Investing is scary. It doesn't have to be.
We will help demystify some of it and get you on the right track.
How to Get Started
Investing is full of jargon but in this explainer post on how to invest your first $1000, I break it all down. It explains many of your options, how they are related, and the best approaches to take. This is the vocabulary you'll need to succeed.
When you get older, or if you have irregular income now, you can start thinking about income producing assets and passive income ideas that may supplement your day job. These will help smooth out the bumps.
Finally, don't forget to invest in yourself. Sometimes it makes more sense to invest in your education, your skills, or your abilities so you can earn more over your lifetime. Earning a college degree can an increase in lifetime earnings by over $1 million, according to a study out of Georgetown (2015). So the best investment may not be in the public markets but in yourself.
After that, there are just minor details.
Double Check Your 401(k)
For most, your 401(k) or similar tax-deferred investment option alternative, is going to be the financial engine of your retirement. For every 1% in fees, you lose 3 years of retirement.
Do yourself a favor and run your 401(k) through the free analysis tool called Blooom. Blooom will connect with your 401(k), look through your options, and tell you if you're overpaying on fees. It's very easy to overpay because most people set their investment choices and allocation when they're hired… then never look at it again. I know I did.
Robo-advisors are companies that will help you invest your money for you in those low-cost funds. They will handle the re-balancing, tax loss harvesting, and other tax efficiencies for a small cost.
Reviews of some of the more popular robo-advisors:
Here is a head to head comparison of a few popular investing apps – Betterment vs. Stash vs. Acorns vs. Robinhood.
Real Estate Crowdfunding Investments
Real estate crowdfunding is one of the newest ways investors can put their money in real estate in a diversified way. We take a deep dive into how they work, a brief look at some of the best sites, and whether or not it makes sense for you.
If you're still unsure, here are 8 reasons why I think crowdfunded real estate investing is the future.
Reviews of popular real estate crowdfunding investing sites:
Don't have a million bucks lying around? (i.e. you are a non-accredited investor?) We take a look at the best real estate investment options for non-accredited investors too.
One of the popular subjects in personal finance is the idea of “early retirement.” There's no such thing, you retire when you retire whether it's at 35 or 65. It's early if you say it is.
But if you want to retire on your terms, it's important to understand the math. Here are the best early retirement calculators to help you math out what you need and when, including projections and planning help.
If inspiration is what you're after, check out some of the best early retirement (FIRE) blogs for that extra boost you need.
Once you have the basics, you can add to your knowledge by dabbling in a few other areas. The biggest ones for me include dividend growth investing and looking at increasing efficiency using short term investments.
If you're looking for a way to gift stock, Stockpile is a great service to consider.
Understanding what the CAPE measures and how it works is good knowledge to have, though it tempts you to time the market.