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How to figure out how to start investing?

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Muhammad’s Answer

I am still learning....but I would advise the following:

- Save money. This is definitely the first step for investing.
- Determine your investing strategy (know yourself). Are you okay with loosing the money you have invested? Do you want a guaranteed return? When do you want the money? Is it important that the money be liquid?

- Now that you have the money and know yourself you can look at potential investment option:
- Retirement accounts: these are relatively safe investments with an approx. guaranteed return, but your money is locked till retirement. Some options are 401K & IRA plans.
- Trading stocks: I would advise against day trading. When you day trade you are competing against some serious traders, who may even have access to some serious computing power (super computers) to predict market trends. Even with all that, you're never guaranteed a return & it's very high risk. Day trading takes a lot of knowledge, experience and willingness to take risk. On the other hand, as a starting point you may look into ETFs that track the entire market e.g. S&P 500. Lastly if you want to dabble in actually trading stocks, then research the industry that interests you most. Figure out what is going on in that industry.....if the prices are low, high (buy low, sell high). e.g. due to the pandemic all travel, airlines, malls, oil industries are down.....but one can speculate that they may come back in a few years. Once again, this isn't entirely day trading, you'd be holding your position over a longer time, trying to predict when the prices will go high & sell to make a profit.

- ETFs are similar to mutual funds, but you may choose to also invest in a mutual fund directly. These may require a commitment to keep the money in the fund for a specific time and may have cut-offs for entry.
- CDs: These are issued by the US government and have a guaranteed return rate after maturation. These are the least risky but also have the lowest historic return.

- Physical assets or business. This is the last option I can think of. Instead of betting on the market, you can choose to bet on yourself, a friend or real estate. Real estate is relatively high right now, due to shortages in lumbers. Once again, knowing the industry helps make a decision on buying low/ selling high. Some folks even buy and rent etc. But all this may require a much larger capital than the other investing options.

Hope this summary helps. This should help you get started on your research. Lastly, I'd say once you've decided to invest......DO IT. A lot of people think about investing but never actually commit. A lot these things, you'll only pick up from experience. But, always invest money that you are willing to loose or loose partially. Always keep a certain level of saving separate from your investments to sustain you through the downturns/losses.

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Cameron’s Answer

I'm no stock expert, but investment websites like E*trade and Vanguard are great places to start! They make investing in stocks or mutual funds pretty easy to understand.

If you are working and your employer offers you a 401k plan, I would also recommend setting aside some of your paycheck to your retirement account. Even though your take-home pay will decrease, that amount you put aside will grow and help you in the future.
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Mae’s Answer

Depends on how old you are. The younger you are the better. Also it depends on what your are trying to do? Is it for retirement. If it is for retirement you should save 15 - 20 percent in Growth, Growth Income, International if you are young (20s and 30s). Max out your Roth IRAs at work and in general. If you save for 20yrs you will have $1 million dollar by the time you retire. Also try not to obtain debt via Credit card or student loans. If you have these, it should be paid off first before investing.
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Holly’s Answer

I would suggest saving as a portion of your income at a comfortable living rate. Invest in Vanguard or something similar where your money can gradually earn interest overtime.
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Keith’s Answer

Have money to invest...and that money shouldn't be money you need to live. It must be "discretionary" meaning, if you lose won't find yourself in dire straits

Do your research. You will lose from time to time. It happens, but be prepared for down times. You need to have the 'stomach' to see it through the volatility. To start your research, focus on product/services/companies that you currently support and believe in. Never put your money in places you don't know enough about.

FOMO can be a portfolio killer. Invest with practicality not emotion. That is my best advice.