An Introduction to Investing Your Money

Learning to invest can seem intimidating. But investing can be a key to moving from a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle to one of wealth. And the truth is, it doesn’t take a lot of money to get started when it comes to investing. Today, there are plenty of investment options for people of all income levels and social classes.

Investing means using money to earn more money. Investors put their money into something, like real estate or company stock, hoping to make a return on it. Investing carries the potential for loss in ways that a simple savings account does not. For example, someone can buy a stock at $50 per share, and then it might go down to $45. So investing can be risky.

However, there are ways to mitigate risk when investing. One of the best ways of doing this is by diversifying a portfolio. It’s not always wise to put money into individual stocks. Nonspecialists may not understand the best way to interpret data about a specific company and determine whether or not to invest. These days, some robo-advisors can help with that. Wealthfront is a popular one that has no fees for accounts under $5,000.

Putting money into an indexed fund can be a great alternative to individual stocks. Index funds are compiled to represent the average composition of the stock market. People who invest in them can often see the results of 5-10%. They have fewer fees than many other types of funds, and they have less risk than some other forms of investment.

Treasury securities are incredibly safe investments, backed by the US government. There’s no risk of losing money. Returns are modest but stable. These securities include savings bonds, treasury bills, 30-year-bonds, and shorter-term notes. Anyone can sign up for an account at TreasuryDirect.gov and start investing. This isn’t the most common way to invest, but it’s an excellent option for beginners.

Finally, it’s important to have some savings before starting to invest. Investments tend to be a lot less liquid than cash. Creating a high-interest online saving account through companies like Chime or even eTrade. These savings accounts can pay up to 1.00%, much better than savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks.

For more information, please check out Mike Plumlee‘s finance blog!

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