Advice for First-Time Investors
If you’ve recently decided to begin investing your money in new ways, then you might be feeling more than a little overwhelmed at this point. Investment is a complex process with lots of information to learn, understand and remember. However, some common advice will help you get started investing with confidence.
Before you make your first investment, sit down and do some research. Visit investment websites, or even read a book or two. You should become familiar with key investment terms and attain a basic knowledge about the processes and procedures of investment. Study about investment options, fees and interest. If you put in the time to learn now, you will make better choices and reduce your risk in the long run.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trying to go it alone in investment can lead to frustration and even a loss of money. As a beginner, you need guidance from someone with investment experience. If you want, ask a friend or relative who is an investment pro to help you get started or at least to be on call to answer your questions. Better yet, if you are really serious about investing, you might want to hire a financial adviser, at least to guide you through the initial investment and to help you track your progress for a while.
When you have done your research and found someone to help you, you should take a little time to set some investment goals and write them down. You should know exactly why you want to invest your money and what you hope to accomplish by it. Perhaps you are looking for additional regular income. Maybe you are hoping to build for your retirement. You might even want to earn a little extra for a vacation or a new toy. In any case, know your goals and keep them in front of you, for they will help you plan how much to invest and what to invest it in.
As you begin to plan your investments, keep the following rule always in mind: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your investments. Some advisers recommend starting with mutual funds or securities. Others, like international banker Julio Herrera Velutini, invite investors to consider investment possibilities called options and futures, noting their risk but also presenting their benefits. Whatever you decide, spread your investment out.
When you’ve gone ahead and made your first investments, you will need to watch them closely. There will certainly be ups and downs, so be aware of that, and try to keep your emotions under control. If you really think you are going to lose money, consult your adviser, and be willing to make whatever changes his or she suggests or possibly ride it out with what you have. Further, you should periodically reassess your goals and see if you need to make any changes.
Investment can be both a rewarding and a terrifying experience, but if you remain organized and practical and if you are willing to allow yourself to be guided, you might find your investments and your confidence growing over time.