It is so easy to invest in the stock market. And stocks, over the long term, can provide higher returns than other assets. Be sure to note the emphasis on the long term!
Stocks can go up and down based on many factors, and sometimes, frankly, based on nothing at all. A rumor? A tweet? If you try to jump in and out of stocks to make money, you won’t. There are large hedge funds with complex computer algorithms betting against you. Don’t take that bet. Instead, do these 3 things to help try to set yourself up for success:
- Wherever your money is (retirement plan or not) pick a few well-diversified index funds with low fees. (Don’t pay someone to manage a fund. They aren’t that good at it.)
- Schedule money to go into these accounts on a regular basis. Set it and forget it! Automated savings are the best savings.
- A couple of times a year, no more often, look at your balances to make sure you still have the mix you like between different funds.
And that’s it. It’s easy and boring, but it will help set you up for a brighter future. If you crave excitement, take up skydiving, but leave your money alone!