Investing is not only for the wealthy. It’s actually used as a wealth generator and allows many people to have multiple income streams.
There have been several studies indicating that most self-made millionaires have at least three sources of income. You may be thinking… It’s hard enough creating one source of income, how do you expect me to create three?
The answer is simple – start investing.
Investing can be an excellent way to produce passive income and grow your wealth. Keep reading this guide to learn essential tips for first-time investors.
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- Develop a Plan
Before jumping into any investment, you should start by developing a plan and lay out the groundwork for yourself going forward. Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone at first, but at the very least, it can help you stay on track with your investments.
- How much money are you willing to invest?
- How long are you planning on investing?
- What are your goals?
- How much risk are you willing to take on?
- What are the costs associated with investments?
These are just a few questions you should be focusing on when creating your investment plan. Try to be rational in your goals and your timeline to achieve those goals.
- Start Early
One of the most costly mistakes you could make as a first-time investor is waiting for the perfect opportunity. With investments, rarely is there an ideal opportunity, and if there is, not many people can say they recognized it.
The earlier you can begin investing, the better. With many investments, particularly stock investments, the magical phenomenon known as compound interest, can produce significant wealth in a matter of a few years.
Compound interest is simply your money making money on your initial investment. For example, say you invested $10,000 into Apple stock. Each year you are invested in Apple’s stock, you will receive a dividend payment for each share you own four times a year, payable each quarter.
Even though dividends may seem like a small amount at first, they have an outstanding ability to build wealth over time. Not only will you receive dividends each year just for holding the stock, but you can also enjoy the returns that the stock brings as well. For your reference, if you invested $10,000 in Apple stock at the beginning of the year, you would have over $15,000 already year-to-date.
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- Build a Diversified Portfolio
If you have done any prior research on investment advice, you probably have come across this one at least a few times.
Yes, building a diversified portfolio is essential. However, don’t spread your money to thin across investments that you won’t be able to enjoy the appreciation in the price of your best assets.
Selling off your bad investments is just as important sometimes as building positions in your best investments. Your brokerage portfolio is only as strong as its weakest link – having bad investments will drag down your performance.
With that being said, having multiple investments is essential to managing risk across the market.
- Invest in a Starter Home
Real estate investing can produce significant wealth to those who are willing to buy and sell the right properties.
Millionaires are investing in homes at an alarming rate. Andrew Carnegie previously said that 90 percent of millionaires generated their wealth from owning properties.
Right now, the trend appears to be many people leaving bigger cities and looking for single-family homes elsewhere. This could create a perfect situation to begin investing in real estate as more people will be looking for single-family homes in the years to come.
- Consider a Robo-Advisor
If you are not sure how to invest, or you don’t feel comfortable making your own investments, a Robo-advisor may be a good thing to consider.
The usage of Robo-advisors is on the rise, and for a good reason. These online advisors are low-cost and can help you grow your wealth without you having to overthink it.
- Be Cautious of Using Leverage
Being a new investor, it is tempting to use leverage, or borrowed money, to increase your stake in the investment. However, this can also get you into trouble if things go the other way.
If you have extensive investing experience and feel comfortable, using leverage can help you build positions.
- Beware of FOMO
One of the greatest pieces of investment advice for new investors – be careful of FOMO, or fear of missing out.
When you begin your investing career, it may be tempting to buy the hype or the stock everyone is talking about. Many times this will only lead to buying high priced assets that you end up paying more than what they are worth.
The best thing you can do is learn your own investing style and see what works for you. Don’t be too concerned with what others are saying or doing.
- Actively Manage Your Investments
While the “set it and forget” strategy may work for some, it is much better, in the long run, to actively manage your investments and see what is working and what isn’t.
William O’Neil, a successful investor and founder of Investors Business Daily, recommends cutting bad investments after an 8 percent decline. He explains this setup rarely works out in the investor’s favor.
It is extremely important to invest in the long-term. However, that doesn’t mean holding onto stocks that are on a decline. Investment thesis can change daily, and your portfolio should reflect it.
- Don’t Overthink
Overthinking can get investors in big trouble – overpaying for assets, or missing out on great investment opportunities because you second-guessed it.
With investments, nobody is right all the time – as long as you are right, more often than not, you will do just fine.
Develop your investment plan, keep it simple, and follow the rules you set for yourself is a winning combination when it comes to investing.
First Time Investors: Looking to Learn More?
It cannot be stressed enough – start investing as early as you possibly can. The returns you make will be significantly higher if you start at age 25 rather than age 35 or later.
If you are one of those first-time investors, start developing your plan and begin making some money!
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