Two of the most common investment questions are "what do you invest in " and "what are the best investing strategies"?
The best investing strategies are where you can maximize your return while minimizing the risk.
Bad investing advice can come from many quarters, such as wealth expos or financial advisors. If anyone promises you any type of return over 12%, 99% of the time, they are probably playing you.
There are great financial advisors out there, but many people who sell investment products just want your money. However, it's not that hard to invest for yourself.
You do not have to have a lot of money to start investing.
You've worked very hard for your money. Don't gamble on investments you don't understand, nor listen to pitches unless you solicited them.
There is a huge difference between long-term and short-term investing. Many people don't invest in stocks because they are afraid of losing money in the short term. But, that only affects you if you need money in the short term.
Many people get poor investment returns because they get emotional. Emotions around investing are simply due to a lack of knowledge.
Curb emotions through reading investing books and blogs. Once you realise how investing works, it will help take the emotion out of it.
Three essentials for successful investing: Invest in things you understand with low fees and minimal taxes.
Taxes can take a massive chunk of your investments' future earnings, so minimize their impact as much as possible. With long-term investments, first max out your 401k, Roth IRA, and SEP-IRA, since they offer a tax benefit either when you deposit or withdraw the money.
After you maxed out your 401k, Roth IRA, and SEP-IRA, invest the rest in the following:
These percentages can fluctuate during the year, depending on the value of the individual equities. As you make more money, diversification becomes more important.
For short-term investing, keep your money in a bond fund like the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund or a certificate of deposit (DC) at your local bank.
If you are willing to take on a bit more risk, put your money in a balanced index fund like the Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund, which invests in about 60% bonds and 40% stocks to generate a higher return with a slightly higher risk.
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