You might be the kind of person who breaks into a cold sweat when you have to deal with money. The subject can definitely make people anxious. But as you grow up, it’s important to know how to manage your money and how to make it grow. That’s right: it might be time to start thinking about investing your money.
So how do you begin if you’re a beginner?
First, you’ve got to have money to invest. Do you have a part-time job? Have you been saving money in a bank account? If not, it’s never too late to start. Think about what you can do to earn money and start saving up to invest part of whatever you earn.
In the meantime, you can try investing with fantasy money. Create a virtual trading account and make real stock market trades with the equivalent of Monopoly money. Start buying and selling stocks you like. See whether it goes up or down. Make some trades or hold onto your stock. Experiment and have fun. In the process, you’ll learn about the stock market first hand before you actually invest your own money.
Join the Economics Club at school. This is a great way to learn about investing. Often there are even stock market competitions. You’ll be able to work individually or as a group under the wing of your economics teacher. If there isn’t a club, enroll in an economics class in school. You’ll learn so much in a semester and be prepared to understand the stock market and the basics of how to invest. You might even be inspired to start your own economics club with your classmates.
This might also be a great time to start reading books about investing or doing some research on your own. You don’t even have to start with a text book. There are biographies on some of the biggest success stories and the biggest scams to hit Wall Street. There are also classic books about investing, like The Wealthy Barber and Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. While you’re at it, why not have a movie night and catch up on films about investing. There’s always a lesson learned from watching classics like Boiler Room, The Wolf of Wall Street and Wall Street. There are also lots of documentaries that are entertaining, informative and educational.
When you’re ready to invest your money, make an appointment at the bank. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Talk to an investment advisor[/pullquote]
about your options. How much would you like to invest? What would you like to save? What are your long-term goals? How much risk are you willing to take? Your advisor will go over the options and help you pick an investment opportunity that matches your comfort level. Bring a parent or advisor along so they can understand your goals and see how you’re managing your money. If they have experience in this area, they will be an asset as you start to invest.
You don’t have to be a day trader, constantly buying and selling stocks, to invest. Some stocks are safer bets than others, especially if you’re willing let your money grow long-term. Your investment advisor or parent will probably tell you all about this strategy. You might even want to consider an index fund, which means you’re investing in several stocks that are pegged to increase over time. It’s less risky and more of a sure bet, but if you really want to try your hand at the market, this might not be the opportunity you’re looking for.
Have you considered using an app that helps pick and trade stocks for you? Go to the app store and download a “robo” investing app. These automated investments make trades for you based on your goals. Follow along on your smartphone and see how you do. These apps also require low minimum purchases, so this is a great way to start investing some of your money.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Remember, there will always be dips in the stock market, so hang in there and don’t rush to sell at the first sign of trouble. Traders who do that often lose money over time.[/pullquote]
Investing money can be fun. Learning how to manage yours is an critical life skill as you get older and earn a salary. You’re never too young to show an interest in investing.