Investing in the stock market is not very hard but you do have to pick an online broker and open an account. There are many online discount brokers and one of the best for beginner investors is TradeKing. This is because their fees are low and there are no account minimums.
Generally, if you have less than $1,000 to invest in stocks, I would say don't bother but with TradeKing you can open an account for what you have, no matter how little it is. This makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to set up their first stock account online.
You always have to be prepared to lose money in stocks because it can happen with any stocks you pick. No stock goes up all the time and your investment strategy should be to find companies that are solid, have good products that people like, and are well poised to make money in the future. Invest money for the long term if you want to have the best chance of making money and overcoming all the ups and downs the market goes through.