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Investing for Beginners


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I need help.

I would like to start investing, but I really don't know where or how to start. It seems like there are so many options...index funds, savings bonds, crypto, Robinhood, and on and on and on. Is there anyone on this board that has lots of experience and can help a brother out? How and where do I start? How much money should I start out with? Can I do this on my own or should I have an advisor? What other questions should I be asking?

Edited by ScootsMcGoots
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I’m far from an expert, but lot of variables go into it, most importantly, what you are looking for right now? Short term or long term? Risk or little risk?

Here would be a few very general tips:

- Do your homework, but invest in what you like/believe in. If you’ve never heard of the company and you have no interest in what they produce, don’t invest 

- One of the safest things you can do (in my opinion) is investing in something like VOO, which is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. It’s a collection of the stocks traded on the s&p 500 which is fairly safe and also diverse. Its going to move slow but one of the safer ETF’s you can go with 

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Highly recommend spending money on financial news sources but not investment news sources. WSJ and bloomberg news will help build your strong opinions on what may be undervalued/on the rise/ready to sell. Investment info makes you feel like you should be making constant adjustments.

But yes, i'd just recommend putting aside some money in VOO or SPDR and then when you feel strongly about some individual sector or stock, it will be easier to perform research on its status and how to invest in it.


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To me, an advisor is worth it if you have a decent amount of cash/retirement/etc and looking for what to do.  The benefits of what to do from a tax perspective, what types of accounts to have, etc can all be worth it with the right advisor.  


That said, let's talk personal investing.  There are general rules to follow:

  • Maxout company sponsored retirement
  • Keep fees as low as possible
  • Avoid leverage and individual stocks
  • Stay in the game and compound as much as you can

How many years to retirement are you?

How risk adverse are you and will you stay invested during the bad times?

How much reserve cash do you need for emergencies?

Tons of questions to answer for yourself, but the important thing is (especially if you are younger) to not worry about timing the market and spend hours looking up individual stocks, the math is 100% there to support buying low cost index funds like VOO (as mentioned above) and not touching it until you get closer to retirement.  


In terms of resources, I REALLY recommend checking out The Compound and Friends podcast, which is hosted by Ritholtz Wealth Mgmt, and they have some great podcasts specifically for individuals such as Portfolio Rescue.  I listen to 4 of their podcasts probably weekly, I'm actively trading and investing though so I like to keep up with it all.  


TCAF - weekly podcast with someone in the industry to talk through what's happening in the market, background of that person, insights, etc.  Sometimes it's traders, sometimes its journalists, sometimes its analysts, this is what got me to these guys.

Animal Spirits - 1-2 a week about what's happening in the market, hot topics, etc

Ask the Compound - Portfolio rescue podcast, they take questions from listeners (prior to podcast) and talk through their answers from a financial advisor position, and they'll bring in experts from their company to talk about tax, insurance, FA, etc.  Maybe the best place for you to start.  

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