(BPT) - If you’re unsure of how to start planning for your financial future through investing, you’re far from alone.
In fact, it might surprise you to know that 80 million Americans are interested in investing but don’t know where to begin. Yahoo Finance even reports that 54% of millennials have less than $5,000 of their money invested into stocks, bonds, real estate or other holdings. While many feel they lack the funds, others are intimidated or simply don’t know how to initiate solid investments. But that lack of action could hurt their financial standing later in life, according to the report.
At the recent Create & Cultivate 2022 LA Conference, Maya Sudhakaran, Head of Growth and Acquisition of Plynk, noted that, “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that perfection is the enemy of good. There is so much intimidation and fear associated with dipping your toes into the world of investing, that most people don’t do it.”
Fortunately, investing doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or financially burdensome, and it’s never too late to learn. With that in mind, here are simple suggestions for getting started.
Invest money you won’t need today (or tomorrow). The market has historically trended upward over long periods, but it can be unpredictable in the short term.
That's why it's safer to invest money you won't need for immediate needs like your rent, groceries, car payment or emergency savings. Instead, use the funds available after you’ve paid your monthly bill, whether they amount to $10 or $100. That rule of thumb lets you plan for the future without jeopardizing your everyday financial well-being.
Understand you can start investing with just $1. This allows for you to learn by doing versus feeling like you can’t start investing at all. Until recently, the only way you could buy stock was by having the funds to buy an entire share, plus transaction fees. With new investing app Plynk, you can invest in a stock (or exchange-traded fund or mutual fund) with as little as $1 by buying a "fractional share." In essence, you’re able to put your money into a portion of a company’s stock rather than having to buy the whole share, helping you learn about investing by actually investing.
Invest manageable amounts on a regular basis. Rather than waiting till you have a sizable amount like $1,000 to invest each year, make the process seem more doable by setting aside $20 a week or $100 a month. That may seem even easier if you arrange for recurring investments; you’ll still have control of what you buy but won’t need to log in every time to place a trade.
Don’t try to time the market. The choice of whether to sell and take a loss is yours, but consider this: Even professional money managers struggle to time the market successfully over short-term periods. That’s why successful investors tend to tune out short-term "noise" and stay focused on their long-term goals.
Rather than trying to time the market, focus on choosing investments you believe in — then stick to your plan.
Be patient with yourself. Try not to get down on yourself if your investing schedule gets off track — that happens to everyone at some point. Just acknowledge it, reflect on it and get ready to regroup tomorrow, next week or next month. What matters isn’t that you missed a milestone or delayed making moves, but that you started in the first place. Understand that any progress adds up over time, no matter how small the increments.
You don’t need to be a financial expert to start on the path toward achieving your future financial goals and to begin investing. Thanks to Plynk, the new, no-experience-required investment app for novices, you can begin with as little as $1. Even better, during the Learn & Earn promotion, available from August 18 through October 20, you can earn up to $50 in bonuses: $10 just for signing up with a brokerage account and linking your bank account, and up to a $40 investment match for learning by doing via the targeted articles in the app. Find more info at plynkinvestcom.