New here? Just starting as an investor?
If you’re a new investor and visiting Investor Junkie for the first time, then this beginner’s guide to investing is what you need to get started.
When I first started investing, the Internet was still in its infancy. The resources available to increase my investment knowledge were very limited compared to what’s available today. There was no one beginner’s guide to help me get started.
I didn’t have wealthy friends or family to guide me, so my only option was to read as many personal finance books and magazines I could get my hands on, and experiment with my own finances.
After trial and error from my own experience, I made it one of my goals to help educate others about finance.
Let me be clear: I don’t pretend to have all of the answers.
I’m not some financial “guru,” but someone just like you. I’ve sought out in finding the best experts and consulted with them. That’s why you’ll also find multiple authors and guest writers on this site.
Investing and building wealth for the future is such a critical skill to have — one that affects every part of our daily lives.
By creating this guide to investing, I hope you not only read, but use it. More importantly, I hope you take action today!
By not taking action, you are only leading up to more pain when you are old and gray. By then it’s too late.
Get started by clicking on the steps listed below.
Before you start thinking about investing, you’ve got to get rid of consumer debt. It’s the first step on your road to building wealth and creating financial stability for the future. Why? Because saving for the future is really simple – spend less than you earn and invest the difference.
Take the maximum amount out of your paycheck that you can, and deposit into savings and retirement accounts. If you are recent graduate, you’ll want to do this right away — when you land your first job. With compounding interest, you will be amazed how quickly your money can grow and grow.
If you’re an employee, head to your HR department and ask if they offer a retirement plan. Depending upon the company, it’s either called either a 401(k), 403(b) or similar. Not all companies match what you invest. If they do, it’s almost like free money and foolish to not invest up to the matching amount. It’s an instant 3-4% return of your investment.
It’s critical you create the proper asset allocation for your investments. For the long haul, there’s nothing that will affect your returns more than asset allocation. The various asset classes do not all move in parallel with each other, and minimizes dramatic fluctuations in your returns. For example: typically when stock prices rise, bond prices fall — helping smooth out returns.
With investing, taxes matter, a lot! In most cases it’s the single biggest expense of your lifetime. You are best to be tax efficient with your investments. This means some investments should be placed in tax deferred accounts, while others can remain in taxable accounts. Know which types of investments should be placed where.
Investment expenses are an often overlooked. If not careful, fees can dramatically decrease your performance over time. Research has shown over a ten year period, 80% of actively managed funds (which have higher fees to boot) perform worse than index based funds. Ironically the performance difference typically is the same as the management fees — meaning fees are a drag on performance.
Owning a business gives you so many life experiences. You’ll deal with issues you normally would not deal with when working for someone else. From how to incorporate, to balancing the books, to developing a business plan and managing cash flow — there’s always something new to learn. And if you should lose your job, you have a Plan B.
Once you’ve created a sizable nest egg you need to protect it. Whether you own a business or have a large investment portfolio, it’s important to protect your assets. You don’t want to make a mistake, get slapped with a lawsuit and lose a ton of money or even be forced to close your business. Taking the necessary steps to protect your assets will save you from this headache.
Once you’ve paid off your debts, created financial goals and started investing for the future, it’s time to take the next step — building wealth. Want to know the secret to building wealth? It’s not as complicated as you might think.
Step 10 – Decide How to Start Investing
Now that you’re ready to invest, you might find determining how to begin a bit confusing. Don’t worry — here at Investor Junkie, we’ve compiled all of our best resources to help you make a decision. Will you start investing in individual stocks and funds on your own, with a stock broker? Or will you use a robo advisor that can help make decisions tailored to your needs and risk level? Maybe you’re keen to check out investing in real estate.
Whichever investing method — or combination of methods — you pick, we’ll be here to help you get started investing along the way.