♥ Ready to Invest Like A Pro? ♥
If you said to me a few years ago, let alone a year ago that I would be thinking about my financial future + be opting to invest some money rather than spend it all where I can see it…my closet hehe I would have said you are C R A Z Y…BUT here we are, I am super into investing, excited about my financial future + honestly I feel really amazing about it!
Over the past year I discovered more + more young people are neglecting investing, living paycheck to paycheck or are spending beyond their means. Trust me…this was me. For YEARS I felt brunches, lunches, dinners, Starbucks, handbags, shoes etc were more important than my financial future. I thought about the immediate now rather than the future + it honestly took me till seeing how wise my boyfriend is with his money that inspired me to get better with mine.
I laid out a plan to pay off my credit card debt, think about how much I should be investing a year not just to secure a better future but also have tax break benefits as a write off, and of course…invest money in ways that will actually MAKE me money, YES investing in your financial future isn’t just saving for a rainy day or retirement, investing if done right can become an additional revenue source + that is what thrills me the most!
OK, so you are hyped, you are inspired + you are ready to begin investing…so what is the next step? What do you do? Well I did a little Q&A with various people in the financial world to cover all of your questions. *Note these are personal opinions*
1. Less and less Millennials are learning about investing, let alone actually investing themselves. Why do you think this is?
Most Millennials have student loan debt and are trying to get a good enough paying job after college to actually afford to be self sufficient, so saving is the last thing on their minds.
2. What is investing?
3. What types of investments are there?
4. When it comes to starting a 401k when should a person create one on their own vs taking one with an employer? When should someone take advantage of an employer 401k plan?
5. What age should one seriously begin investing?
6. How does one balance paying off debt i.e. student loans and also putting money aside to invest?
Look at your monthly net income after taxes and evaluate your bills and expenses. See where you are spending the most money or where frivolous spending occurs (Starbucks, Brunch, Bars, Ubers etc) and cut those expenditures back by a quarter, half or third to put those funds towards investing for your future. You get way more out of your investments than that Avocado Toast, Bottle Service at the Club etc. Personally I don’t drink since I don’t like the taste but also I can’t justify spending on things that aren’t tangible + long lasting. My guilty pleasure is shoes and handbags which I can always sell if needed etc.
7. What percentage of a paycheck should go towards investing?
It is recommended to invest a minimum of 5% of your paycheck per pay period, but if you can invest more that is always recommended!
8. What are the benefits of investing? Can your money really grow? What are the risks?
The benefits of investing are that the money earns much more than in a savings account which pays very little & barely grows. The current rates of savings accounts around the country are typically only 1% ad that is really bad. The risks are that the market does fluctuate daily but as long as you ride it out and don’t look for immediate returns the pay off can be huge.
9. For someone new to investing how do they get started?
There are plenty of apps out there to help advise you on good investment options or you can always seek out a financial advisor although they do charge a fee. You can also go directly to companies like Fidelity, Voya etc and join their ‘House Accounts’ if you don’t want to pay a financial advisor fee or commission.
10. What should someone investing be on the lookout for when choosing investments?
You should look at the portfolio of each and every fund or stock and see it’s historic prices & returns. Look at the length of time the fund has been around, who is the fund manager and what is their experience etc.
11. How much should someone have to begin investing with? How often should they add to this?
Most funds want a minimum of $1,000 to start with, some may want more depending on the fund. It is recommended to start with $2,000 to diversify your first investment (split between 1 or more mutual funds or stocks)
12. Do you feel investing encourages better financial responsibility? If so why?
Yes, because you get to see your quarterly statements and be proud of what your extra income earned for your future. Investing is a great way to make money on the money you already have without doing any work. Let your money work for you.
13. Any misconceptions you’ve come across in your career about investing? If so what?
MANY PEOPLE THINK STOCKS AND FUNDS ARE INSURED AND GUARANTEED, AND THEY ARE NOT. IT IS A RISK, BUT EVERYTHING COMES WITH RISKS.