Holding money is quite dangerous at the moment and you could lose everything in the recession. So you should decide what asset to buy. I have chosen stocks and real estates as they are easier to buy for the lay person.
So with your firm decision to save yourself from financial collapse lets move to step 2.
You should start by putting order in your finance. Be low on debt, ideally only a car or mortgage. Reduce debt as far as possible. Built thee to six months worth of expense in a separate savings account.
Its time to chose your broker. It is the most important step. I have found that most major banks have a brokerage service. Do not choose a brokerage firm that you don't know. I have chosen the brokerage service of my bank. I have known them for a long time and they can be trusted.
This step is the most important. Most brokerage service offer several type of services. They can be mere basic services(cheap) or with advice and support(expensive). I chose the basic one for i have chosen to do my research myself. If you are unsure chose the one that offer advice.
You now have broker. You would decide what stock to buy and he would buy it for you. Choose your stocks carefully. I have chosen companies that have been battered by the credit crunch and hence have low P/E ratio. Their services and goods are required for everyday life. They are leading companies in their field. Diversify in different field. I have chosen to buy stocks in banks, retailers, food companies, hotels, energy companies and commodities.
Here you are. You can now start to buy and have a chance to have a better future after the recession. Good luck.