Simple Investment Tips That Make You Money
The hard part about investing really isn’t what you think it is. It’s not about knowing stock PE ratios, tracking company earnings, knowing the difference between stocks and bonds and currencies, responding to trade war threats, or parsing Federal Reserve commentary. That’s what financial media calls our attention to every single minute of every single day. But mostly all that is irrelevant. You don’t need to become an expert in any of that stuff to succeed at investing.
Investing can be made so much simpler than that.
Here are the three hardest parts about investing:
- Getting started.
- Sticking to a regular plan of contributions to an investment account.
- Not messing with your plan over the long run.
Solve those three problems, and you can ignore the financial media’s invented complications. Really. Solve those three problems, and you have my promise - your investments are going to succeed.
Keep it Super Simple
If you’ve never invested before, and you’ve got less than $5,000 available to begin - that’s perfectly ok! Step one is to get started today, and step one has never been easier. Start with one of the extremely user-friendly investing phone apps designed as easy on-ramps for folks with just $100 or just $500 to begin.
I have used and wholeheartedly endorse beginner-investing apps Acorns, Qapital, M1 Finance. Betterment and Wealthfront, two more easy-to-being investing apps, are designed for just this initial getting-started phase as well. All five of these apps radically simplify the process of getting started on the investing road, and they encourage regular, automatic contributions into diversified, simplified portfolios.
They take no more than 10 minutes on your mobile phone to enter your information and link to your bank or credit union account to open.
Once you’ve funded your $100 or $500 starter amount, the next thing to do is set up an automated contribution plan.
Once that’s done, the best thing you could do for your investing success is to ignore it. Let the contributions flow every week, or every paycheck, or every month into your investment account. Avoid the temptation to change. Avoid trading. Try not to even look at it too often. Maybe not much happens in the first year. But little by little, month by month, that account will start to grow. For best results, try to totally ignore the messages from financial media about impending financial doom or amazing opportunities to chase. Just do the same consistent things automatically.
One of the crazy-good features of the five investing apps I mentioned above is that they all use rock-bottom pricing for investments. They automate the investing process and cut out expensive investment funds.
Do You Prefer Fancy?
Look, there are lots of complicated, expensive, and fancy ways to invest. Endless ways. You could spend all day, every day, thinking about this stuff. I myself have enjoyed investing as a hobby and form of entertainment. Take it from me: It can be an expensive hobby. If you get into the swing of investing and want to complicate your life, by all means branch out to the thousands of other options. It could be fun. You won’t necessarily do better than the beginner apps I mentioned above, but you’ll have greater choices.
But for most people, success will come from just starting today with baby steps, automating contributions, and then sitting back and doing very little work after that.