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10 very basic things you should already know about investing by the time you’re 30

10 very basic things you should already know about investing by the time you’re 30

Hopefully, this means you’ve spent the first 29 years of your life eating well, partying and using your highly disposable income to buy cool things that your buddy with 3 kids can only dream of. Thing is, you just clicked on this article which may mean your financial portfolio hasn’t been quite the life of your party. Here are some things you should know:

  1. Your savings account will not make you rich: Heck, it won’t even feed you by the time you’re good and ready to retire with a 1-2% return.
  2. Don’t be scared: All investments are a risk but that’s why you do your homework. Find an advisor that doesn’t take your wallet to the woodshed when it comes to fees and commission. Don’t know what they charge? Ask!
  3. Learn the terms: IPO’s, CEO’s, bonds and WTF’s. One of those terms don’t belong. Get on some financial news sites or even our own Twitter feed to keep up-to-date on what things mean.
  4. Broad strokes are key: Investing in only one thing is a good way to make sure you’re working until you die. Take a look at other industries, what products you’re buying and new trends in the marketplace to ensure your portfolio doesn’t get left behind.
  5. It’s going to cost you money: Brokers, funds, ETF’s and anything that requires a middle-man will cost you either per transaction or on your earnings. You'll want to know if your advisor is "fee-based" or "fee-only" before you sign on.
  6. The earlier the better: Basic math states that over 30 years, a $100 investment at a 8% return will get you over a $1000. 25 years? A paltry $340.
  7. Don’t panic: If you’re reading this, you’re likely not a daytrader basking in the glow of multiple screens spitting out the days stock trades. This is a long game and jumping ship at the feeling of an iceberg will cause you to lose out.
  8. Overly Attached Investor: Just because you like a company so much it hurts doesn’t mean you have to stick to it as an investment. Bad leadership, poor decisions or poor valuation doesn’t necessarily mean the company carries a bad product or service. It just means you’ll have a stinker in your portfolio.
  9. However, invest in the things you buy: A company that provides a service or product you use religiously can be a good investment. See that $600 smartphone your finger is glued to? Well, you’re not the only one. Check out the 8020 marketplace for other companies with cool products.
  10. The new media: Yes, The Economist, New York Times and Forbes are treasure troves of information but slowly we’re seeing new trends develop in social media that allows an investor easier access to information and opportunity. See that sign up button on the top right of your screen? That’s a good place to start, and remember if you like RIDE IT!

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Darren Stewart

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