If you think investing is only for those making big bucks, think again. Anyone can invest and grow their money, even if their contributions are small.
Connecting with a financial advisor can help you make investment gains, though guess what? Lack of funds is also the number one reason people shy away from working with an advisor, according to a recent study by FP Canada.
Rather than feeling stuck in financial purgatory, an advisor can give you the tools you need to move forward no matter your income. When you consider that the average Canadian salary was just over $54,630 in 2020, you’re far from alone if you’re not bringing in six figures. You can still invest and plan for a comfortable future.
Know your goals
Maybe you want to save for retirement or cover the cost of your kids’ post-secondary education. Maybe you want to buy a home or start a business. Maybe you want to sell all your belongings and move to an island in Belize.
The point is, whatever your goal—or goals—knowing whether you’re looking for a short- or long-term return will make a difference as to how you invest.
Understand the risks
There are always risks with investing. Your risk tolerance is how well your investment portfolio can handle those risks.
If your goals are long term, your portfolio can probably handle some risk. There’s more time for your investments to adjust before you start drawing from them.
When you need your money in the short term, low-risk investments are the way to go. The returns might not be as great, but you’re not likely to lose what you’ve invested and your money is kept easily accessible.
Know the types of investments you can make
There are many different options out there, but we’ll look at some of the more common types of investments.
When you buy stocks from a company, you’re essentially buying ownership in that company. You’ve probably heard of people hitting the jackpot when it comes to buying stocks, like those who invested in Facebook in the very beginning. When Facebook became a publicly traded company in 2012, each stock was worth $38 USD. By July 2021, that number climbed to almost $350 USD per stock.
Before you throw all your money into stocks, however, it’s important to know that success stories such as these aren’t the norm. Ups and downs in the stock market lead to gains as well as losses, which is why diversifying your portfolio is key (more on that later).
Bonds are a less risky investment. You might think of a bond as an IOU. You lend money, in the form of a bond, to a company or agency. That bond comes with set terms, such as when it needs to be repaid and whether it requires fixed or variable interest payments.
Mutual funds are a kind of mutual investment, in that money is pooled together from multiple investors to buy securities—a term for tradeable, financial assets, like stocks and bonds. An exchange-traded fund (EFT), on the other hand, is a type of security that tracks some sort of asset—like a sector or a commodity—and can be traded on the stock market. A popular ETF, for example, is the SPY, which tracks an index made up of 500 stocks. That’s not to say you should jump on the top ETFs out there, but it’s good to understand what’s available to you.
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency and the latest financial buzzword. It can be tempting to buy into the next major thing, but crypto’s value has shown to fall as quickly as it rises. As with any investment, you want to know where your money is going and you definitely don’t want to put it all in one pot.
Diversify, diversify, diversify
If you spend all your investment money on a stock you’re sure is going to take off or you’re eager to buy into the newest cryptocurrency, you could be missing out on a ton of other opportunities. You could also be risking more than necessary.
While some risk isn’t a bad thing, you’re better off making a few different kinds of investments—diversifying—than you are focusing on only one. A diverse portfolio is a balanced portfolio, which is a safer way to invest.
Find a great advisor
A great financial advisor will find opportunities that fit with your goals and budget. We’ve got a whole network of qualified advisors on vexxit.com, so all you have to do is sign up. It’s easy, free, and the first step to getting where you want to be financially.