I could use some quick tips on investing in stocks. I’m about to graduate with a degree in applied statistics and want to invest a portion of my savings. I’ve been working and saving since my first job in high school, so I’ve got five figures saved up in total.
My old roommate encouraged me to invest some of it, but I never took the time to really try. I’m now in a different position with a little more time in my hands, plus my motivations are different because I’m about to start my life.
My dad, who also invests, cautioned me about investing. He said it can be emotionally taxing and pretty complicated. I’m wondering whether or not I should try investing in stocks and how I should go about it. Any insights would be very helpful.
Your dad was right to caution you about investing. It’s a parent’s duty to make sure that the choices their children make don’t end up spelling their own demise. Investing with your own money, especially savings accrued over the course of a decade, isn’t something to take lightly. There’s no shortage of well-educated and well-intentioned investors that fall prey to otherwise avoidable mistakes. The only sure way to avert an investment crisis is to arm yourself with as much relevant information as possible.
You might start by visiting the open resource maintained by staff at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which highlights ten things everyone should consider before they make investment decisions. First on the list is developing a customized personal financial roadmap, which is probably one of the most overlooked and/or underrated tactics among the wider community of investors. All too often do aspiring investors focus too much on where they want to be, rather than where they are now and how they intend to arrive as expected.
Chief among you checklist of to-dos is figuring out your own risk tolerance–the second item on the list above. What is risk tolerance? Excellent question. Kent Thune at The Balance explains risk tolerance in his succinct overview. He also takes the time to discuss another equally important topic: risk capacity. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with both before making any final decisions.
Another important aspect of investing is committing to a sound investment strategy. You can anticipate several strategies aligned with different investment types. That means the first step is evaluating your investment options. Kristin Wong at Two Cents wrote a comprehensive article essentially breaking down the many types of investments you can make. Take the stock market, for example, which happens to make international headlines at least once a week. Editors at The Motley Fool put together a useful guide outlining investment strategies for your first stock.
You’ll find no dearth of well-conceived approaches. What often matters most is the data utilized to inform the strategy you choose. Never underestimate the value of staying updated on the financial markets as well as those niches in which you make meaningful investments. Those that have stakes in blockchain technology would be prudent to remain conscientious of blockchain news. Another prime example is medical and recreational marijuana. Those individuals investing in marijuana stocks would be equally prudent to remain updated on all relevant industry happenings.
This is all to say that your dad cautioned you for a very good reason. There’s much to learn and know when it comes to educated investing.
“Investing is the intersection of economics and psychology.” — Seth Klarman