Investing 101

4 tips to help you get started

Woman a tablet to learn investment tips from UW Credit Union

There are a lot of myths out there about investing, including:

  • It’s a man’s world
  • You need to be wealthy
  • It’s too complicated for the average person

Guess what? All of the above are false.

Investments are totally attainable no matter where you’re at in your financial journey. They can actually be a nice way to grow your income a little more. Here are some starter tips to get you ready to invest.

Know Your Risk Tolerance

As you consider your investment plan, the first thing you should think about is risk. The word “investments” might immediately make you think of the stock market. While this is a common place for people to invest, it’s not the only option.

Are You Risk-Averse?

If you’re new to investing, don’t have much cash to spare or aren’t sure about taking on risk right now, your best investment fit will be a steady-growth, federally-insured option, such as:

  1. High-yield savings accounts (deposit accounts from financial institutions that earn above-average yields and are NCUA/FDIC insured up to $250,000), like money market accounts and certificates
  2. Treasury bonds

At UW Credit Union, we offer various high-yield savings options, including certificates and money market accounts — all of which are federally insured by the NCUA.

Willing to Risk It?

If you are comfortable taking on some risk and potential loss, consider:

  1. Stocks
  2. Funds: mutual, exchange-traded and index
  3. Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s
  4. Real estate

Because these products depend on fluctuating market conditions, any losses are losses to your bottom line.

Want some guidance? Take advantage of resources on our Wealth Management page or schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with a wealth advisor.

Use Your Resources

Once upon a time, investing was only for the bougie because it required a large amount of money up front and you were restricted to going through a brokerage. Today, investing is open to anyone with a little cash and some basic online savvy.

Research what’s out there, look out for hidden fees and find the best fit for you.

Start Small

Whether you’re new to investing or don’t have much capital to put up, start with a small amount to ease the pressure if the investment doesn’t turn out the way you hoped. And if your investment ends up earning more, reinvest those earnings into something else if you’d like.

Spread it Around

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is the perfect investment mantra.

When you are portfolio building, aim for a diverse investment mix so you don’t lose all your money in one bad investment.

Be Patient

Investments are not typically a get-rich-quick scheme like some may have you believe. One of the keys to successful investing is being able to wait it out a bit. If you’re not able to play the long game with your cash, start your investment strategy with a stable choice like a high-yield savings account or a no-penalty certificate.

Why wouldn’t you want your money to earn a little extra money for you? Take your time, start small, use your resources, avoid these red flags and you’re on your way.

UW Credit Union is committed to providing financial education, helping our members and communities build their financial savviness to make empowered decisions. We offer free learning seminars, confidential credit consultations and, through our partnership with Banzai, an impressive catalog of financial education resources.

Here for every you.

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