September 21, 2020

PFI newsletter: Start small and simple if you’re a new investor

Welcome to Personal Finance Insider, a bimonthly newsletter that connects you with the stories, strategies, and tips you need to be better with money. 

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iStock; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider


 

Here’s what: You have to start somewhere

I’m thrilled to share that we’ve launched the latest installment in our yearlong series, Master Your Money. It’s all about investing as a millennial.

We surveyed over 2,000 21-to-38 year olds about their investing habits; convened our Money Council, made up of financial professionals from various backgrounds; and dug deep into trends to bring you insight into how this generation is building wealth — and how you can, too.

If you’ve lost a job, any source of income, or a loved one because of the pandemic, investing probably has not been top of mind. But as we move toward a recovery, it’s high time to consider — or rethink — how investing fits into your overall financial plan.

It’s clear from our research that the toughest part of investing for many millennials is getting started. Putting hard-earned money into the stock market signals an acceptance that you may lose some of it, and that’s understandably difficult to stomach.

But as an investor for almost five years now, I know two things to be true: the best strategy is usually the simplest, and there’s no shame in starting small. If you want to build wealth at all, you have to start somewhere.

On September 15, I’m hosting a webinar called “How to be a Smarter Investor” where I’ll talk with two investing experts about crafting a thoughtful investment strategy, whether you’re just getting started or you’re already in the weeds. You can register here to join us!

—Tanza Loudenback, Personal Finance Insider correspondent

Expert tip of the week

“Nobody is going to force you to invest, and you don’t absolutely need to invest. However, if you’re not investing — and therefore not getting to participate in long-term compounding gains — you’re going to have to make that up through your savings. And that means the more you save, the less you can spend today.

“So if you’re not investing, then you are forcing yourself to save more and therefore live a little bit less now. If that doesn’t sound great to you, then it’s time to start investing, right?” —Certified financial planner and Business Insider contributor Eric Roberge’s advice for making investing a part of your financial plan.

Stories you might have missed

My first fight with my fiancé was over life insurance, but we finally settled on a great policy that only costs us $16 a month

Research shows that couples argue about money often. Business Insider contributor Jen Glantz gives us a thoughtful run down of one such fight she had with her fiancé about a decidedly unsexy topic. 

Even if the interest rate on your high-yield savings account has dropped, you should still leave your money alone

It’s not your bank’s fault you’re earning less on your savings. Interest rates have gone down across the board, but you can still come out ahead. 

5 red flags to look out for in investing apps, according to a behavioral finance expert

Investing apps are all the rage right now, but the use of certain colors, charts, and game-like features can lead users to act emotionally — the enemy of smart investing. 

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