Probably many people in their lives wondered how to start investing. And honestly, investing is one of the most efficient ways to make your money work for you.
Let’s count. Suppose you invest CHF 100 every month for 10 years with a 6% of annual return. This way, over 10 years, you'll have CHF 16,570.
Of that amount, CHF 12,000 is money you've invested — that monthly CHF 100 — and CHF 4,570 is your interest generated on your investment.
Sounds profitable. However, if you're new to the world of stocks and bonds, starting investing may still seem extremely scary.
To tell you the truth, to successfully start investing, you definitely need a basic understanding of how it works.
But if you stick to the conscious approach, you'll soon notice that one of the scariest ways of managing your finances can become pretty rewarding.
So, if you're a first-time investor thinking about how to start investing but don't know where to start, this guide will introduce you to all the basics you need to know. Let's go!
What is investing?
Investing is the act of putting up resources, usually your capital, to generate profit in the future.
In simple terms, investing means buying assets that increase in worth over time and that you will be able to sell at a higher price later on.
Investing differs from saving. While both concepts can help you build a solid financial foundation, the biggest difference between them lies in the risk level involved.
Saving usually implies a lower return but practically no risk. Conversely, investing allows you to earn a higher return, but you're more exposed to the risk of losing your capital.
3 Reasons why you need to start investing today
There are many reasons why you should start investing asap. Experts calculated that about 40% of people have undergone a financial flop due to putting investing on the back burner.
If you never start investing, you can leave out some promising financial yields. So the sooner you put your finances into action, the more you can benefit in the long run.
Investing allows you to take control of your future
If you start investing, you can guarantee yourself to always be on the safe side. If you don't worry about retirement at a young age, you may find your money decreased in value over time, or worse – being spent.
To meet your retirement without fuss, turn your savings into a portfolio of investments. Then, at retirement age, you can live off funds earned from these investments and enjoy your time.
Investing can let you easily achieve your financial goals
We all have plans in life. And most of them need finances. From going out with friends, starting a business, and buying a car to sending your child to college - everything requires money!
While investing typically means you can't spend money right now, it can allow you to get the amount required by your target date.
It's never been easier to start investing
Digitalization has spawned many different options to start investing. User-friendly apps, platforms, robo-advisors, and other online services significantly simplify the process of managing your investments and tracking your success.
Pick what suits you most, and give your money a chance to work smarter.
How to start investing if you’re a beginner
Investing is a great way to cushion unexpected volatility. But how does it actually work and how to start investing with no experience? Let's go over all the steps.
1. Set up a budget
Deciding on your investment budget highly depends on your financial condition, goals, and the time you need to reach them.
The most typical goal is retirement. For this purpose, you can allocate from 10% to 15% of your income. If it seems impossible, you may start investing with a smaller percentage and then gradually work your way up to it.
For other investing goals, consider the total amount you need, and then split that amount into monthly or weekly contributions.
2. Assess your risk tolerance
Even though everyone can start investing, you should remember that it comes with a certain risk. And your assets are not guaranteed to increase or keep value over time.
At the same time, you should bear in mind one rule - the riskier the asset is, the more profit you can get in return. And vice versa.
If you're a risk-averse person who wants money to grow without being affected, you might consider investing in bonds or real estate.
In contrast, if you have high-risk tolerance, you may prefer investing in stocks. Usually, stocks bring higher returns than bonds and other low-risk assets.
Nevertheless, whatever your risk tolerance, one of the best ways to control risk is to make different investments. And in the world of investing, this notion is called diversification.
Here's how it works. Suppose you put all your capital in stock markets or bonds that are doing well, but suddenly drop in value. In this case, there is a chance that you will lose all your money.
But if you were evenly diversified across bonds and stocks, you could hold back your losses.
Therefore, try to make investments in various enterprises and assets. This way, you can offset the losses and even continue to invest during turbulent times.
3. Go over your investment options
There are many types of assets people can invest in, such as crypto, art, collectibles, and others. But four main asset classes are stocks, bonds, commodities, and real estate. Let's rank them by investment difficulty.
Those people who want regular earnings on investment might consider buying real estate - perhaps the easiest way to start investing.
But when getting property, you need to take into account many factors, such as economic state, crime rates, infrastructure, etc.
The best part about real estate is that if you don't have the whole sum to buy a property, you can get shares in real estate investment trusts (REITs).
REITs are establishments that use real estate to generate income through rent or mortgages. And traditionally, they pay higher dividends than the above-mentioned stocks and bonds.
When enterprises or governments need capital, they can borrow money from investors. This way they issue debt, called bonds.
People can then buy these bonds (i.e., give money to these banks and companies) in exchange for a fixed-rate interest.
Due to their guaranteed return, bonds are also known as fixed-income investments and are usually less exposed to volatility than stocks.
However, not all bonds are secure buys. Some companies have an imperfect credit history, which means they may not be able to repay their obligations.
A stock is a type of investment that companies issue to raise money to finance their growth. And investors buy those stocks in the hope to make a return on them.
Stocks allow you to partially own a company and share its gains and losses. Some stocks also pay dividends - small recurring payments of companies' earnings.
Because there are no guaranteed returns and individual companies may go out of business, stocks come with greater risk than some other investments.
Commodities make physical products, such as energy resources or precious metals.
Getting commodities doesn't mean having huge amounts of oil, gas, or metals. Most people invest in commodities using futures and options - an agreement to sell a particular commodity at a specific price by a particular date.
The price for commodities generally depends on market demand and other external factors, which makes this class of assets a relatively high-risk investment for more experienced people.
- Develop your investment strategy
There are many different strategies to try. You could follow personal finance advisors, famous experts like Warren Buffet, or go your own way. But before you start investing, consider the following things:
Identify your goals
The end goal will determine the overall strategy. Ask yourself why you're doing it. Do you need to generate extra earnings for retirement? Or make investing the main source of income?
Remember, investing your money is a personal decision, so no goal is wrong.
Try various options
Investing is not about a one-size-fits-all approach. You may find out that starting investing in crypto suits you much better than, for example, real estate.
On top of that, history remembers many cases when the majority were wrong. Try to stay out of the herd.
Avoid some common mistakes
Wise men say: "Success is unique; mistakes are common." Hundreds of newbies make these mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars, which discourages others who want to start investing. So what are they?
- Taking part in shady initiatives. Resist promises of high returns and low risks. An overly tempting offer is often the work of scammers.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket. It's vital to diversify your investments to never worry about losing it all.
- Panicking if it doesn't go according to plan. Remember that market ups and downs are normal. Even the most experienced investors can't make 100% accurate predictions.
- Taking advice from random influencers. TikTok, Instagram, and other socials are full of self-proclaimed mentors who want to give you tons of tips. Be selective when taking other people's advice.
- Not researching what you're investing in. Before proceeding with an investment strategy, learn all the ins and outs of what you're putting your money into.
How can you teach yourself to invest
Starting investing is relatively easy. In most cases, you don't need specific skills or experience. However, to deeper understand the industry, you may want to include the following points in your daily routine:
- Read dedicated resources (books, blogs, news)
- Learn investing terms
- Attend investing courses
- Follow investing forums
- Test various apps
- Learn from stock simulators
How to start investing today? Start with Marmot
No matter how old you are, or what you do for a living, it's never too late to start investing.
Investing is a great tool to cushion economic upheavals and prepare for retirement.
So what are you waiting for? The best time to start investing is now. Your future self will thank you.
And Marmot is here to support you. Start now by completing the Money Make Over Quiz to see how investment savvy you are and what do you need to take action
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