Becoming an Investor
By Steve Sheppherd
Decided to start investing rather than simply saving? It’s the natural next step to want to convert savings cash into investment opportunities to get more from your money in the long term. Before you make that leap, make sure you should actually start investing in the first place.
You should invest money that isn’t going to be needed in the near future. Investing can take time to grow and if you can’t allow your money to stay locked up in an opportunity, keep it available and make the move when you don’t need those funds at your fingertips.
Have an emergency reserve beyond your investment funds. That way you will effectively have two accounts to access for different reasons: one for investing, and one for unforeseeable expenses. Most investors have already made large purchases, such as a home, so sizeable cash requisites have already been achieved. Don’t include retirement investments in your calculations of when you are ready to begin investing. That activity exists on its own and shouldn’t be a factor since you will hopefully have already set up your 401(k) and IRA plans.
So how much extra cash should you consider ‘ready’ to invest? As a general rule of thumb having a surplus of $300 a month is enough to begin. If you have gone through your budget and at least this amount isn’t available, you are better off to wait until you can clear obligations to free up more investment supply.
When you are ready, research financial investment accounts, some of which may require a minimum investment balance to begin. However, some do not have a minimum so do your homework and pick one that best suits your needs and probable activities.
Investing is a good way to increase your wealth beyond the rate of inflation.