If you’re in your 30s like I am, you may have spent your 20s paying off student loans, climbing the corporate ladder and learning how to budget like I did. Now that I’ve figured all that out it’s time to start investing.
I paid off all my student loans, finally found my perfect job in the finance world and am living debt free. Now that all those things are complete I can finally shift my money goals towards learning how to invest.
Actually that’s not true, I’m a Financial Planner and I do know how to invest, how the stock market works and the importance of investing over the long term, I just never had the money to do so. But all that has changed in 2016. For over 10 years I’ve given people advice on how to invest their money, I’m happy to say that as of today I can start to take my own advice.
If you’re in your 30s and starting to invest for the first time here are four tips to get you going:
Start off small
This is fair warning that the stock market and investing can be addictive. I know firsthand both personally and professionally how people can always want to find the next big thing and buy it quick so they don’t lose out. Buying low and selling high is how to make a profit when investing.
My advice is to start off small, don’t invest lump sums of money into something you don’t yet understand or even know you like – and stay away from foreign investments. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your investment accounts on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. This way you’re buying into the market regularly at small intervals.
Don’t diversify too much
The first thing you usually hear about investing in your 30s – or at any age – is don’t put all your eggs into one basket. This is true for large sums of money, it’s not really applicable when you’re investing gradually over time.
Once you have a nice sum of money you can talk to a professional and learn about your different investment options. However when you’re starting out it’s a good idea to concentrate on one investment, learn about how the market affects your money and get familiar with your account statements. From there you can move on to bigger and better things.
Keep investing over the long term
I think six to 12 months is a good time for rookies to get used to the investment lifestyle. Trust me it is a lifestyle, once you get comfortable with investing and watch your money grow you will find yourself spending less and saving more so you can invest.
Don’t cash out your investments at the first sign of profit. Just remember that you’re in it for the long term and how your money performs in the short term isn’t too relevant.
Talk to a professional
Before you decide to purchase any type of investment talk to a professional who can help you decide which type of account to open and which investments are good for beginners.
Just remember don’t jump into anything too fast, take your time to research your options and avoid throwing your life savings into the same investment. Keep those tips in mind and you’ll be just fine. Now start investing.