It’s no secret that investing is one of the best ways to grow wealth. We’re talking about real wealth — not the measly returns you’d get from a savings account. If you really want to grow your money, you need the kind of returns you’ll get from investing.
Of course we all know this. But a lot of us have things holding us back. Maybe we don’t know how to get started. Maybe we feel totally out of our element. Or maybe now’s just not the right time. There are a lot of excuses for not investing — and most of them don’t hold up.
Here are the top reasons people don’t invest — and how to get around them and start building real wealth.
1. I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
C’mon, that’s never stopped me from doing anything! Of course, I did manage to break my car that one time I tried to change the oil…
Just kidding! Seriously, though, don’t be intimidated by the investing game. A bunch of apps and websites and tools have appeared on the scene that are specifically designed for beginners.
We like Stash, because it lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. But it makes it really simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals. Want to invest conservatively right now? Totally get it! Want to dip in with moderate or aggressive risk? Do what you feel.
Instead of overwhelming you with industry jargon, Stash gives its investment funds understandable names. You can invest in tech companies or green energy providers or cybersecurity firms through funds like “American Innovators,” “Clean & Green” or “Data Defenders.” Or you can invest in funds with names like “Roll with Buffett,” “Moderate Mix” or “Global Citizen.”
2. I’m Afraid to Lose My Money
We get that. Sure, the stock market can look scary and volatile, especially to a new investor. Stocks go up, stocks go down. The past year was basically a roller coaster on Wall Street.
But the trick is to just stick with it and have a long-term outlook. Historically, investing in the stock market has yielded an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to knowledgeable authorities like the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
In other words, don’t be afraid to lose your money. Just make sure you invest a responsible amount, and stay the course.
3. Now’s Not the Right Time — Someday, I Will
If you cling to that belief, it’ll never be the right time. Never.
Listen to Robin Hartill, a certified financial planner who’s also an editor and financial advice columnist for The Penny Hoarder. Her advice: Since the stock market will grow your money over time, you might as well get started sooner rather than later.
“The timing of your investment matters much less than how much time you have to invest,” Hartill says. “The S&P 500 has delivered inflation-adjusted returns of about 7% per year on average for the past 50 years. The cost of waiting for the perfect time to invest is high. You’re missing out on long-term growth.”
4. I Can’t Afford to Invest
You can afford to invest. You can start small if you have to.
Investing doesn’t require you throwing thousands of dollars at full shares of stocks. In fact, with Stash, you can get started with as little as $1.*
A single share of Amazon stock costs more than $3,000, but you can still invest in Amazon like rich people do. Stash allows you to invest in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in stocks you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.
If you sign up now (it takes two minutes), Stash will give you $5 after you add $5 to your investment account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**
We all have excuses. If you want to grow your money, you have to push past that.
Just get started. It’s easy.
Really, it’s way easier than you think it is.
Mike Brassfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s not rich, but you better believe he invests.
*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.