Before we get started the first thing you need to know is this:
You don’t need a Ph.D. in finance, a job in Wall Street, a license, or have hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in the bank to participate in the stock market. Anyone with a consistent income and internet access to open an investing account online can start investing almost immediately. As one of my favorite investing mentors once said:
“If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it”.
With that said — that’s the “technical” part of the process which takes two seconds. Investing is more than that. It is VERY important to educate yourself on this topic before you proceed to buy your first stock or your first investment in general. Jumping into investing without knowing what you’re doing can cost you a lot of headaches, not to mention money! It could also increase the chances of making bad decisions and then getting discouraged from investing altogether which would be VERY unfortunate.
The mission of Girl$ on The Money is to educate and lessen fears regarding the stock market. Through the power of education, I want our community to feel confident, comfortable, ready, and excited to begin their investing journey.
If you’re “brand new” to the world of investing and are looking for some guidance to hit the ground running, here are a few things to note:
#1: You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. Most investing accounts today have very low (or no) account minimum requirements. This means you can start investing with $100 (or whatever you can afford right now) and then move your way up from there. You can then add money to your investing account with every paycheck or at set intervals.
Very important: Make sure you keep your emergency fund and your investing money completely separate. The money you put away in the stock market should be money you won’t need within the next 3-5 years or longer. I can’t emphasize this enough. I strongly believe in the strategy of investing for the long term and the idea of owning great companies and letting them run over time to build wealth.
Also very important: You also should never be investing with the idea that you’ll “invest first and then pay off debt” it doesn’t work that way. There are steps to this process and your very first step before investing in the stock market is to invest in eliminating your credit card and consumer debt (if you have any).
#2: Choose a method of investing that works for YOU: Ask yourself – do you want to be more “hands-on” ie:. have the freedom to choose your own stocks and investments OR would you prefer to be more “hands-off” meaning, leave it up to an algorithm or investing platform to invest on your behalf? There are many low-cost options out there that can adapt to your specific preferences. A simple Google search can help you find your ideal platform. Also, if you’ve enrolled in our free 8-day series: “Preparing Yourself To Start Investing” I go over some examples on there.
Also – I always like to add that one of the easiest ways you can get started with investing is to enroll in your employer’s retirement plan (if they have one). Enrolling in a 401(k), 403(b), or any version of such a plan will automatically get you involved in the world of investing. This was actually my personal entryway into investing back when I wasn’t sure how to do this on my own. PLUS – if your employer offers some kind of match, you’ll be getting free money in the process. Is a huge win that only takes filling out an application and perhaps having a quick conversation with your benefits manager.
#3: Start! Get the ball rolling by buying 1-2 shares of stock from a company you strongly believe in, track it for a few months, and then see how you feel. You can also kick off your investing journey by buying an ETF or an Index Fund that offers automatic diversification (such as one that tracks the S&P500 for instance). You can give yourself a “investing budget” of $200-$300 to get started. There is no need to pour your life savings into the stock market (please don’t do that!). The point of getting started is simply to start and get things moving.
Also, know this: The point of your first investment is not necessarily to “make you rich” it will be your entryway into learning a skill that will be valuable for a lifetime and which has the capacity to make you wealthy OVER TIME.
According to Google, philosopher Epictetus once said: “if you wish to be a writer, write”. My personal version of that is:
“If you want to be an investor, invest!”.
If you’d like to go more in depth with this topic, enroll in the free “Preparing Yourself to Start Investing” series, as mentioned above and/or grab our “Understanding Your Investing Options” digital guide. You can also take one of our hands-on courses on stock and/or ETF investing for beginners. Links to join the waiting list are below.
Questions/comments/feedback about any of the above? feel free to reach out. Comment below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers to profits,
Courses & resources for beginners focused around stock and fund investing:
Stock Market Investing Bootcamp for Beginners: Sign up here for details and to join the waiting list.
ETF and Fund Investing for beginners: Sign up here for details of our upcoming class.
Looking for an amazing investing book? Check out our Amazon Bestseller!