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The Beginner's Guide to Investing
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Jamara (She/Her)
Financial Educator
Posted January 26, 2021
Growth is something we all want to achieve when it comes to our financial prosperity. There are different ways to develop a healthy plan for the future. One way to achieve financial progression, after developing a basic savings, is investing. To invest means you are devoting your time and energy into something with the expectation of results. When someone invests financially, they are allocating money to specific resources with the goal of gaining a returned profit. The idea of investing can be intriguing, but most often those who would like to invest simply don’t know where to start.
Start with saving
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The first step toward investing is to save. It is important to have healthy savings management skills before deciding to invest. Investing offers a higher potential growth for your money compared to most savings options. However, with that potential growth comes risk and the higher the potential return is often associated with higher risks. Therefore, saving money for investing is imperative. You want to make sure that the money you are investing has been specifically set aside for that investment and not something you may need.
Know your goal
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What is the reason behind your financial decision to invest or save? When saving money, it is important to understand your goals and expected outcomes. Knowing whether your goal is long-term or short-term will help you to decide what type of investment is best for achieving that goal. When saving, you want to get organized and start with knowing all the details of your current financial situation. Once you understand where you stand financially, you can develop a plan to start saving for the future. This plan should be realistic and measurable. Get your savings plan in motion and when you have achieved your savings goal, you will then be ready to invest.
Do your research
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When it is time to invest, make sure to do your research. One of your first decisions will be to either get professional help with managing your investments or to do it on your own. Although investing experts charge a fee for their services, getting professional advice may be beneficial, even if it is just to understand options that best fit what you are looking for. There are different options for investing such as real estate, stocks, bonds and mutual funds and there are pros and cons to each. Understanding how each of these different types of investments work will help you determine what investment feels right for you.

For example, mutual funds are a type of investment that will blend your money with other investors in the purchase of stocks or bonds. This will give you an assortment of investments instead of having all your money in one place. This differs greatly from investing in real estate, which leaves your funds tied up in one place until the property or land is sold. Either of these options could offer a profit, but each option has different risks. Knowing how and what to invest in will make your strategy all the more successful.
Understand the risks
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When devoting your funds into something for profit, you will want to make sure you know what types of risks may be involved. For example, stocks give you part ownership of a company. The growth of your stocks are determined by the performance of that particular company. Outside factors can also affect the rise and fall of a company as well, and this will also impact the value of your stock. It is always a good option to invest in diverse industries and companies to lessen the amount of risk that you take.

Also, it is important to know that things can change often when investing. There may be days where your investments look more promising than others. Do not panic as the value of investments fluctuates up and down because that doesn’t mean you are losing money. Investing is a long-term activity, so understanding the risks will better prepare you for all outcomes.
Ready to begin
Financial success is something that we want to achieve and investing is one of the best ways you can commit to growing your money over time. Knowing how to save, managing your money, and doing your research will help you to be successful when you begin to invest in your financial future. Take the time to set aside money for your investments, this way you are not interfering with your daily or monthly living expenses. Know what your goal is and whether it is long-term or short-term. Figure out how you would like to manage those investments and remember that seeking financial advice or help can be beneficial. Explore what kinds of investment vehicles are out there and when deciding to invest, know your risks.
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