3 tips that can make investing less scary

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According to a recent study by BNY Investment Management, only 28% of women feel confident about investing some of their money. One of the reasons why women don’t invest more, according to the survey, is that they see it as excessive betting: as many as 45% of women surveyed said that investing money in the stock market – either directly or in a fund – is too risky.

Tori Dunlap, founder of Her First 100K, tries to dispel this myth. She reached her goal of saving $100,000 before her 25th birthday and now teaches women how to budget and how to grow their wealth through investing. His company recently launched a community board called Treasury where members can join discussion forums and discuss how to manage investments.

When she was 21, Dunlap started her Roth IRA with $500. Six years later, between her Roth IRA and her traditional IRA, she has more than $60,000, thanks to her own contributions and market gains.

She wasn’t always confident in her investment abilities: “I remember connecting to Scottrade [now TD Ameritrade] and immediately feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what those things meant. Dunlap and his father researched definitions of various terms and what stocks they should invest in. “It might as well be written in German,” she says.

Today, one of her company’s goals is to help women get out of their investment anxiety. For many of her clients, she says, they just feel like they don’t know enough and it’s “too complicated.” It doesn’t have to be.

“Analysis paralysis is costing you a ton of money,” she says. “If you’re afraid of losing money, buy and hold.”

This is all the more true as time is an important factor when it comes to investing. The earlier you start investing, the more years you have for compound interest to potentially work in your favor and help you grow your wealth. “Even if it’s just $50 or $100 a month [you can invest]time is more important than money,” she says.

Here are three of his top tips for feeling more comfortable investing and some lower-risk ways to get started.

talk to your friends

After a quick consultation on how to invest, many of Dunlap’s clients say to him, “Oh, is it that simple?

That’s why it’s important to talk about investing with your friends, she says. “We are socially conditioned not to talk about money,” she says. “Come on, ‘Hey, I was thinking about opening a Roth IRA.’ Say, “I have a 401(k) for work. Do you have one? Start having conversations like that.”

Discussions like this can be educational and give you the confidence you need to get started.

Talk to your business

In addition to talking to your friends, tell your business about the investments they will match.

“If you have a workplace retirement program, especially if you have a job shadowing program, your company will give you double your money,” she says. “Please enjoy. If you don’t know if you have one, ask.”

Try index funds

One of the least risky ways to invest, says Dunlap, is to own index funds. Index funds are a type of investment that tracks the performance of a particular benchmark index. If you own an S&P 500 index fund, for example, you own a diversified portfolio that tracks the performance of the 500 largest US companies.

Index funds are the most common type of investment option to select from in many 401(k) plans or with automated investment services such as robo-advisors.

We are socially conditioned not to talk about money.

Tori Dunlap

Founder of her first 100k

Generally, “index funds are stable over time,” says Dunlap. “Constant, long-term investment is made over a period of decades. Not weeks, not months, not even a year.”

The famous investor Warren Buffett is also a fan of index funds. “In my opinion, for most people, the best thing to do is to own the S&P 500 index fund,” which would track the S&P 500, he said at one of his company’s virtual annual meetings. in 2020.

Remember, says Dunlap, if an action seems too good to be true, it probably is. Instead of following trendy stocks, focus on long-term investments.

“Investing doesn’t have to be sexy, it has to be stable,” she says. “You don’t need a lot of money to get started. Time is more important than money.”

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