Is It Time to Be an Investor?
It’s easy to tell when spring arrives…farmers start planting, trees will green up and about 40,000 get ready to trek to Omaha, NE, to watch Warren Buffett preside over the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.
Do you want to get in on some investing action but worry whether now is a good time? If stocks will be higher 10 and 20 years from now, as Buffett and many others forecast, that doesn’t mean you can’t lose money or make an investing mistake. And who wants to do that? Are you intrigued by Bitcoin or some other “hot” investment and thinking that’s more attractive than buying stocks? Does investing in real estate sound like a sure bet to you now?
Investing is a skill acquired over time…and one you need if you want to build wealth today. You can’t just leave a few thousand dollars parked in an unattended savings account and expect to grow a nest egg these days. It won’t happen.
But where do you start, especially if you’re worried the stock market is set to drop? Here’s how to help yourself….
• Build your financial vocabulary. Whether you’re deciding on a 401k contribution, buying share’s of a company’s stock or diversifying your portfolio, it’s crucial to understand the language of personal finance. Find some definitions here.
• Open an investment account…because you can’t win if you don’t play. A savings account is not the same as an investing account. You typically need both. Look at sample account applications on Schwab.com or Ameritrade.com.
• Be patient. Just like pro baseball players, seasoned investors don’t bat 1,000 nor hit a home run every time they play. Neither will you. Just keep swinging strategically…and you’ll get better as time goes on. The longer you keep your money in the market, the better your odds of making a profit.
• It’s okay to start small. Small amounts do add up, particularly if you keep the money invested and let the power of compounding work for you. Besides, it can be just as eye opening to learn from a small mistake as it is a big one.
When Buffett started investing, he wasn’t an expert nor was he wealthy. He became that way over time. So can you. The sooner you get started, the better – just like the power of compounding, early investing works to your advantage.
So now is a good time to begin then, right? What’s holding you back?
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