It’s impossible to accurately predict exactly what the future holds, but one thing we know for sure is that we’ll need money. You may want to send kids to college in 15 years, buy a house in 5 or purchase laptop in 1. Whatever your goals are, you will probably need money to achieve them. Investing in stocks and other equity securities is a good way to put your money to work now for use later on in life. The problem is, if you haven’t invested before, getting started can be intimidating. Here are 6 tips that may help you simplify the daunting task of investing in stocks.
1. BUY WHAT YOU KNOW
I know you’ve heard this one before, but stay with me here. The idea here is not to stress out over researching stocks and picking the next “winner.” If you trust your intuition and invest in products you use every day, it may pay off in the long run.
This isn’t to say that you should invest all your money into Apple because you own a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. The idea is that you can make the process of selecting investments easier by taking a look around you, noting which brands you use, and thinking about which of those brands you feel will be around for years to come.
This is an important part of your investing strategy and it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Simply put, diversification means don’t put all your eggs in one basket. So, to lower your potential investment risk, you should spread your money out over a number of different asset classes (such as stocks, bonds, and cash) and different industry sectors (such as technology, retail, and healthcare).
By diversifying your investments, you can manage the amount of risk you take on in your portfolio. The main idea supporting the principle of diversification is that it’s unlikely for different assets classes and industry sectors to be correlated, or move the same way, over time. This means that if your investment in technology stocks goes down, your investment in pharmaceutical stocks would not necessarily be effected.
3. INVEST IN ETFS
Investing in exchange traded funds, or “ETFs” can be a way to achieve “built in diversification” and you can buy them in the same way your purchase individual stocks. You can purchase an ETF that tracks an index, such as the S&P, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets. For example, if you wanted exposure to the entire technology sector, you could buy one ETF, such as the Technology Sector SPDR (XLK), which will give you exposure to various companies in technology industry, such as Apple, Micorsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Verizon, Google, and more. You can also invest in an ETF that gives you access to all the stocks in an index, such as the Core S&P 500 iShares ETF. This ETF tracks the performance of the entire S&P 500 and gives you access to Apple, Exxon Mobile, and General Electric, among others.
4. BUY AND HOLD
As hard as it may be, don’t panic when you hear bad news on a company in which you own stock. This is known as passive investing, or the buy and hold strategy. Try and resist the urge to sell all your positions unless there is a fundamental issue with the company management or revenue stream. If you have a well-diversified portfolio, you will most likely be able to limit your risk for large losses.
5. SET ASIDE MONEY EACH MONTH
Set aside money each month that is ear-marked for investing, even if you don’t invest it right away. Maybe you don’t have enough money to buy 10 shares of Disney right now. You can save up in your brokerage account and make the investment when you have the necessary funds.
6. MAKE IT PART OF YOUR LIFESTYLE
Whether is grabbing a coffee at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru on your way to work or cleaning your room every Sunday, your lifestyle is a series of routines. Investing for the future can be just another routine that is part of your lifestyle. Utilizing a mobile investing app, like DriveWealth, can you help you manage your portfolio and track its progress no matter where life takes you!
- The stocks and ETFs referenced in the above article were mentioned for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell.
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- Beanstox is a mobile investing platform for individual investors that offers a selection of Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”) and US listed stocks. Beanstox also offers free educational content to help investors understand finance and investing basics.
- All investing carries risk. Past performance is not indicative of future returns, which may vary. Investments in stocks and ETFs may decline in value, potentially leading to a loss of principal. Online trading has inherent risk due to system response and access times that may be affected by various factors, including but not limited to market conditions and system performance. An investor should understand such facts before trading. The risks associated with investing in international securities, including US-listed ADRs and ETFs that contain non-US securities include, among others, country/political risk relating to the government in the home country; exchange rate risk if the country’s currency is devalued; and inflationary/purchasing power risks if the currency of the home country becomes less valuable as the general level of prices for goods and services rises.
- Most inverse ETFs “reset” daily, meaning that these securities are designed to achieve their stated objectives on a daily basis. Their performance over periods longer than one day can differ significantly from the inverse of the performance of their underlying index or benchmark during the same period of time. This effect can be magnified in volatile markets, making it possible that you could suffer significant losses even if the long-term performance of the index showed a gain. While there may be strategies that justify holding these investments longer than a day, buy-and-hold investors with an intermediate or long-term time horizon should carefully consider whether these ETFs are appropriate for their portfolio.
- Before investing in an ETF, an investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expense of the investment company carefully. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company. You should read the prospectus carefully before investing. You may obtain a copy of the prospectus at drivewealth.com/explore/products.
- All individuals seeking to open an account are subject to DriveWealth’s approval process, which includes a “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and “Anti Money laundering” (AML) review.