What is investing?
Investing is a way to set aside money while you are busy with life and have that money work for you so that you can fully reap the rewards of your labor in the future (source: Investopedia). Even though it seems like a daunting, excruciatingly painful, and boring task, it's not as hard or complex bad as you'd think.
Ok, so how do I get started?
With the internet at our fingertips, we're now in an age where investing is ridiculously easy to learn and do. Just like you would place an order on Amazon, that's just how easy it is to purchase stocks today.
Follow the below 4 steps outlined to help you get started on your investment journey!
1. Educate Yourself
Just like anything, you'll need to do your research before jumping in the deep end. You DO NOT have to be an expert or a genius to be financially literate and make investments. You also don't need thousands of dollars to start (though more money to play with does help!). You just need to start from where you are.
Check out the below resources to help you get started on your investment journey!
2. Budget & Prepare
Before you even start dishing out money, you'll want to set up a budget and prepare.
Once you have an idea of how much is coming in and out every month, you can begin putting some money aside for investments. It can be as little as $5 every week ($20 bucks a month!).
Once you've set a budget, stick to it. You're better off committing to $5 every week and sticking with it instead of a large chunk of money that causes you to sweat bullets.
Investing can be stressful enough. Make it easy for yourself, and once a habit is formed, you can always increase the amounts. The focus is just to get started.
When it comes to purchasing stocks, you can do it in one of two ways: invest on your own or utilize a broker (an investment expert).
As someone who's just starting, it can be EXTREMELY intimidating to execute trades on your own. But it's also really exciting and empowering once you get the hang of it (not as hard as it seems).
Know that if you utilize a broker you will be paying more fees to have them manage your account. Also, just because you use an expert advisor, doesn't mean you'll always have green days (when the portfolio goes up instead of down).
Also, know that there is no magic get-rich-quick with investing (yes, sometimes it happens, but not a good mentality to go into it). The reality is, you will lose money. But if you're patient, you'll also make gains year-over-year.
Pro Tip: When you first start, invest in products you already know and love (so long as their financials look good)
Apps To Use To Purchase Stocks
4. Check Yo Self (And Your Portfolio Too)
Once you start investing, you'll need to continually check your portfolio. You'll also need to check yourself, too.
It's natural for the market to fluctuate (see below image). You'll make money (woo!), and then you'll lose it (panic)... and then you'll make money again (yay!). This is normal.
In order to not get into the hysterics, you'll need to continually check your emotions and remember that investing is a long-term game. You're putting in money to reap the rewards in 5, 10, 15+ years, not tomorrow.
So if you're prone to emotional flare-ups, be sure to view your portfolio when you're in a calm or happy state of mind. You got this!
Congrats! You've started your investment journey!
I hope it helps you! Reach out if you have any questions or suggestions!
Gabrielle Ianniello is the Founder of The Adulting Manual and the host of the Corporate Quitter Podcast. When she's not adulting, she enjoys reading, making art, hiking, and Mario Kart.