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Investing for Beginners: 4 Tips for Understanding How it Works

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You’ve decided you’re ready to start investing, but you keep second guessing how much you know about the market. Don’t second-guess yourself so much you miss out on planning for the future.

Knowing about the investing and the stock market can be key to financial security. Do you want to hand your retirement savings over to a bank and hope they invest it wisely? Or do you want to know what’s happening with your money—to guide it yourself and make savvy decisions that will protect your future?

If you’re interested in learning about the investing, but aren’t sure where to start, try out some of these resources. You’ll be trading like a pro in no time.

Investing for Beginners: Resources

Websites and publications like Kiplinger provide a huge amount of information about investing including, everything from what exactly is the difference between a stock and a bond, to which new investments make good risks and which you should avoid. You can learn about how the market works generally to begin, then move on to educating yourself about specific companies and investments. Other great resources are Businessweek or Stocks & Commodities.

Take a Class About Investing

If trying to learn everything on your own seems overwhelming, find a class to take. Companies like the Online Trading Academy or Bulls on Wall Street offer courses that teach you how the stock market works, how to set up a portfolio, and what pitfalls a novice trader should be wary of. Most include “fantasy trading” with a theoretical portfolio so you can practice your skills. You can find one in your area or take a class online.

Stay Updated on the Market

Once you start investing real money, don’t just let it sit there. Resources like MarketWatch give you up-to-the-minute information on how the market is doing. Keep yourself educated and informed, and keep your portfolio active.

Understand How Your Behavior Affects Your Money

One of the most important—but most overlooked—aspects to investing is our own emotions.

In fact, the impact of behavioral biases on investing is so well documented that you can only gain by understanding how these innate flaws interfere with your goals—and you can set up your financial life to get around them. Before you start dipping your toe into the markets, it’s worth some time to read up on behavioral economic basics. Betterment, an automated investing service for IRAs, has interesting research dedicated to behavior and investing where you can learn more.

Or, Let the Experts Do the Work

Research shows that you’re likely to suffer lower returns when you try to time the market. If you’d prefer not tot become an expert on investing, let the experts do the work for you. Betterment offers a globally diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which combine low-cost indexing, tax-efficiency and technology to offer a truly flexible and modern investment product.

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Remember, the ultimate responsibility for your money rests with you. By educating yourself about the stock market, you take control of your financial future—and that’s something every woman should do.

This post was originally published on GoGirl Finance.

Photo: jarmulok / Pixabay

Topics:

#Money Investing #Finance Tips Career Advice
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