Our last Peer Money Mentor meeting was a bus load of valuable information. We had a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) come in and talk with us about investing. We’re going to give you a little bit of insight into our two and half hour lecture on investing. We’re going to touch on what investing is, why invest, investment instruments, and how should WE should invest.
First thing’s first, google Investopedia. It has everything you need to know about investing! So what is investing? To sum it up, you have to spend money on an investment and you expect to make a profit. But of course, one doesn’t always make a profit.
People think that the reason we should invest is to get rich and make it big in life. Those are the wrong reasons to invest. So why should we invest?
- To meet financial goals
- To get rich thoughtfully (it’s a slow and steady process)
- To keep the value of your money
Investing is all about your goal. You have to do your research to find which instruments work best for your goals. We recommend beginning with an individual retirement account such as a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Since a lot of us here are young and not making a lot of money at the moment; it may be more beneficial to go with a Roth IRA for tax reasons.
You know how you keep telling yourself you’ll start saving for retirement when you get to your career? Well, stop that. We have this magical thing called time on our side because we’re young. The more time you have investing, the more you’ll gain. Meeting your financial goals requires time, patience, and discipline. Always think long term because it’s a numbers game!
Scared to invest because of the risk? We’ll let you in on a little secret. If you continue to invest over the span of let’s say thirty years, you’re very likely to make some money. We encourage you to check out the statistics. Our advice? Invest, don’t look, and stick it out! Don’t stop investing.
So you’ve now decided to invest. Let’s say that a you invest in a company or two, and one or both of them end up losing value. How can you prevent something like that from happening? Well, what if we told you instead of investing in one or two companies, you can invest in a bunch of them, a whole bunch? Meet the mutual fund. It’s a company and investment vehicle that allows you to do multiple types of investments at once. You put money into shares of this mutual fund, and you get a little slice of the portfolio that contains a combination of stocks, bonds, and other assets.
Bonds are a fixed rate investment in which you act as a loan provider to a borrower such as companies or governments. These are usually much safer than in comparison to investing in stocks.
A specific type of mutual fund, known as an index fund, is a very popular option. This is because it allows you to invest in a group of companies based on a specific part of the market, which is also representative of a specific metric. For example, you could invest in a S&P 500 index fund, which is a collection of the top 500 performing companies in the U.S.
There are quite a few companies that offer index funds: Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab, and Vanguard Investments are great companies to research. Plus, we can’t tell you which one you should pick. However, our guest Chartered Financial Analyst speaker told us that Vanguard has some of the lowest expense ratios in the industry. #NotSponsered.
Now dear reader, if there’s anything to be taken away from this, it’s to start sooner rather than later. You don’t have to be Warren Buffet to make gains before retirement. Keep it simple. You know what else is simple? Compound Interest, use it or lose it guys.