What is a good investment for a first time investor?

For most investors, we recommend a low-cost, broad-market index fund that tracks the total stock market or the S%26P 500, which are available with most brokers and retirement plans. An index fund S%26P 500 is a good option for any stock investor looking for a diversified investment and who can continue investing for at least three to five years. All investments, whether stocks, mutual funds or real estate, have some level of risk and you never want to be forced to divest (or sell) these investments in a time of need. Because of low overheads, they charge low fees relative to human investment managers, a robo-advisor usually costs between 0.25% and 0.50% of your account balance per year, and many allow you to open an account with no minimum.

A S%26P 500 fund is one of the least risky ways to invest in stocks, because it is made up of the main companies in the market and is highly diversified. By including within a portfolio categories of assets with investment returns that rise and fall under different market conditions, an investor can help hedge against significant losses. Whether it's trying to guess which Apple will be next, investing quickly in a “stock quote” or betting everything on a rumor of shocking earnings, investing in news is a terrible move for first-time investors. A life cycle fund is a diversified investment fund that automatically shifts to a more conservative mix of investments as it approaches a particular year in the future, known as a target date.

However, bonds have lower long-term yields, so they should constitute only a small part of a long-term investment portfolio. There will be ups and downs in the stock market, of course, but investing young means you have decades to overcome them and decades for your money to grow. Ask yourself if you're investing for the long term, which usually means at least five years, and if you understand the business you're investing in. Investing actively means taking the time to research investments yourself and creating and maintaining your portfolio on your own.

Simply put, passive investing involves putting your money to work in investment vehicles where someone else is doing the hard work; investing in mutual funds is an example of this strategy. Investing can provide you with another source of income, finance your retirement, or even lift you out of a financial jam. Or you can take a balanced approach, with absolutely safe money investments and at the same time give yourself the opportunity to grow in the long term. The share price of an ETF is usually lower than the minimum investment requirement of a mutual investment fund, making ETFs a good option for new investors or small budgets.

Todd Mcdearman
Todd Mcdearman

Extreme internet fan. Hipster-friendly web specialist. Subtly charming pop culture maven. Infuriatingly humble tv junkie. Subtly charming beeraholic.

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