I remember my first exposure to investing in the stock market like it was yesterday. I was ten years old. My grandfather had given me ten whole shares of AT&T stock. The shares were in physical certificate form and all I knew was that the piece of paper was supposed to be worth money – or so I was told.
Fast forward several decades (too many if you ask me) and my curiosity with investing in the stock market has grown into a passion.
Over those years, I have made many mistakes, but thankfully, those have been rare. You do not have to be an expert at stock market analysis in order to be successful, but you do have to be willing and ready to take on risk, not to mention a desire to grow your wealth.
While the potential of loss can cause many to avoid investing in the stock market, it is a necessary part to increasing your net worth. Investing in the stock market only takes a few simple steps that nearly anyone can follow and have a relative level of success. If being in the stock market is something, you want to do but are not certain where to start, this post is for you.
DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO PUT IN THE STOCK MARKET:
Unless you come from money, you will probably be starting from scratch and that is ok. Many of us have to start small – myself, included. Begin by determining how much you want to invest. If you are going, the route of investing in mutual funds many will have some initial minimums you need in order to buy in. Numerous ones available have initial investments of as low as $250 or none at all, such as through E*TRADE. If you had rather invest in individual stocks, you need to choose an online broker. Many of these will also have minimums to get started, though some of them do not. If you do not have $1,000 to invest right now, set a goal for yourself to save up the money as you can start investing with $500 or less at a number of online brokers. When you reach your goal, your investment account will mean even more to you because you had to work harder for it.
Just remember that, if you are contributing to your employer’s 401(k), you are technically already investing in the stock market. An individual portfolio will simply offer you more control than the pre-selected mutual funds of your 401(k) plan. This is, of course, depends on the amount of funds you have to invest, but can be a great way to add further diversification and greater growth potential.
you may way to diversify into real estate or guarantee your family’s future financial security with life insurance. For the latter, like any other financial product or service, I’d recommend researching the best companies before purchasing a policy. If tragedy strikes, a term life insurance policy will provide significantly more funds for your family to live off than a stock portfolio that has been growing for a few years.
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