So you haven’t got your investing life together just yet for one reason or another. Maybe you were never taught to invest, and you were told to only save your money. Maybe you watched someone loose a ton of money in the market or in the 2008 crash. Maybe you don’t know where to start or you are just worried you’ll mess up.
Well…the only way to mess up is to not invest!! So don’t have investment fears!
Some people like to dip their toe into the water and others cannon ball in. I have done both in my early days. I started my Roth IRA with $50 a month and then about 4 months later I bought $5,000 of gold bullion in a big gamble (CANNON BALL!!). Now of course I max out my Roth IRA and I got out of gold forever. But the key to wealth growth investing your hard earned money.
There are many different ways to invest your money and here are a few I have done over the years to help boost your confidence.
- Invest in yourself: I took 5 years to get a 2 year Master’s degree. I knew it would allow me to work jobs that I couldn’t even apply for, and I knew the investment in my degree would pay me back in salary and make me more money over time. I love my Master’s degree because it is an investment in myself. Earning it never felt like work, but an intellectual vacation from my life once a week for 3 hours. When I researched, read, and wrote papers I was investing in my skills as an employee and as a more well rounded person ready to contribute to society. investing in yourself usually happens when you’re young, but can really happen anytime in your life. I still invest myself with weekend trip breaks or date nights with my wife for relationship building. I also go to conferences, coaching clinics, college practices, and other trainings to help me better myself. Most of the time I meet people and network, so later I have a small army that can help if trouble arises.
- Roth IRA’s: I have written about these with the link to the left, but this was my first real investment. I starting adding money automatically to my Roth monthly and as it grew in contributions I diversified into the Dave Ramsey approach with mutual funds within my Roth IRA. (25% Growth, 25% Growth and Income, 25% Aggressive Growth, and 25% International) I still love seeing my tax free money grow automatically with no effort on my part. Every month it gets withdrawn and I check it quarterly to see how it is doing.
- Bitcoins: Ok, I’m dipping my toes in with this one. I bought $100 worth of Bitcoin to test the waters and so far I’ve made $40. I do enjoy that it is traded 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and I can watch it on my app with Coinbase. It’s not something I am getting serious about, but I am learning about cryptocurrency with my toe in the water. I am watching the wild fluctuations in value, and seeing what news makes the value move up or down. I may get more confidence in this in the future and automate my buying each month.
- Individual Stocks: This is what most people think of when they think of investing. I buy some stock then try to time the market. I buy very little stocks, but I do have mine with Stockpile. I have parts of stocks ($5 here or there), and I can even get small dividends such as $0.06 from Starbucks the other day. The most I have in any one stock is $50 in Winnebago and it is doing great with baby boomers retiring and hitting the road lately. This is basically gambling and I only play with about $500 at a time with my Stockpile account. If you decide to buy lots of stock the warren Buffett advice is to hold it forever. No day trading.
- Housing: I’m on my second house and made about $6,000 on my first house which I lived in during our housing meltdown and sold 3 years ago. However, my area is currently booming and my current house has been skyrocketing lately. I’m sure since materials for housing are scarce at the moment, due to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, my house will continue to go up in value. So, if you are looking for a starter home, buy at the bottom of the market. Unless, you are planning to live in your house forever like my current home. You can also use houses as rental properties or try to flip them if television has inspired you and you have the skills.
- 403b or 401k: I don’t invest in my 403b anymore, and am not eligible for a 401k as a teacher, but if your work matches your 401k then use it. Free money is worth it for sure!! If they match a certain amount or a percentage then invest to their max limit and get the max free money. Contact your human resource department tomorrow to get this set up and watch it grow!! Even if you plan on leaving your job you can always roll it over to your new job or into a Roth IRA, so you can keep your free money. Give yourself a raise and get this done tomorrow!!
- Land: I haven’t personally done this, but I have heard of people buying lots or acreage and holding it for a while in a given growth area and double their money in a year or less. I have also heard of people buying worthless desert land or other undesirable land for $500 or less sometimes and reselling it the next week for $750 for a quick profit. You can also rent your land to tiny house people, or put billboards on it for advertising. You can farm it, ranch it, hunting leases, or put a business on it. Shooting ranges are money makers and so are RV parks. One day i may consider this. After driving through northwest Nevada this summer I did find land for under $1,000 an acre. Maybe one day I’ll try to flip a piece of land and write about here.
- Online Bank Accounts: Since CD rates are terrible these days online accounts are your next best thing. You won’t make much here, but since you currently are getting 0.01% in your savings account, this may be a better option for those too worried about losing their savings. I have heard Ally has 1.2% for their online savings accounts. You can also get free money from banks by setting up accounts and getting $500 from Chase bank after 6 months. These may appeal if you are super low risk. I also hear a new online bank is starting October 2018 called Beam offering 2-4% guaranteed interest rates. I signed up on the wait list to try these out. Sometimes things are too good to be true.
There are many other ways to start your investing and I am only mentioning ones that I personally do or am researching to try. But, don’t let fear take hold and cause you to never start investing. Take the leap or dip the toe, either way you are learning on the way and you learn most from your mistakes. I hate my 403b, and have been stuck in it for 5 years waiting for this January, so I can roll it into my Roth IRA with no penalty fees. Just get started today investing in something, and put your money to work for you. Mutual funds are safer than individual stocks, so access you risk level and give investing a try. Remember that it is a long term game and everyone wins who stays in it long term. the market has ups and downs but over any 40 year period it has always gone up making you money in the end. Don’t miss out on that free money for setting it up, automating it, and watching the numbers grow each and every month.