These 4 Steps Will Make You a Confident Investor
It’s a whole new investing ball game folks.
Even just a few years ago, your odds of being able to start investing with as little as $100 were as good as a pig not rolling in mud after a storm.
Sure, people have been writing about investing with $100 for years.
But the knowledge needed to pull it off properly was crazy. And the emotional and practical obstacles to getting started were scary.
If you’ve always wanted to hit the start (or restart) button on investing, here’s how you can do it with $100.
Is This You?
Let’s be honest.
Most folks believe the investing myths that abound everywhere you turn. I’m talking myths like:
1. Getting started with investing isn’t necessary if you eventually make enough money
2. Investing with small amounts has no benefits
3. You need thousands of dollars (or more) before the investment company gatekeepers will let you in
4. People who don’t know a stock from a bond or how “The Market” works should stay away
5. You should pay off all your debt – regardless of the terms and interest rate – before investing
6. The best returns for a solopreneur or small business owner are always reinvesting in your business
There could actually be some truth to these myths in certain scenarios. I should know since I worked in the investment industry for a decade. But people who these myths apply to probably don’t look and act like you and me.
Every day, a new barrier to investing with small amounts is being invisibly broken down. So, if you’re determined to have your purchasing power grow faster than taxes and inflation constantly devour it, you should be investing now.
Know the Breakdown
Many people get stuck with investing because they feel they need to know the perfect investment before starting.
Here’s a secret everyone should know:
There is no such thing as a “perfect” investment. There are only suitable or appropriate investments, some of which you might already know about.
You could get tips from Warren Buffett all day long or even incredible education in less than two pages, but the fundamental process can be the same for everyone.
Here’s the breakdown to get you moving, educated, and joining a new generation of confident investors.
1. Answer Some Initial Considerations
You don’t need to know every investing definition, process, and principle before starting.
But you do need to know your investing goals up front. Beyond ensuring your purchasing power is keeping up with the hidden bite of taxes and inflation, do you need money to pay for higher education, retirement, a future wedding, a new car, or that vacation you richly deserve? Answering this question will determine the account structure you need to pursue these big goals.
You should also consider how much to invest initially and periodically, especially if you have debt or are self-employed. Do this based on more than just financial analysis though. The health, emotional, and mental angles are essential too.
2. Choose an Investment Account Type
You could open a limited partnership, futures, or foreign currency account (among others). However, the newly empowered investor probably will find them too complex, too expensive, and too risky.
Instead, base your selection on the answer to this core question:
Do you want to invest with a focus on retirement, higher education, or something else?
If retirement, pick among retirement options like an Individual Retirement Account (U.S.), Tax-Free Savings Account (Canada), or Individual Savings Account (U.K.). If higher education, choose among options like a 529 College Savings Plan (U.S.), Registered Education Savings Plan (Canada), or Junior Individual Savings Account (U.K.). If retirement or higher education doesn’t suit your needs, the plain vanilla account is a great option.
3. Select an Appropriate Investment
Remember there are no perfect investments for you, only suitable or appropriate ones. And among all the investment types under the sun, picking one between stocks, fixed-income (i.e. bonds), mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), and commodities will generally be appropriate for most people.
Just make sure you first understand core investing principles like risk tolerance, diversification, liquidity, rate of return, and keeping costs low before making a choice.
Filters and screening tools can be your best friend here, so use them liberally.
4. Picking an Investment Company
It starts getting easier now because your choices of account structure and investment type aren’t offered by all investment companies.
Separate from each investment company’s online functionality, support methods, and pricing model, the core decision point will be how little money the company requires to open an account and invest in specific securities.
Consider signing up for automated periodic investments to further decrease the minimum balance amounts required if otherwise too high. Just about every country has investment companies with no minimum balance amounts for certain investments or minimum amounts as low as $100.
Tools at The Motley Fool, FindTheBest, Financial Highway (Canada), and Money.co.uk (U.K.) can be really helpful.
Boom! You’re Investing
After the account is opened and you’ve placed your first trade, you’re rocking and rolling as an investor. Your investment balance might be small-time, but you should feel big-time confidence that your money can now grow to pay for your future needs.
Plus, it feels awesome to fight back against the ever-present grip of taxes and inflation.
When you act on these steps, your mind and spirit will thank you for liberating your time, money, and talent. Your pocketbook and bank account will thank you too.
So what’s it going to be folks? Commit to getting started (or restarted) with investing and let us know when it’s happening in the comments!