You have a good start on a successful career and you are ready to invest a portion of your monthly salary. Do you know enough about how to start investing to be successful? Take our quiz and make sure you are ready.
You can start investing with a small amount of money that you can spare and build up your assets over time. A little money invested now can result in huge rewards 20 or 30 years down the road.
Before you start investing, you need to have a clear understanding of what your life goals are. Once you establish goals, your goals will help you to define your investment strategy.
Once you have decided that it is a good idea to invest, you will need to educate yourself about investing. Find out all you are able about stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment strategies.
If you would like to retire at the age of 50 and live on your investments, you may have to invest as much as 20 percent of your salary. If you plan to wait for social security to help pay the bills you can likely get away with investing less money.
Establish a firm financial foundation before you start putting money at risk. According to Kiplinger, many financial experts recommend medical insurance and at least six months of income in a low-risk bank account prior to investing.
Most investors purchase stocks as long-term or short-term investments. Dividends are nice and if reinvested can increase your stock assets, but buying low and selling high is where the money is.
You should do your market research and invest in companies that you feel confident are going to grow. A company that has steady growth over a long-term is an excellent investment.
History has shown that the stock market has grown on average 10 to 12 percent per annum. Remember, this in average performance over the years and not an average for every single year, which reinforces the concept of a long-term investment strategy.
Along with lower risk comes lower return on investment potential. The only exception is junk bonds that offer a higher return on investment, but they have a low credit rating and are more likely to default.
Joining a mutual fund will give an investor instant diversity in their investment portfolio. Mutual funds by design insure that your money is invested in a balanced portfolio managed by a professional and there are no broker fees for each purchase made by the fund manager.
A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns and manages a portfolio of real estate properties and mortgages. When you invest in an REIT you are entitled to a share of the profits the company generates.
Only licensed brokers are permitted to trade stocks, bonds and mutual funds. You will need to find a broker and set up a brokerage account that they will use to finance your trades.
Most brokers require that you have a minimum deposit for your brokerage account and they will not work for you without the deposit. According to Investopedia, minimum deposits can average anywhere from $500 to $2,500, but can go as high as $10,000.
Brokers are paid a commission from your account for every trade they perform on your behalf. Most brokers also charge other fees, so it is best to clarify what amount of commissions and fees you will be charged.
According to Investopedia, churning is an unethical practice that people sometimes accuse full-service brokers of employing to increase their commissions. Remember that not all full-service brokers are worth their huge commissions, because they tend to be salespeople that peddle their firm’s investments and that is not always in your best interest.
Stocks have less long-term risk and a better return on investment over a period of several years. Stocks have a history of averaging an increase of about twelve percent in value.
According to Kiplinger.com, you should “Invest aggressively for the long-term and conservatively for the short term.” If you plan to save money to use next year put it in something relatively safe and if you are saving with a view to the long-term you can be more aggressive.
Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is a strategy where you decide a fixed monthly amount to invest in the same investment instrument. For example, with your allotment you buy stocks in the same company every month regardless of their performance, in the long term you pay a lower average price per share then if you were randomly buying and selling.
Do not be trapped by get-rich-quick schemes and investment scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Once you have developed a reasonable investment strategy based on your knowledge and professional advice when necessary, you should stick with your strategy to achieve the best return on investment.
If a part of your plan is not working, it makes good sense to change courses in that area of your investment plan. If, for example, you invested in a stock and it has lost value consistently for several years, it is probably time to cut your losses and find a different place to put your money.