For someone that just came across some money or has been saving and is ready to learn ho to invest money, it can be a little confusing and daunting. There are so many investment products, strategies and options. When you break it down to the basics, though, investing is fairly simple.
Your best option is to take advantage of your company’s retirement savings program, if it has one. Taking advantage of your 401k plan is the best possible method to safely accumulate wealth with relatively low risk. For one, you’ll be well diversified when you balance your cash appropriately across funds. Secondly, you are contributing pre-tax dollars, which means you are also reducing your taxable income. That means you pay less taxes and keep more of you money. Third, your company may match any contributions you make, which means free money being invested for you.
If you do not have a 401k option, or you want more options and flexibility, the next best option for someone learning how to invest money is to open an IRA. This can be done relatively easily online. Just visit one of the popular online brokerages, such as TD Ameritrade, and register for a new account. You can transfer funds into your online trading account from your checking account and start investing your money.
The advantage of an IRA over a 401k is that you can invest in almost anything, whereas with your 401k you are limited to the options that your company makes available to you.
When you fist start out investing money, you might be overwhelmed by the number of different companies you could invest in and all of the different ways to invest. The easiest, safest and most likely way to make money is to keep it simple by not trying to become a professional trader. If you simply invest in an index fund that tracks the S&P 500, you instantly own the best companies and minimize your risk. This will also allow you to keep your trading expenses extremely low so you can have the most of your money actually invested and not going to pay transaction fees.
While investing can appear complicated and convoluted, id doesn’t have to be that way. When you keep things simple and use the programs at your disposal, you’ll make the most money without really having to know anything about investing, stocks or what companies to buy and sell.