Investment, like many words associated with money, is both fascinating and intimidating. Many people see it as the mystical key to wealth, but at the same time, too complicated for the average investor. Beyond that, it requires a lot of extra income to do successfully, so why bother?
This is not the case. Investing can be complicated, but it does not need to be, and it certainly is not only for the super-rich.
Regardless of the route taken to investment and financial growth, the ability to set aside funds regularly and manage the rest is a must. Beyond the discipline itself, most savings accounts offer a small return on the amount put away. Most banks will have a slow growth option when it comes to their savings accounts, so talk to the local office and see what options are available. Do not just cash the check or keep it handy in the checking account – be diligent to set aside a little each month, and watch it grow.
Pay Off Debt
While this next one might not seem like an investment tip, it is indispensable to someone who wants to start investing their money. Often the reason to forgo investing is a lack of funds from month to month. The quickest way to handle that problem is to start paying off all debt, especially those with high-interest rates. Credit cards usually fall into this category. Imagine what could be possible if the car got paid off or those student loans were gone? Enroll in a plan to eliminate debt through scrimping and saving, and the options will open up.
Many employers, although not all, will offer matching contributions to retirement funds. If the job offers a 401(k) option with matching, every dollar added will be matched by the company. This should be the first step for anyone trying to invest. It immediately doubles the amount that has been put in it. Find out what the limit is and max it out every year, and the retirement will be taken care of at half the cost.
Once some dept is paid off, there should be a little more discretionary income available. At this point, it does not take thousands of dollars to begin investing – it can start with whatever is available. Look into a Roth IRA; some have no minimum, and are taxed going in instead of when withdrawn later. This is definitely a plus.
The safest option would be Treasury securities, buying bonds, etc., from the government.
Even consider buying a few shares of stock, or an index fund, which will match the growth rate of the stock market itself – a guaranteed consistent way to grow wealth. Also, consider companies like Vanguard who have various mutual and target-date funds.