Douglas Lemmo, P.E.
There are many good books on this subject. A great place to start is with Ric Edelman's book "Rescue Your Money". Mr. Edelman is a top rated financial advisor that I have used for years. Do not buy anything from anyone until you completely understand what you are doing and rather than buy individual stocks, I would recommend a Mutual or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
Nicolas recommends the following next steps: