Having a savings plan is essential to ensure financial stability. Taking advantage of employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s and retirement accounts such as traditional and Roth IRAs, along with keeping some cash on hand for emergencies, are great ways to save money in the long run.

Are you uncertain of how to invest your savings? It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed by the financial noise and technical terms that often accompany investing.

The abundance of choices can paralyze some people and inhibit their potential for growth. Surprisingly, the most influential things you could learn are quite straightforward. Believe it or not, by remaining focused on your strategy and keeping things simple, you may excel more than the average investor. To set yourself up for success, here is how to get started in investing.

Don’t be intimidated…

…Don’t let intimidation stop you from making smart investments with your hard-earned money. Don’t let a lack of knowledge or understanding keep you from taking advantage of the other options available to you. Just like it’s not necessary to be an expert in kinesiology to understand that exercise is beneficial, there are plenty of resources and professionals who can help guide your investment decisions. Don’t settle for sitting on cash; make sure you explore all potential paths! You do not need to be an expert in economic trends specifically from the Southeast Asian region to recognize that diversification and minimal costs are beneficial for you. Diversifying your portfolio will spread out any potential risks, while also reducing the overall fees connected with it.

If you desire to expand your knowledge, reading solely The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, or investing websites may not be sufficient. A simpler approach is necessary for a comprehensive understanding! Despite their best efforts, the core readership of this publication is composed of market junkies and professionals who are captivated by technical details that don’t affect the fundamental strategies of intelligent investing.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and vocabulary of the stock market, Investopedia.com is a great resource for beginners. Additionally, if you have an account at one of the custodians such as Charles Schwab or Fidelity then take advantage of their call-in resources wherein you can speak with professional advisors about any related queries. If that does not suffice, consider utilizing fee-for-service companies like LearnVest which offer comprehensive education on these topics from orientation onward!

For young investors looking for guidance, algorithmic advisors (also known as Robo-advisors) are a great way to get recommendations on funds, keep track of performance and even maintain your portfolio. Visit their sites and check out the services they offer so you can make educated decisions with ease – all at an affordable price!

Lead a balanced investing life–diversify.

Trying to get healthy solely by consuming kale and lemon water unfortunately usually yields negative results, similar to investing when you heavily purchase shares in one corporation or sector (this is known as “overweighting” or “overconcentration”). I can attest to this from my experience with a juice diet – it wasn’t successful. Overinvestment creates volatility and suboptimal long-term performance.

Just like a nutritious, balanced diet is essential to your health and productivity, the same holds for your portfolio. Consider asset classes (such as stocks or bonds) as major food groups; sectors and countries can be analogous to macronutrients; whereas companies may be comparable to micronutrients. When you construct an appropriately diversified portfolio with these components in mind, it will lead not only toward permanent weight loss but also better long-term returns. Don’t be misled by the media’s hyped-up claims about particular foods or nutrients being a miracle cure for optimal health; there are many other dietary components to consider.

The silver lining is that you do not need to invest a lot of time and effort into diversifying your investments. There are plenty of brokerage firms, such as Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, which provide pre-packaged combination funds i.e., mutual funds, index funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Consequently, rather than analyzing the stocks yourself and buying them individually, it can be achieved quickly with minimal hassle via these brokerages!

ETFs are outstanding investments, due to their affordability and lack of expensive managers, marketing fees, or taxes. Brokerages such as TDAmeritrade, Fidelity, and Schwab offer the ability to purchase and sell them without any cost! This makes rebalancing a breeze while saving you money.

So what does a diversified portfolio look like?

When planning for retirement, broad market funds are the way to go. Examples of these include SPY, which mirrors the 500 most significant US companies that span all industries; URTH is a trusted source that keeps an eye on the markets of developed countries across the globe; Target Date Funds tailored around your anticipated date of retirement – and even changes to bonds as you age! Investing in such expansive portfolios is a surefire path toward financial security when it comes time for rest & relaxation.

By investing in these stocks, you get a great bargain for your money and if held onto for years can beat the performance of some of the top-paid portfolio managers out there! Oddly enough, studies demonstrate that most professional fund investors and stock pickers don’t do any better than an average market index. All that hard work with no reward… How about giving low-cost investments a try?

Think of investing like a healthy diet plan. Not only should you diversify your portfolio, but also resist selling out when the market is down or purchasing more of one asset due to recent good performance. Attempting to determine if and when something is undervalued in order to buy it, known as “market timing”, is analogous to yo-yo dieting – while it may have short-term benefits, long-term returns will suffer significantly.

The Power of Compounding

Investing your money is a delightfully rewarding experience, as even the tiniest contribution can lead to tremendous returns. This rings especially true for younger investors who have more time on their side, giving them ample opportunity to watch their savings grow exponentially. Investing now can be more advantageous than waiting until later in life- each reinvested dollar provides long-term income that multiplies with time! Unfortunately, you won’t have the same benefit when you’re older; seize this chance now and ensure financial security tomorrow.

We all understand the significance of saving early, but if you don’t invest your retirement funds, the return on investment is a mere 1% at best. With today’s low-interest rates, it will take an extended period to see any growth in that dollar. Therefore investing your money rather than keeping it stored away should be strongly considered!

If you need the money for a major expense soon (like, buying a house), there might not be an issue. But if you’re younger than 40 and don’t plan to retire until your 60s, investing in stocks with powerful compounding will increase the probability of getting better returns on your investment over time. The potential price to pay? A few years of portfolio losses could become significant during market downturns. But if you don’t need the money soon, these are merely unacknowledged paper losses and are not a major concern in the long run. Even if your investments drop drastically over short periods of time, it hardly affects their value for when you may actually require them someday.

Parting thoughts

Throughout my career, it has been patently clear that women have not taken as much ownership of their investments compared to men. If we are striving for better wages and more job opportunities, let us also ensure that our hard-earned money is invested in ways that will produce the highest returns! When you maximize your income but ignore investment possibilities, you aren’t making full use of those earnings. Don’t miss out on maximizing what resources you already possess by neglecting to invest!

Investing in knowledge and building a portfolio today will give you an immense edge in your future. Even if you struggle to stay motivated, many businesses are willing to assist! Start investing with confidence now for the brightest financial outlook later on!

The views expressed represent the opinion of the author and are not intended to reflect those of FutureAdvisor or serve as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations, or an offer to buy or sell securities.

Join Forces of Women Professionals

Stay empowered, inspired, and connected with a network of incredible women. Subscribe to our email updates today and be part of a vibrant community driving change together. Don’t miss out on exclusive content, events, and opportunities. Together, we’re more vital! Subscribe now!