Investing Series: What You Should Know Before You Start Investing

One of the many things I am starting to figure out as I get older, is not that I should be saving my money but just how I should be saving it. And if you are in a position that allows you to invest in your future, why not start putting those savings into actual investing? But how do you know if you are in any position to start investing? Now I can’t give you a “yes” or “no” to that question, but I can give you some information to get you started. Are you ready to get put your money on the market?

Below are a few things you should know before you start investing:

Don’t Replace it for Your Savings

You may have heard it before, but investing for future is generally seen as a good thing but it is still a gamble. Setting aside money for emergencies also allows you to quickly pull cash when needed than being going through the whole process of cashing out or selling whatever stocks you may have. In worst case scenario, the money you invested may have gone down or completely failed — after all, and repeat after me, investing is a gamble.

Pay Off All Your High-Interest Debt

Paying off high-interest debt will always trump putting that money toward anything else. With the amount that you would be getting taxed on your investment, you would have paid off the interest from your debt. So general rule of thumb, pay all your debt that is over 10% (or less) before putting any money toward any type of stock.

Know Your Basics

Stocks, bonds, mutuals funds – do you know the difference? If you don’t, pick up some materials that will give you a general sense of how the process works. How will it affect your taxes? Should I go through an advisor or do it myself? How much do I need to get started? These are all things you will want to be aware of before investing your time & money. See what I did there?

Where to Get Started

There are two options for this – you can either go through an advisor who will take care of all the nitty gritty shifting and selling. They are also trained to predict trends within the stock market and may give you some insights as to why certain “moves” are made when dealing with your account. Personally, I don’t trust a person ATM with that much of my money so I try to take care of this on my own. You can set up a free account with various online brokers and download the app to your phone to track and make changes. Just remember to check the fees to both options.

 

I can’t tell you where or what actual stocks I choose to put my money into, but I can give you quick guides to help you get started. The following weeks will give you some more information on those “quick basics” I glossed over, as well as some of online brokers that are suited for beginners.

 

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