Some of you have asked me to make a post about investing for beginners. I've decided to make this sort of like a series because of course it's way too hard to sum everything about investing into one blog post.
P.S. I am not an investing genius. I almost have my Finance MBA and I work in the financial field, but I am not an investment/financial advisor, so if you don't agree with any of this, then speak up 🙂 All advice is wanted.
I don't do a whole lot of investing, mainly because we are so focused on paying off debt. However, once my student loans are done (hopefully next summer), then I do plan on heavily investing. Right now we invest around 10% of our after-tax pay every month, but this isn't very much.
What is investing?
Investing is putting your money somewhere in expectation of some sort of return (hopefully a monetary return!). You want your money to grow for you
Warren Buffet is a great investor. I've had lots of classes on his investment strategies. He only invests in things he knows. If he doesn't understand the company or the business entirely then he doesn't invest in it. So for example, if you don't know a ton about the oil business, then you probably won't want to be investing heavily in it until you understand.
Now, of course I'm not saying that we can all be the next Warren Buffet, but I do believe that only (or mainly) investing in what you know can be extremely helpful and beneficial. This is something that I'm working on right now.
Side note: I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more, and it is FREE.
I've also heard of people saying that they don't invest because they say it's gambling. It would be extremely hard to prepare for your future and your retirement without investing.
As long as you put enough effort into it and aren't just investing in anything you see, then you should see some sort of positive return.
I've talked about our retirement plan (well, a rough draft), and without compounding and returns, it would most likely be impossible to reach this amount unless we won the lottery.
Different styles for different people
There are many different methods for investing as well. You can invest in individual stocks and try to determine the risk you want to engage in.
Or you could invest in funds so that you are more diversified. It all depends on your individual risk tolerance and how risky you really want to be.
It also depends on when you plan on retiring. If you plan on retiring soon, then you most likely want to minimize your risk in your investments so that nothing bad happens. However, if you're young, then you can ride the fluctuations in the market without it hurting as much.
Eventually in this series, I'd like to talk about everything that comes along with investing: more in depth about compounding, stocks, funds, bonds, options, and so on. Hopefully I don't bore you too much, but I think it would be helpful!
P.S. If anyone wants to guest post on their investment strategies, please e-mail me or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from others and I'm sure others would want to read it. And even if you have no experience, I would still love for you to guest post on your thoughts and why you haven't started investing yet.