The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
So, I have heard that you are thinking about investing, but you don’t know where to start. I am sure you have heard the narrative before that ‘women are terrible with money,’ and that investing is a ‘man’s game.’ Women invest 40% less than men do, and with the increase of women campaigning to break down financial literacy barriers and open up conversations about finance, investing can be yet another innovative step to encourage women in financial spheres and help contemplate their future assets with a little less confusion. The mystery of the world of investing, which often prevents women from engaging with it, can make them nervous about making such an endeavour. So, learn about the four easy tips that will help you start your investment journey.
1. Creating an investment roadmap
A great first step is to create a roadmap of what it is exactly you want to achieve. You should always establish what you believe in and try to stay away from things that don’t align with you or have a higher level of risk than you can tolerate. To be comfortable with the investment, you need to know what the product or the company is about. Risk should always be a known factor in creating your investment roadmap, but don’t be scared, we call this making a calculated risk – which means that you are not investing blindly or picking out the first thing you see. You can do this by finding the value of your product, which if you have ever purchased anything valuable in your life, is easy to determine and is made even easier by the internet! To assess your potential reward, start by looking at price, quality, the opinions of professionals, and the company’s track record and history.
2. Know your financial safety net
Creating an emergency fund and knowing your limit are essential aspects of starting your investment journey. Making sure that you are financially comfortable makes the experience a little less daunting. Having a disposable income that has no interference with your investment plans will come to good use if you make mistakes. The worst thing is to pump all of your earnings and savings into investments without the safety net that is there to catch you when you fall! If the value of the product or the company drops, it will be less financially detrimental to your life. Remember that investing is a long-term commitment, so it is paramount that you can maintain stability if things don’t work out.
3. Understanding the vocabulary
The problem I’ve always had with the financial field is that I am often not familiar with the vocabulary surrounding the topic. Perhaps that’s why anything financial has always seemed so daunting to me. I experienced this when I first started to look into investing; there were things I simply didn’t understand, and to say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. But when I broke it down and started to understand what the words actually meant, I started to see where potential investments could go. To give you a little bit of an idea, there are lots of types of investment but two of the most well-known are Stocks and Funds:
A. Stocks (Shares)
Lots of investors choose to invest their money in stocks. Stocks are essentially shares of a company, and with a lot of research into finding a good one, stocks are a great way to invest. Essentially, the value of stocks increases or decreases based on the company’s performance, namely how successful or poorly the company is doing at any given time. The money will reveal itself in two ways: via dividends, which means that the company is likely to distribute some of its earnings to shareholders; or via capital gains, which refers to stocks that are continuously sold. Thus, when you sell a stock at a price higher than what you paid for it, your profit is known as a capital gain. Conversely, if you sell your shares at a lower price than you paid for them, it is called a capital loss.
Investment into funds has been gaining in popularity in recent years and it is done best with the use of an investment app. Funds collate money from lots of different investors and distribute them in a variety of different ways. Furthermore, the funds often coincide with a specific theme or idea. For example, it would be possible to find specified tech funds that focus on investing in the technology field.
4. Start with apps that help you along
If you have caught on so far, great! If not, do not worry, all is not yet lost. If you’re looking for some help, there are investment apps online intended for Robo-investing that aid low-cost investment at a minimal effort. There are many to choose from but make sure you do your research on what each is offering you because you will usually pay a small percentage as a fund management fee. This type of investment is used alongside an algorithm. Typically, the goal of a Robo-investing platform is to help you get started and understand the platform whilst creating a diversified portfolio independently. This is also great because it means that you can learn by only investing small amounts of money until you learn the ropes and become a finance guru.
Overall, there are many recommendations online that can be a good place to start.