not alone. The bad news? You're not alone. Data suggests that when it comes to managing money, women are not as independent as you'd expect. In fact, 91% of women in heterosexual couples are not participating in financial decisions. But we want to change that statistic. To help you become a master of your own finances, we're debuting a new series called The Paper Files, where we uncover tricks and tips that will help you manage your money and your future. Ready to take it head-on?

Not to state the obvious, but money is an intimidating topic. Between decoding so-called basic financial terms and navigating the process of applying for a credit card, empowering yourself financially is no easy feat. Especially taking into consideration the fact that talking about money isn't perceived as socially acceptable. (A recent study revealed that 68% of Americans would rather reveal their weight than the amount of money currently in their savings account to their friends.)

In an effort to help break down the stigma around talking about finances, we asked our Instagram followers to DM us their most pressing investing questions so we could have them answered by a financial adviser. As expected, our smart, curious, driven community did not disappoint. Ahead, Kristin O'Keeffe Merrick, a financial advisor at O'Keeffe Financial Partners, offers her expert guidance on everything from how much money you should have in your emergency savings before investing to how to get started with as little as $1000.