How to Invest 101: The Beginners Guide to Investing
You work hard for the money that you earn, but if you’re leaving your cash sitting around in your bank account, then it might not be working hard for you in return. Investing is the key to making sure that you get the best returns on your money. Some people invest to give themselves a happier and easier retirement. Other people want to build their wealth for the sake of their families.
Whatever you choose to do with your investments, it’s important not to leave your money sitting around, doing nothing. In fact, investing can be so important that people end up taking on credit to make sure that they still have enough money to invest in the right opportunities when they arrive. However, you don’t need a huge lump sum to start investing. Apps and online tools allow beginners to get started with investing with just a few dollars a month.
Why Do People Invest?
Investing is a crucial goal for many people, for a variety of different reasons. Not everyone has the same financial goals, after all. For some people, investing is about trying to make extra money or additional income straight away, when their funds are low. For others, investing is all about preparing for the future.
Investing for income makes you an “income investor”, this is usually the name used for people who want to earn extra cash on top of their income. Retirees are some of the most common income investors, as they often use their pensions to increase their gains.
On the other hand, if you’re investing for growth, then your aim will be to gradually increase the value of the investment over time, using capital appreciation and gain. Someone who has just joined a new pension scheme at work is a good example of a growth investor. These people are likely to hold onto their investments for a long time, and they will often be hoping to grow the value of their investments in the long-term.
Most investors are a combination of growth and income investors. An person who invests for income might spend their income on growth opportunities in the long-term, and a growth investor can gradually sell their holdings to improve their income too.
Before you Begin Investing
One of the first things you need to know before you start investing, is it’s never a good idea to start using your money before you’ve made sure that you’re in a good position financially. Before you jump into anything, assess your current situation carefully. Most experts will recommend ensuring that you have an emergency cash fund that will cover about 3 and 6 months of your typical expenditure before you begin to worry about investments. You should also avoid investing if you have too many short-term debts. It makes sense to pay those loans off first before you invest, particularly if the interest rates are high.
Another thing to do before you start investing, is make sure that you have some goals in place. The idea behind investing isn’t just to make as much money as you can as quickly as possible. It’s important to take the time to think carefully about why you’re investing. Your goal might be to save for a house, or your long-term retirement plans. Other people want to pay towards their child’s college funds, or their grandchildren’s education.
Knowing your goals, the timeframes that you want to adhere to, and the risks involved with investing your money will help you to decide on the right mix of investment opportunities.
Assessing your Risks and Opportunities
Good investment means thinking about assessing your risks and opportunities very carefully. First of all, keep in mind that there are risks to any kind of investment. While some of your strategies will make you money, others won’t, and you need to be aware of that. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to diversify your portfolio, so you don’t lose too much at once if one of your investment strategies doesn’t work out.
Speaking to a professional brokerage firm or a company that offers financial advice could be the best way to make sure that you’re not going to get yourself into any trouble with your cash. Additionally, be sure that you look at all of the different kind of assets on offer, from stocks and forex, to long-term investment tools.
There’s no one-size-fits all strategy to making your money work for you. It’s up to you to find a plan that works for your risk level.