If you’re new to investing, it can be pretty overwhelming to sift through the dozens of platforms, investment options, and possible returns. Investing can be a complex process if you don’t know what you’re doing, so the first thing you need to do is find an approach that’s right for you. Everyone has a unique situation and investing goals. Here’s how to find an investment approach that works.
Identify Your Goals
In order to find the right investment approach for your situation, you’ll first need to identify your goals. Why are you investing? How much do you want to invest? Can you actually afford to invest? Without a clear picture of the why and the how, you’ll be sifting through endless investment options, unsure of which way to go.
If you’re investing to generate income, then you’ll want specific investments (income-generating assets). If you’re investing to save for retirement, you’ll need a completely different vehicle than for generating income. Decide also how much you have to invest. Can you afford to invest a few thousand dollars per year, or just a few hundred? Do you have an emergency fund saved up already?
After you decide how much you’ll invest and why you’re investing, you’ll need to think about how much you expect to make from your investments. Depending on the assets you invest in, you could turn a large profit…or completely lose everything you invested. That’s just the nature of the business.
Decide on a Platform
So you know the why and the how much of your investment goals, now you need to find somewhere to invest. There are several platforms available online, or you can opt for the traditional route of utilizing the services of a brokerage firm (like Fidelity).
Alternatively, you could start with an investing app like Acorns, which actually invests your spare change for you automatically. Acorns will act as a sort of robo-advisor for your investments; managing the portfolio via computer algorithms.
You’ll simply link your credit and bank cards to the app, and each time you make a purchase, the total cost is rounded up to the next dollar, and the difference will be invested just like that. It’s quick, simple, and incredibly easy to use, even for the newest investors.
Speak with an Advisor
While research is certainly an important component of finding the right investment approach, speaking with an advisor and having one on hand to help manage your portfolio is always a good idea if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Even the most seasoned investors will utilize the financial expertise of an advisor for their portfolios. You simply can’t find the knowledge these professionals carry on the internet.
An advisor will help you make better-informed decisions on how to manage your portfolio. With an expert set of eyes on your money, there’s a better chance you’ll get a return on your investments and not wind up losing everything you’ve already invested. If you’re looking for an advisor, you can use the Careful Cents site to compare the best financial advisors in the industry.
Don’t leave your money to chance in volatile markets; hiring an advisor will keep you on track and informed about how the markets (and your investments) are performing. There are plenty of advisor firms all over the country, from California to the busy streets of NYC. Finding the right one for you is only a click away!
You may have heard the term “robo-advisor” before. What is a robo-advisor? Robo advisors are affordable alternatives to human advisors, managing your portfolio strictly via computer algorithms.
Robo-advisors are a great option for those who want a more hands-off approach to their investments and don’t want to foot the bill for human advisors. Remember that robo-advisors are limited, however; and can’t hold a conversation!
Know Your Risk Tolerance
One of the most important parts of investing is knowing your risk tolerance. Risk tolerance is a simple concept; it’s simply how much you can stand to risk and possibly lose during your investing career. Are you willing to invest $100 for the prospect of earning $1,000? Are you equally as comfortable with losing that entire $100?
Knowing your risk tolerance will not only help you choose the right investments, but it can also help you be more cautious with your money; which, in the investing world, is something of a double-edged sword.
While risk is…well, risky, there’s an old saying that goes “without risk there is no reward”. This can be true with investing. Sometimes, the greatest rewards are waiting just on the other side of an incredibly risky investment.
If you’re too cautious, you could miss some great opportunities; on the other hand, if you’re too risky, you can end up losing what you invested. Find your balance and figure out just what exactly your risk tolerance is.
Investing is different for everyone, and it’s important to remember that while there are dozens of platforms available to help you invest, not all of them are created equal. Know the why and how much, (as well as your risk tolerance) before you consider seriously investing. If you’re unsure how to manage your portfolio, hiring an advisor can get you back on track and making better decisions about your money.