You’re 65 years old, traveling around the world and living your best life. You’re living comfortably in your beach house in Wakanda reflecting on a fulfilling life up to that point. What got you to this point in life? You’ve invested your money.
Here are 4 tips for starting out in the investment game.
1. Start Now.
That’s right. When it comes to making investments the early bird gets the worm. Thanks to modern day technology you can now participate in the stock market with an app on your phone. Stash Invest, Acorns, and Ellevest are just a few apps that allow you to invest in either ETFs (exchange-traded funds) or stocks of companies with the click of a button.
The power of compounding interest, the interest you earn on interest, is the true value of investing young. If someone invested $1000 into Apple 10 years ago, that person’s return is up to $9,222.50 (CNBC).
2. Trial and Error is Your Best Friend.
And if at first, you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again. For first-time investing, being young and broke is your biggest advantage. Set aside $50 a month and start moving your money around. Mix up your portfolio with aggressive and conservative stocks to get an idea of your risk tolerance. High-risk stocks yield a higher return, but it could also mean higher blood pressure down the line. Choose Wisely.
This is also the time to educate yourself. The SEC (Securities Stock Exchange) website is a great place to start with basic information about the stock market and how to participate. YouTube is also a great place because people love to share their knowledge.
3. Join an Investment Group.
The best way to balance the seriousness of investing your money is to add a social component to it. Find some people, preferably those in the same tax bracket as you and put in a set monthly amount. Spending $100 on your own is effective, but putting $500 a month with a group will build communal wealth. Joining or starting an investment group will help you better analyze the market and obtain research to maximize returns.
Meet up with your friends once a month for drinks and discussion to count your coins.
4. Buy Into Your Employer’s 401(k) plan or IRA
When you open a 401(k) with an employer, they are offering you free money. Please take it. It hurts when money comes out of your check, but 20 years down the line, you will be grateful.
If the corporate life isn’t your bread and butter, consider an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or Roth IRA. The difference between the two is how each is taxed.
Investing for the first time is a scary idea, yet it has been proven to be a great medium for building wealth and providing an avenue to financial independence.