If you new to investing or just starting out I would highly recommend Ramit Sethi’s Blog – I Will Make You Rich. He is one of the premier financial adviser/blogger and recently stressed the importance of investing in the stock market and starting early.
I agree whole heartily that investing in the stock market is a smart decision if you know what you are doing.
Yes – having a very good understanding of the market and how it works and how to invest and diversify … is required. So read up, take a course, borrow a book or check out other posts on this site and start the journey.
Invest now — you’re not getting any younger
What if you had started investing $10 per week five years ago? Assuming an average return of 8%, you’d have thousands of dollars today— all from investing a little more than $1 per day. Think about that $10 a week. Where did it go, anyway? If you’re like most, you probably spent it on Uber rides and Frappuccinos.
Despite wild rides in the stock market, the best thing you can do is to think long-term and start investing early:
- If you invest $10 per week: After one year, you’ll have $541; after five years, you’ll have $3,173; after 10 years, you’ll have $7,836.
- If you invest $30 per week: After one year, you’ll have $1,082; after five years, you’ll have $6,347; after 10 years, you’ll have $15,672.
- If you invest $50 per week: After one year, you’ll have $2,705; after five years, you’ll have $15,867; after 10 years, you’ll have $39,181.
Stop making excuses
Although most people are limited by circumstances, most will never get rich simply because they have poor money practices. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s, there’s still time to set aggressive investment goals. The first step is to understand what your excuses (or what I call “invisible scripts”) really mean.
- Invisible script: “There are so many stocks out there, so many ways to buy and sell stocks, and so many people giving different advice. It feels overwhelming.“
What it means: This is code for: “I want to hide behind complexity.” Any new topic is overwhelming (i.e., diets, workout regimens or parenting). The answer isn’t to avoid it — it’s to pick a source of information and start learning.
- Invisible script: “I don’t want to be the person who buys into the market when it peaks.“
What it means: You already know you can’t time the market, but you just don’t understand it. You can make this problem disappear by automatically investing each month.
- Invisible script: “I haven’t invested in anything because there are so many different options to put my money in over the long term (i.e., real estate, stocks, cryptocurrency and commodities). I know I should invest, but stocks don’t ‘feel’ comfortable. “
What it means: The great irony is that you believe “control” will help your investment returns. In reality, you’d actually get better returns by doing less. The less control you have, the better. The average investor buys high, sells low and trades frequently (which incurs taxes). All of this cuts your returns by huge amounts.
- Invisible script: “Due to my lack of knowledge and experience in the stock market, I don’t wish to lose my hard-earned money.“
What it means: Ironically, every day that you don’t invest, you’re actually losing money due to inflation. You’ll never realize this until you’re in your 70s, at which point it’ll be too late.
- Invisible script: “Fees are a big part of it. I only have a small amount to invest, so trading fees can make a big dent in my returns.“
What it means: It’s totally mystifying how people think “investing = trading stocks.” Oh wait, no it isn’t — every dumb commercial and app pushes this agenda. When you follow my advice, your fees can be really low.
- Invisible script: “I ordered a small coffee instead of a large, so I’m actually saving X dollars a day. Am I adulting?“
What it means: Not really.