I’m a new investor—what should I do to get started?
If you are in the Formative/Young Adult Stage of Investing or you are transitioning into the Asset Accumulation Stage (and you feel that you are now ready to invest) it is important that you have your basics covered!
Do you at least have a workable monthly budget (cash flow management system) and do you know how to actively manage that system? Have you paid down or paid off all of your creditors—or do you have a plan to do so?
Do you know all of the areas of your finances that you MUST address? Well you should not only know all of the areas that you must address—you must have a system in place that is foolproof and allows you to address what needs to be addressed effectively—and on a consistent basis!
That is all great as an overview, but what do I actually need to do to get started?
1) Create an Effective Budget or Cash Flow Statement—Do it here…
2) Analyze your credit and get your credit score—Do it at Annualcreditreport.com, Credit Karma and/or Myfico.com and then reduce or eliminate your debt whether it is credit card, car loan or student loan debt—in a manner that best fits your unique financial situation...
3) Discover how you can effectively address all areas of your finances that you MUST address—and then do so—Do it here…
The key to investing whether you are young or old is to position yourself and your family (if you have one)—for future success.
You can do that by creating a workable cash flow system to see where your finances are on a monthly basis to determine if you have additional income (discretionary income) that you can use to pay your debt off faster (or pay down your debt faster)—so that you control your future and not allow your creditors to control your future!
You can then address your Insurance, Investments, Taxes, Emergency Fund, Educational Goals, Estate Planning/Wills and Retirement Planning much more effectively than if you did not address those areas first!
There are a number of ways of reaching your ultimate destination (your future goals), however we are of the opinion that you should do so in a manner that puts YOU in control and in a manner where you will have a responsible and highly effective system of doing so.
Once you have addressed all of the above areas that you need to address and you put yourself in position to invest properly—you want to start early to give “Compounding” more time to work for you and by paying off—or reducing your credit card and other debt prior to investing you position yourself to not allow credit and compounding to work against you!
Starting your investing early—say age 20 will be more effective for you than if you were to start later—say age 30 due to the effect of compounding over time.
Depending on the amount that you invest monthly the difference in your end balance could be startling. The key point is that you must start at the earliest time possible if you desire to maximize your retirement and live in abundance.
Be sure you position your financial future in a manner that allows you to earn what you need to earn to reach your retirement goals and do what you enjoy doing on a monthly basis while you are working toward those goals.
You have a number of savings vehicles that you can utilize if you are currently employed such as IRA’s, 401k’s, 403b's, Thrift Plans etcetera that provide tax advantages for your savings.
Your emergency fund mentioned above should be in safer accounts such as money market, CD’s etcetera and even though you will pay taxes on the interest earned from those accounts annually—you must be aware that it still serves the intended purpose (will be there when you undoubtedly face an emergency and will allow you to not have to borrow or tap into your retirement accounts).
You must make it a priority to save both inside of and outside of your retirement accounts as by doing so it allows you to reach many or all of your future goals.
Many employers offer company matches and if your company does so, be sure to contribute at least up to the match as that is basically free money for you. In addition, consider an IRA and contributing beyond the max if you find yourself in position to do so as there may be additional tax benefits—if you qualify.
Consider automatic deductions into retirement or other savings account (go to depositaccounts.com to find competitive rates) to ease your savings effort and be sure that you receive the maximum amount of take-home pay by adjusting your w-4 tax withholding—if need be.
If you are receiving a tax refund over $500 per year and you are a wise money manager or you intend on becoming one you can get additional money on a monthly basis that YOU can invest or pay off your debt with and not have to wait until the tax season to get if that is what you desire to do!
You Must Manage Your Finances In A Highly Effective Manner
Be sure to properly manage your accounts to avoid fees and know your fee structure upfront whether investing inside or outside of your retirement accounts.
Be sure to invest consistently once you have addressed all areas of concern and you can do so at a number of brokerages depending on the amount that you have to invest and the consistency of your investment strategy.
Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab—and many other brokerages offer low initial investments or low recurring investment amounts on a monthly basis that might appeal to you.
Be sure you know your risk factors and other concerns that you may have that are related to your future goals prior to investing!
In addition, be sure to improve your knowledge and understanding of all of the areas of your finances that you must address—by going to the links on the TABS in the upper left.
By doing so you will be well ahead of most young investors. new investors or any investors and you will enhance the likelihood of success in your future.
You must always realize that regardless of what you are Coming out of—are now At—or are now Transitioning into—if you have Confidence in Your future—there is always Hope!
If you gain the preparation and knowledge that
you need on the front end and you are willing to apply that knowledge in a confident and sincere manner on a consistent basis you will understand fully that winning in your financial life—is the only possible outcome!
Enjoy the rest of this site and be sure to take responsibility for your future!
By doing so you can obtain a colossal explosion of your thoughts and action that you can use daily to take you and your family to where you need or desire to be in your future.