It does not matter how old you are, you should be preparing for retirement from the moment you begin working. If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry because a lot of people don’t until the realization that they aren’t far from retirement settles in. We are here to help you figure out the investing game so that you can make the money you need for retirement.
In order to start investing, you need money available to invest. If you are a little panicked, you are in a better position to save than you think. First, we look at our monthly bills to see where we can cut corners. We can often ditch the cable bill but you do want to hang on to your internet. It will cost you less to keep just internet in your home, which you will need for watching your stocks! Check providers, like Suddenlink, who offer affordable high-speed internet without the pressure for cable.
Have a home phone and a cell phone? Ditch the home phone! Lots of folks save tons just by having one phone line, rather than two. How often are you eating out? Cut it in half and eat at home more often. If you need the socialization that eating out brings, have a potluck in your home so that you can dine with friends and save money. The bottom line is to live a little more on the frugal side so you can invest those savings into your retirement.
Set Your Goals
As a new investor, it is important to know what direction you are going in for your retirement. How much money will you need? How long do you have until you can retire? When do you want to officially retire? All these answers vary from person to person based on current age, retirement age, and what your financial needs are. It’s also important to know how much of a risk you are willing to take. Some stocks that are low-risk also take longer to grow but are less likely to lose money. High-risk accounts will grow fast but also lose fast. Before selecting a company to invest in, make sure that you feel confident that they will perform well and maximize your stock growth! This will be the very beginning of your portfolio management and is a very important step.
Select Your Assets
You will need to next select your assets based on the goals and risk levels you are willing to take. A good mix of stocks and bonds are a great way to diversify your portfolio. The most successful investors know the importance of diversification so be sure you adopt the same attitude. There are other options, like mutual funds and exchange traded funds, that can add to your diversification. As a new investor, we suggest starting out with mastering the stocks and bonds and learn as you go. You can always add in mutual funds or exchange traded funds later to boost your investments.
Watch Your Performance
One mistake a new investor could make, and does quite often, is to invest and then sit back and not look at it again. Don’t let investing intimidate you! Check your portfolio every quarter to see how it’s doing. It is better to watch for consistent increases and decreases in money to gauge your continued investment in an asset. If Joe Blow stock has been decreasing over two or three quarters, it may be well worth your time and money to sell that stock and invest in something else. You will have low-performing stocks and you don’t want to wait until there is a big loss to do something about it!
Investing often sounds hard and yet you can learn so much about money and how it grows by doing it. If your workplace offers 401K or Simple IRAs, you should absolutely take those on. You can even invest outside of their plan and really boost your retirement plan. Also look for investment groups in the area so that you can learn from others. Lastly, get a good tax accountant to help you plan!