There's an old joke about the best way to make $1 million in the stock market: All you have to do is invest $2 million. If that cheesy quip prompted you to break out in a cold sweat, it's time to face your stock market fears. Try these five investing tips to conquer the panic so you can start building a financially secure future today.

Investing money you can afford to lose is not the same as expecting to lose. It's a strategy to protect yourself from having to beg, borrow, or steal if your portfolio value drops temporarily.

The usual rule of thumb is to only invest funds you don't need for at least five years. The reason is because financial markets go up and down over short periods of time. But the longer the time period, the lesser the chances that the market will have dropped in value. If you are terrified of losing on your investments, extending that window from five years to 10 or 15 years is an easy fix.

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