Welcome to “Ask Stacy,” a short video feature answering money questions submitted by readers and viewers.
Today’s question is about investing; specifically, how to get started with little money and no knowledge.
Of all the questions I’ve answered in my nearly 40 years in the personal finance trenches, this would have to be one of the most popular. The answers, however, aren’t the same as they were decades ago. These days, there are new ways to learn how the markets work and new ways to get in cheap.
Watch the following video and you’ll pick up some valuable info. Or, if you prefer, scroll down to read the full transcript and find out what I said.
You also can learn how to send in a question of your own below.
For more information, check out “10 Tips for Sane, Successful Stock Investing” and “How to Get Started Investing When You Don’t Have Much Money.” You can also go to the search at the top of this page, put in the word “investing” and find plenty of information on just about everything relating to this topic.
Got a question of your own to ask? Scroll down past the transcript.
Don’t want to watch? Here’s what I said in the video
Welcome to the 2-Minute Money Manager. I’m your host, Stacy Johnson, and this two-minute answer is brought to you by MoneyTalksNews.com, serving up the best in personal finance, news and advice since 1991.
Let’s get to today’s question. It comes to us from Brittany:
“How would one go about getting into investing in the stock market if you have no experience, not a lot of money and no idea where to start?”
Well, Brittany, I’ve got three things for you:
Thing No. 1: Get a little knowledge
There are so many books, websites and magazines about investing, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one.
I wrote a book called “Money Made Simple” about 10 years ago. You can probably get it used on Amazon for less than a buck. But my book certainly isn’t the only option. You can go to MoneyTalksNews.com and check out tons of articles specifically geared for beginning investing. There are dozens of other sites you can learn from, not to mention the public library.
Get a little knowledge: It’s going to make you a lot more comfortable.
Another idea: Join an investment club. Go to BetterInvesting.org and see if there’s an investment club in your area. Then, you can hook up with a group of like-minded people, put in a little money monthly, learn a ton and maybe even make some profits. It’s called “earning while you’re learning.”
Thing No. 2: Open an investment account
A lot of people are intimidated by brokerage or investment firms. If that’s you, just think of them as a bank, because dealing with them is the same. You’re simply going to choose a company and open an online account.
A couple of investment firms that have no minimums are Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade. I’m not being paid to recommend them: I just happen to know these two don’t have minimums to open an account. There are others.
Thing No. 3: Check out ETFs
How should a beginning investor invest? Probably with exchange-traded funds, commonly known as ETFs. Sound complicated? Not really: It’s just a simple way to buy a diversified group of stocks. There is plenty of information online about what they are and how they work. In fact, I talked about them here recently.
So, there are your marching orders. Read a bit. Check out investment clubs. Then, when you’re ready, open an account. And look to ETFs as a good idea for your first investment.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Meet me right here next time.
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The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that will interest other readers. In other words, don’t ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you. And if I don’t get to your question, promise not to hate me. I do my best, but I get a lot more questions than I have time to answer.
I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.
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