Investing for Beginners: Getting Started On Your Portfolio

Too many people today look at the news today and think, “I’ll never be the next (insert rich and famous person here)!” and then just give up. If you want to invest, that is your first mistake. These people you’re comparing yourself to, the Mark Zuckerbergs and Beyoncés of the world, are exceptions. It’s both daunting and unrealistic to expect yourself to achieve their level of financial success right off the bat. To get there, you have to start small.  It may be hard to remember now, but they were not overnight superstars, either!

Investing for the first time can be a terrifying prospect. The vocabulary is unfamiliar, the market huge and threatening, options are endless, it’s hard to know who you can really trust, and if you make the wrong choice, you could lose everything. Sure, if you only want to look at the possible negatives! But, that isn’t a healthy way to start investing. Instead of looking at what you don’t know, and what you don’t have, look at what you do know, and what you do have.

First, you have a desire to invest, to make your money work for you. That’s a great place to start! Even if you don’t know anything else, you already have a leg up. The next step, well, is to take steps! Even doing one productive thing every day will add up. Pretty soon, you’ll be so much closer to your goal!

So start small. Take baby steps. Developing an investment strategy that works for you is a learning process. A few tips to get started investing:

  • Read some investment blogs, which will give you a good overview.
  • Pick up a book on investing. Standards & Poor’s Guide to Money and Investing is a great introduction to the basic vocabulary and mechanics of the industry.
  • Start saving whatever you can. Even $1,000 in savings is a great beginning. Begin with these little changes, and soon enough, you’ll be able to make some bigger investments!

-Elle