Studies show that women are the Chief Purchasing Officers of our homes, making roughly 80 per cent of all purchasing decisions. We spend a lot of money buying shoes, accessories, clothes, fancy phones, plus much more besides. But did you know that the vast majority of the products and services where our money is being ploughed on a consistent basis are from publicly traded companies? What does that mean? It means that we can become investors in those companies and grow our wealth over time by becoming ‘part-owners’ through stock investing. It also means that we can expand the way in which we think about creating wealth to go beyond traditional methods like real estate or just saving the money we make. It is very difficult to grow wealth by saving alone. If we have the money to spend on all the things we love to shop for, it follows that we have the money to invest. It is that simple. Just remember these rules.
The knowledge we acquire as consumers can be gold when it comes to investing.We know when a product is good and of high quality (or terrible) and we can use that information to our advantage. Some of our best investing decisions can come from first-hand experiences.
Investing is for everyone.You don’t need to have a degree in finance, have millions in the bank, or be a male with a trust fund. If you have some money saved that you won’t need in the near future, a job that provides some income, and if you make a commitment to yourself to organize your finances in a way that allows for investing, you can invest.
What you earn is not as important as how you manage your money. Someone who earns hundreds of thousands of pounds per year can have a hard time managing money and be in high levels of debt. Meanwhile, someone can be earning a lot less yet be responsible with their finances living frugally and in a way that allows them to save and invest. The choice is yours. Saving and investing also goes beyond the concept of just making money. It can also afford us freedom and flexibility to pursue the things we want to pursue without the burden of financial worries.
So, how do we invest? For many people, investing can seem confusing and overly complicated. As a matter of fact – the big investment banks want you to think that investing is difficult and that only they can do the work for you. It is good for business to keep you as confused. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone has the brainpower to learn to invest and is a skill you can pick up at any point in your life as long as it is something you are willing to dedicate some time to. Before you jump into the stock market, eliminate your lingering consumer debt (i.e.: credit card debt). Interest rates on credit cards are aggressive. Even if someone is making money in the stock market, it won’t be enough (in the short term) to offset the interest rates accumulating in a credit card. So, get rid of that.
Once you’ve eliminated debts, roadblock. Open a savings account, name it your ‘money cushion’ and add money to it consistently. Get into the habit of sending £50 (for example) or whatever you can comfortably afford to that account with every paycheck. The point of this is to get yourself into the habit of saving and into an investing mindset.
Choose your platform. Once you have some money saved youcan transfer some of that money to an actual investing account. Do some research on the best online brokerage accounts or investing accounts available to you and go with the one you feel more comfortable with. Keep an eye on fees and make sure the account is insured (all this information should be available to you on the account’s website). My preference for investing platforms are online brokers because they allow for more flexibility. You can also open an account at a respected institution that allows for fund investing and invest in a low-cost FTSE 100 fund, for example.
Stay consistent: Continue being responsible with your finances, saving, and sending money to your investing account on a consistent basis. If you have the money to invest in other people’s businesses by buying their products and services as a consumer– why not also benefit as an investor?
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