Years ago, I vowed to learn everything I could about investing in one afternoon. It seemed like so much information, but I figured if I just studied up on it, I could figure it out. It didn’t work. You know what finally did help me learn about investing? Just getting started. All it takes is one step.
Photo by OTA photos.
Now, I’m by no means suggesting that you go find some random company and invest your entire life savings in it. Nor am I suggesting that you go about taking your first step lightly. Whether it’s opening a savings account or taking out a loan, you should always know what you’re getting into when it comes to your money. But I think a lot of people shy away from investing because there’s so much to it, and they feel like they have to learn every single detail before they even get started. In reality, you learn a lot as you go.
I recently ran down a few investing “first steps” at my own blog. If you’re an investing noob, you’ll have zero idea how to build a diverse portfolio, but after you open your account and look at the offerings, you’ll know what to research. And over time, you’ll do more research, until gradually, you figure it all out.
When I started investing I had no clue what I was doing (despite memorising all that jargon years ago). I just did what some websites told me to do. Later, I learned there are better options, so I changed my investments. But prior to opening that account, if someone would have told me, “Target date funds are limiting because the investments are only made up of the managing firm’s funds,” I would have been like, “Huh? I’m going back to bed.” It took getting started to understand what that meant.
Hell, if you’re really scared, your own first step might just be making an appointment with a good financial advisor. There’s nothing wrong with that. Especially if you’re young, the most important thing is to just get started so you have a nest egg when you’re ready to retire. I’ve written more about this at my own blog; you can check it out at the link below.