Have you made it your New Year’s Resolution to start investing this year? You have been considering doing that for some time, but haven’t opened any stock market account or got in touch with any real estate agent or financial consultant? Then make 2020 the year you turn these intentions into money.
According to a recent poll by MetLife, 55% of Americans are rather considering stashing money under the mattress than participating in the stock market. The poll was conducted on 8,000 adults over 18 years old, living in the US. The thing is, saving money is not enough these days. Truth be told, the safest way to save money is to invest it.
Most people do not invest these days because they feel they do not know enough. Truth is, there are so many ways to invest your money that you end up paralyzed by fear, not knowing which one to trust. It’s understandable, considering you work very hard for it. Nevertheless, waiting for the right time won’t do you any good. The best time to invest is right now. How?
Step #1: Understand the Risks
If you haven’t invested at all so far, or only contributed to retirement accounts, then chances are you don’t know the risks and just think they’re too big to even try. So, the first step before starting investing is to consider what you want to risk. Imagine if the market dropped and you lost part of your investment, how much would you be able to lose without losing much enthusiasm for the investment part?
Most people shun investment when they hear the word risks. Truth is, there is no investment without risks. If you’re not sure about your tolerance to risk, you might consider taking a test or two. For example, the University of Missouri has created an Investment Risk Tolerance Assessment which might help you to get an idea of your overall tolerance to risk.
Step #2: Always See the Bigger Picture
There are a lot of public analysis which compare the investment returns of mutual funds or individual investors in those funds. For example, according to a JP Morgan Guide, the best-performing in annualized returns by asset class in the last 20 years, are the REITs, then comes gold and oil and somewhere on the 11th place there comes the average investor who does one big mistake: takes money from one fund that has recently underperformed to put it into a fund that has recently performed well.
Only following the short-term performances of different types of funds and bonds and refusing to keep an eye on how these funds will perform on long-term, in the future, will never bring about consistent results.
Step #3: Follow the Stocks Closely
The Stock market grew by about 29% in 2019 and it doesn’t seem like running out of steam this year, also. So, this could be a good way to start investing, but caution and selection are advised. For example, you could try to go after the healthcare sector which seems pretty solid this year and might continue to generate double-digit returns.
With a little patience and risk-taking attitude, you could be a healthcare stock market investor and making good money from it, but still, that might not make you a specialist the best pack and play sets for your children . For that, you still need personal family time to decide. And this leads to step 4.
Step #4: Don’t Overreact! Relax!
This might not look like a personal finance type of advice. Nevertheless, it is. Starting investing and staying up-to-date with the latest shifts in the market might get you a little edgy, nervous, keep you up at night and even get you addicted to it. You need to always remind yourself that this is also a job, not a 9-to-5 job, but still, it is work and you need to spend time with your family as well and even enjoy more family time.
The reason most people decide to start investing is family and time to live their lives their own way. Don’t get too tangled up in all the investment business and forget about that! That pack and play set is also an important aspect of your investing behavior. If you are comfortable and happy at home, you can perform better in the investing world as well.
Step #5: Do Your Homework!
Always be on guard for the next investing opportunity. If you’ve started investing in small-cap stocks and things are going good, it doesn’t mean you can’t start looking for other ways of investment, like growth stocks, stock or bond funds or dividend stocks. Real estate is also a very good prospect for 2020. Don’t overlook it just because you don’t like being a landlord. There are other ways of investing in real estate without all the hassle of “landlording” it. Do your homework! Stay informed!