Before the beginning of this year, I promised myself that I would build my investment portfolio. However, priorities changed as I learn more about investing.
A few months ago, I thought I could invest in stocks whenever I want and with whatever amount of money. And if the stock market is too hard, I thought I could get a broker to decide and then money will grow!
As I learn more about investing opportunities unravel itself, and the path to investing became clearer. For instance, I learned the duration of long-term and short-term investing. I grasped the basics of some financial instruments, and it’s accompanying risk levels. Ultimately, deciding how and where to invest isn’t as simple as it looks.
So, here are some of the steps I’m taking before I commit to investing. Feel free to follow the tips but always seek advice from professionals.
Here’s a channel that I’ve been watching
since the beginning of 2020
Don’t be a spectator to risk; work to understand and defeat it.Chris Hadfield
Just like when my kid was barely noticeable in my tummy, I researched and read as many resources that I could find to prepare myself better. The same approach applies to my investing journey. And just like parenting, investing is an on-going learning process. Hopefully, these tips will encourage you to keep learning before jumping in.
01 Create multiple sources of income
When you invest, you are putting your money into stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. It allows you to grow your money as well as the risk of losing some or all. My understanding is that to sustain your investments; you have to inject funds into your investments regularly. Otherwise, growth will be stagnant or worse; your investment may disappear during turbulent times. And you will only be able to do this if you have multiple sources of income to tap. So, if you have a 9-to-5 job and a side hustle that brings a bit more income, maybe you are ready to take the next steps to invest.
02 Start saving for your child’s educational fund
At four, my kid has been switching careers from a doctor of toys (or repairman), vet, artist, gamer to becoming a scientist. It’s hard to keep up! Maybe your kids have the same style in declaring aspirations to the universe, but it only tells us that we have to be ready to support those hopes and dreams. Today, you can play an active role in ensuring that it happens, set separate savings account to fund their education.
03 Manage your state-run social insurance program
I’ve started working since I was in college. So, I’m aware that I have been contributing to the government’s social insurance program. But, I’m not sure how much more to pay to enjoy the full benefits of a salary loan, retirement and more. If you are just as clueless as I am, talk to your state-run social insurance provider and get an update on your account. SSS has an online portal, but I still have to visit the nearest branch to activate my online account.
04 Secure your emergency fund
The uncertainty that we are currently living in gave us a solid reason why we all need to secure an emergency fund. For instance, we have been in quarantine since March, and most of us are having a hard time trying to make ends meet. In our household alone, we seldom purchase food from restaurants; instead, I cook to minimize our food expenses. Yes, the Bayanihan Program helped a bit because it froze our monthly bills. However, after several months the deferred payments are reflected in our statements.
05 Consider getting an insurance plan with investments
If I’m going to look at our family’s medical history and again the uncertain world that we are living in, it only makes sense to get insurance. But what type of insurance should we get? There’s no better way to go through this but to shop around and ask the nitty-gritty details of an insurance policy before purchasing one. Learn about the claiming process, benefits included, projected return from the investment side, the illness covered and so on. If you have a clear understanding of what you’re signing up for and comfortable about the payment then, by all means, get yourself insured. I mean your car has an insurance right, why don’t you?
06 Invest using a virtual money in an online trading account
Recently, I opened an eToro account to understand the online trading platform. I like the fact that I can copy another trader’s portfolio with virtual money until I’m confident to trade with real money. Another online trading and investing platforms like Robinhood has excellent reviews; however, it’s not available to the Philippines yet. There’s BDO Nomura too, but it doesn’t offer virtual money when purchasing stocks. In the meantime, I’ll be exploring what’s available with virtual money as I learn more about trading and investing.
07 Build your retirement fund
Probably, this is one of the saddest realizations so far. Working your whole life eventually leads you to building up your savings for when you’re too old to work. If you have secured your state-run social insurance and your monthly savings for retirement, then you are set to have comfortable golden years. But don’t just take my amateur financial advice for it, do your research, ask as many experts you can find and finally make it happen.
08 Learn from different resources
I started learning about investing and trading through SkillShare. They have a beginner’s lesson on investing, which I watched several times before I finally understood the terms. I supplemented my learning journey by listening to the Invested podcast on Spotify and read a book with the same title. Today, I’m binge-reading resources on BDO Nomura and COL Financial’s to learn their products. There’s also Investopedia, Bloomberg and Market Watch to expand our learning.
I want to learn your investing style, too!
Please feel free to leave you tips on the comments.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Tolkien
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