It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Things have been crazy with the pandemic going on.
Along with this pandemic, a lot of new people have turned into investing and day trading. Especially since sports betting has been halted for the time being.
With that said, I want to take this time to reiterate some good investing practices.
Always Have an Emergency Fund
Remember step number 1: always have an emergency fund.
If anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s how important it is to have a backup fund and how volatile the job market can be.
Once you have an emergency fund set aside, you can begin using the extra money you retain to invest and/or pay off debts.
Invest in Retirement
In the world of Dave Ramsey, the next logical step would be putting all your extra money into paying off debt.
However, if you have a company retirement account with matching, then contributing money to that will allow you to capture all the free money.
Imagine a company that matches every dollar you put in.
If you contribute $1, the company matches and now you have $2 in your account.
By simply putting in $1, you immediately double your money. 100% return. You
And if you want (don’t have other debts), you can also max out the retirement account to its limit.
Be sure to check the funds you’re allowed to invest in. Some funds have high expense fees.
If you can find a fund with an expense ratio less than 1%, that would be optimal.
I personally have my 401(k) invested in a fund that’s similar to the S&P 500 or large cap equities. Each company will have different funds so I had to find one closest to that. Even in in the midst of Covid, this fund experienced a drastic drop.
However, I’m investing for the long run, over the next 30+ years. So even though there was a market drop, it doesn’t matter to me. That money can’t be touched anyways.
A lot of people have gotten into stock picking. With the market dip, a lot of popular stocks are cheap and people are buying them up with their extra money.
To buy stocks, first you need to open a brokerage account. Robinhood has become a popular app to buy stocks since everything is free. To get started, go to their website, fill out an application for an account, and then deposit money to start buying stocks.
I personally use a combination of ThinkorSwim and Interactive Brokers. The fees are fair, but not free.
Marketwatch and Yahoo! Finance are both good resources for stock picking and finding stocks. Also they provide great market news and present financial data.