A lot of people shy away from investing not because they don’t want to build their wealth, but because they are overwhelmed — both by the sheer range of options and the fear of losing their money through failed investments. Many also believe that their inability to tell the good from the bad and dedicate a lot of time to investing can make it impossible for them to gain substantial returns.
Even so, it’s important for most Americans to start investing, especially with how unreliable a single stream of income can be during times of great uncertainty. And if you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the world of investments, this article will list some of the things you’ll need to overcome fear and get started investing.
An initial investment
One of the most popular myths surrounding investing is that you need a lot of money to get started. The truth of the matter is, you don’t. In fact, you can even get started with as little as $5. All you need to do is to do is use the right application that can help you make your initial investment.
When choosing a personal investment app, go for those that can be directly linked to your bank account so you can regularly make an investment with no hassle. Just keep an eye on monthly fees — apps like Acorns and Stash charge just $1.
A reliable brokerage account
Opened with an investment firm, a brokerage account is a financial account that holds securities like bonds, ETFs, and other assets on behalf of an investor. It can be treated like any other bank account — the only difference is they give you access to the stock market and other investments.
Just be mindful that different types of brokerage accounts come with different services and corresponding fees. High-end ones will often charge you extra advisory fees in exchange for financial expertise when building your portfolio, while online brokerages tend to have lower fees and account minimums.
The latter makes it easier for newbies to start, though you will need to do your research to ensure that you’re making quality investments, which leads us to our next point.
The best way you can keep your fears at bay is by reading about the history of the market and familiarizing yourself with basic investing principles. It may sound like a pain, but taking the time to research will definitely help you understand the cycles markets go through and make you a lot less anxious when you’re in the red. Ample research will also give you an idea of how you can structure your investments to hold up against downswings.
Aside from the market itself, you also have to read up on the companies you’re looking to buy stocks from. You can look at a company’s annual report and check its revenue, net income, earnings, and earnings per share, price per earnings ratio, and return on equity, and return on assets. This can help you make informed investment choices.
A clear set of goals
People invest to build wealth, diversify their income, and attain financial freedom. And while there is nothing wrong with those goals, you would need more than just vague and general ones to become an effective investor. A clear set of goals will not only add a lot of clarity and confidence to your investment decisions, but also provide you with enough motivation to keep you going.
Your goals can also guide you in building an investment strategy and in picking the right products and companies to invest in. When setting your investment goals, remember to have short, medium, and long-term ones that have their own time frame.
Like we say here on GSFF, investing doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. And sometimes, half the battle is having the courage to start. With these four things under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to building your wealth!