At long last, we’ve come to kick start your 2021 investing resolutions! Whether you’ve never opened an investment account before, or you’re a seasoned pro looking to try your hand at a new type of investment, we want to help you get started. I don’t know about you, but my life is much simpler when I have multiple lists. Grocery lists. To-Do lists. You name it, I’ll take it. So, for all you list lovers out there we’ve created a pre-investing checklist that you’re welcome to use as is, or adapt to fit your needs. Without further ado, here is our recommended roadmap for starting a new investment.
Nail down your values & goals
This seems pretty self-explanatory at first glance, but it’s more than just identifying your financial goals. If you don’t already have a clear list of what you value from a company, and from life in general, this could be a good exercise in self-reflection. Once you’re more familiar you are with what you hold valuable, you’ll be able to make better decisions down the road.
Remember, you don’t have to settle for any company, investment strategy, or financial plan that doesn’t align with what you hold valuable EVEN if those things seem like the only option to reach your goals. I promise there are other options out there, which brings us to step two.
Research types of investments and strategies
It’s hard to choose the best options when you don’t know what all of the options are. Good news for you, In the world of investing, the options are almost limitless and there is always something new to learn. Now that you have your values and goals clearly defined, it’s time to research the investment options that align with what’s important to you.
There are many different investment account options out there, from IRA’s to mutual funds, micro-investing, and major stock market stalking. If you already have one of these accounts, great! You have some frame of knowledge to work off of and can now decide where or not you want to change course this time around. If you have none of these accounts, that’s also great! It means you’re about to make a really smart decision for your financial future.
No matter where you’re standing on your investor timeline, researching the options you have is crucial to having confidence in your new account. Once you know what kind of investment you’re looking to make, it’s time to get your ducks in a row.
Determine your starting amount
By ducks, we mean your dollars. This is the not so fun part for a lot of people, especially first-time investors. We get it. You’ve worked hard to save up all of this money and now it feels like you’re losing it because you don’t see any instant gratification and you might have to wait a bit longer for results depending on the investment route you’ve chosen.
But making an investment is not the same as making a purchase. Yes, you’re going to have some risk, but in most cases, you have a say in how much risk you’re okay with. And if you’re working with smart people who know how to manage your money well, you’ll gain far more than you feel to have lost, but we’ll elaborate on that later.
For most investment accounts, you’ll need to have a reasonable amount of cash ready to play with. Now the exact numerical value is dependent on a lot of factors, so we won’t give you a magic number to meet, but unless you’re looking to micro invest, you’re probably going to want to have an amount with more than two digits.
Select a management company
This is the exciting part because it’s kind of like dating. You know what you value, what you want your financial future to look like, you’re prepared to make the leap, and now you’re looking for the right partner to support you and help you grow in the right direction.
Choosing the right management company typically comes down to a few things. Reputation and creditability, personality and connection, and the ability to clearly communicate how they can help you succeed. You don’t want to go into business with the first management company that crosses your path simply because they were the first. Do your research, ask the tough questions, and read their customer testimonials to figure out if the company is really a good fit for you. Also, do not feel bad if you want to shop around a little bit. Some companies may offer you things you didn’t even know you wanted, like a “no asset minimum policy”, or the ability to start impact investing.
Open your investment account!
Depending on who you choose to invest with, this might take a little bit. Sure there will be some forms that need your signature, and maybe a few follow-up meetings, but after you’ve dotted your i’s and crosses your t’s you can relax! You’ve done everything you need to do to let your hard-earned money work for you, rather than letting it collect dust bunnies under your mattress.
Hopefully, this breakdown helped clarify that starting to invest isn’t as scary as it sounds and depending on the management company you choose it can take as little as 5 minutes to get started. Plus, you’d be able to say you completed your New Years’ resolution two weeks into the year, and we think that’s pretty awesome.