“I wish that I invested in Bitcoin five years ago. I’m looking into weed stocks now.”
Sound familiar? It’s fun to discuss that investment that we didn’t make.
I’m constantly questioning myself on what to do with my money. As a personal finance blogger, the pressure’s on me to know what the best investment is. I often get quizzed by friends on what to invest in. I want to help you figure out how to invest your money when you’re feeling lost.
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” — Robert G. Allen
I’m going to assume that you want to get into investing your money. You’ve likely heard from friends or co-workers about how they’re making money from stocks or real estate or something else.
You now want to get into the game. You’re ready to start investing. You know that you should be working smart and not hard. You know that you can’t build wealth just by always saving every penny.
I want to answer one question today…
How should you invest your money when you’re not sure of what to do?
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this article, here’s my best investment tip:
Never invest your money in stuff that you don’t understand.
If you can’t explain the investment to your grandma or if you don’t know what’s going on, then watch out. It’s your money. You worked hard to earn this money. There’s no point in giving it over to something that makes no sense to you.
Please watch out for those “get rich quick” offers. The reality is that you’re not going to get rich overnight. If it was really that easy then why isn’t everyone doing it?
The good news is that you can eventually get rich if you don’t fall for every single scam. You have to avoid the temptation to jump into every offer to “make money fast.”
Oh yeah and nobody gives you the get rich quick formula for $19. We can give you solutions, help, systems, and advice. We can’t promise you $80k/month while you lay on the beach.
How should you invest your money?
You should never feel guilty about not knowing how to invest your money. Most “experts” are just guessing based on their years of experience. You’re just missing that experience.
We also earn our money in different ways. It’s easy for someone who inherited a bunch of money to tell you what to invest in when you worked like an animal for many years to get some capital together. It’s never easy to risk your own hard-earned money. It’s easier to tell someone else what to do with their money.
You’ll hear vague statements about investing like:
- “You should invest in yourself.”
- “You need to get into real estate to make real money.”
- “You can only make money with your own business.”
- “If you want to make money, you have to get into stocks.”
Don’t let general comments stress you out. There’s not one investment plan that you SHOULD be following. It’s your life. You don’t have to do anything if you’re not comfortable.
Let’s look at how you can start investing your money…
Your savings account.
You have to build yourself up first. Don’t go borrowing money to make an investment when you haven’t saved anything.
Before you can make any moves, you need the capital to do this. I recently spoke to a friend who wanted to start investing into stocks despite having no savings. I didn’t recommend this idea because I think it’s important that you spend your own money. Investing borrowed money is an advanced strategy that most of us just aren’t ready for.
Before you make an investment, build up some savings.
We’ve covered this topic extensively on here. When you get some money together, you can start thinking about investing. The good news is that you have time to research investments as your saving up.
In 2007, I really wanted to get into real estate. I finished college a semester early. I spent about 8 months on working, saving, and looking into investments. I was finally able to put a down-payment on a condo and then I started Studenomics.
If you’re not sure on how to save up then check out these two exclusive theories:
Yourself/your skills/your business.
So you’re saving up some money and now you want to know what’s next.
You have to put some money back into yourself so that you can make more money and save more money in the future.
This is where you do what you can to increase your worth so that you can make more money.
When you make more money, you have more money to put towards your savings or other investments.
The formula is like this:
Make money > save money > invest into yourself > make more money > increase savings account > make a big investment > keep on going.
Here are some ways you can look into making more money:
- How I turned coffee into cash.
- The ultimate guide to starting a side hustle.
- How to rent your place on Airbnb.
- How you can get paid to write.
- How to start an online business.
We all know what the stock market is all about. We don’t really know how to invest in the market though.
I recently wrote an extensive piece on the investing tool that I use.
Here are a few articles that I’ve written on this topic:
- What you need to know about the stock market so that you don’t lose your pants.
- How does the stock market work?
I suggest that you track stocks for fun for a few weeks. Try to read charts (see how the stock is moving), study the news, and see if you’re even into this kind of lifestyle.
If you want to get into day trading then please ensure that you have the time, money, and flexibility to do this.
I personally just got back into the stock market and will be sharing some results in the future. I believe in studying the company so that I know what I’m getting into.
You can also use Robo Advisors and have the company invest for you.
For example, you can put some of your money into individual stocks that you believe in and then put the rest of your money into index funds/mutual funds/Robo Advisors that do the investing for you.
Are you planning for your retirement? Do you want to work forever?
I always wanted to retire early. I started planning for retirement before I even turned 18. My mom had to come to the bank with my to co-sign my retirement account.
I wasn’t smart or anything. I just tried to learn from what I experienced at one of my first jobs.
I saw my good friend’s dad working past 65. This gentleman had to work at a job that he hated in his late-60s. To make matters worse, he worked at a job with us.
I worked a retail job that I didn’t take seriously when I was 16. My friend’s dad ended up getting a job with us. I knew that he had a great job before. I was confused as to why he would be working this minimum wage retail job. It turns out that his dad never thought about retirement. He just lived. He raised his family and took care of his bills. He never thought about life after work. He never put any money towards his retirement. When his company let him go in his 60s, he had to continue working.
This stressed me out. I didn’t want to work past my 18th birthday. I couldn’t imagine working at 68 (or even 38). I decided to start investing for retirement.
There are different ways to invest for your retirement depending on where you live. You can rely on your company’s pension, you can create your own investments with the stock market or real estate or you can start your own retirement account.
The trick is that you do something to think about life after work so that you’re not stuck working forever.
I’ve already shared my best advice on real estate. This is one of the most debated topics in the personal finance space.
How do you invest in real estate?
- Think of what kind of investment property you would like.
- Don’t think of your primary residence as your biggest investment.
- Ensure that there are possible tenants for your rental property by looking up ads on Kijiji.
- Run the numbers. See what your expenses would be like (mortgage, property taxes, and so on) and compare that to the rent in the community. Does it make sense to invest?
I got into real estate by purchasing a pre-construction condo ten years ago. I then rented that unit out and eventually sold it for a decent profit. I then purchased a bigger unit. You can make money on real estate through your rental fees and the appreciation in value if you decide to flip.
This is everything else from cryptocurrency to your friend’s new startup. I know friends that have made some decent money with Bitcoin. My brother put down $50 a few years ago and then made 10x his money.
On the flip side, if you don’t understand what you’re getting into, then don’t do it. Do your research, talk to real people doing this, and save up.
Here’s the exact process for investing your money…
“Money has no grey areas. You either make it or you lose it.” — Kevin O’Leary
Step 1: Begin saving up.
This is where you work to get some funds together to make a move. You can’t do much without any money in the bank.
How do you go about saving up?
- Pay yourself first.
- Increase your income.
- Cut back on some expenses.
- Keep on making more money.
- Save more.
This whole personal finance thing starts off pretty boring. It gets exciting when you see some money in the bank.
Step 2: Research everything possible about the investment.
As you’re working, you’re spending your break time to look over investments.
You’re doing the following:
- Looking at condos.
- Tracking stocks.
- Asking questions.
- Studying the experts.
Take the time to know everything about your investment so that when you have the money to make a move you’re not clueless. You want to know what you’re getting into.
Step 3: Speak to real people using this investment strategy.
Who do you know that’s doing this?
Can you reach out to some who’s making money with what you want to get into?
I asked my buddy Rob every possible question about real estate before I rented out my first property. He even let me borrow one of his lease agreements.
You have to get answers from real people so that you’re not just guessing. You have to find people who are actually making money this way so that you’re not caught up in some scheme.
Step 4: Decide where you’re going to invest your money and do it.
I started off with stocks as teenager, then I got into real estate, then I invested into Studenomics, then another property, then another condo, and now I’m back to stocks.
Make a decision on what you want to invest in and make it happen. You can start slow and then take more risks as you feel more comfortable.
You’re boring Martin! I want to invest in a hot startup.
So do it. I can only share my personal experiences. I don’t like to share theories that I haven’t applied.
I get it. My strategies can get boring. You know what’s not boring? Having money to travel and do whatever I want.
I sometimes want to put $10k down on an underdog in a UFC fight just for a quick payday.
It’s fun to talk about that one buddy from high school who got rich by investing their savings into Facebook ads to sell a detox tea or the guy that started that app. The reality is that most people are not cut out to be angel investors.
There are all sorts of advanced investment techniques out there. I don’t want you to get caught up in some investment strategy that you don’t understand. I’m assuming that you have a job and a life.
This will help you get started with investing your money. Just remember that if an investment is too good to be true, then it’s always too good to be true.
“Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.” — Warren Buffett
7 thoughts on “Feeling Lost? Investing For Beginners”
Great post, especially because many people have no idea where to begin. Keep on educating.
Thanks for the visit Shawn!
I’m the same. Each time I look at new investments I wind myself up thinking about all the opportunities I’ve missed over the years. But I guess that’s the wrong attitude to have entirely.
It’s important to not stress about the past. There’s nothing that we can do about it.
Great investing basics! I’d say invest in education and knowledge first but you don’t really need to know everything because you won’t. Say, for example, the stock market, for a lot of people investing in the stock market is so intimidating. But fear not. Nobody was born how to day trade. Best way to do it is probably learn the basic stuff and start doing it. Invest a small amount of money in the beginning and learn from there. I got better when I actually started doing it.
Amen. It’s important to always start small. Then take more risks as you make more money and become more comfortable with the process.
I love that intro. That definitely reflects the FOMO and shiny object syndrome many investors have experienced in the past two years. Great tips in the post!