Investing is often misunderstood as being exclusively for the wealthy.
Perhaps that was true in the past. Companies and services have knocked down the entry barrier in today’s market, making it their mission to offer investment options to everyone, even those who have only a tiny amount of money to invest. To begin investing, new investors should assess what level of risk they are comfortable with. It’s important not to be surprised after an investment because certain investments carry more risk than others. Consider how long you won’t need the money you’ll be investing and whether you’re comfortable not accessing it for a few years or longer.
For those just starting, here are some top investment ideas.
1. HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
A checking account is one of the simplest ways to earn a better return than you do in a savings account. Online banks often offer high-yield savings accounts that pay higher interest than standard savings accounts while still allowing customers regular access to their money.
If you’re saving money for a purchase in the next couple of years or just holding it for an emergency, this might be an excellent place for you to park it.
2. MUTUAL FUNDS
Mutual funds provide investors with the opportunity to invest in a basket of stocks, bonds, and other assets that they might not be able to build on their own quickly.
Many mutual funds track indexes like the NIFTY 50, which comprises around 50 of the largest companies in India. In general, index funds have meager fees for investors and sometimes no cost. Low fees allow investors to keep a more significant share of the fund’s returns for themselves, which is a great way to build wealth over time.
3. EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS
An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is similar to a mutual fund in that it holds a basket of securities and trades throughout the day. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs do not require the exact minimum investment requirement. ETFs generally cost one share plus any fees or commissions associated with the purchase, although you can invest with fractional shares if your broker allows them.
Tax-advantaged accounts such as PPFs and NPSs are ideal for holding both ETFs and mutual funds.
4. INDIVIDUAL STOCKS
The riskiest investment option discussed here is buying stocks in individual companies, but it can also be the most rewarding. Nevertheless, it would be best to consider whether you want to buy a stock before you start trading. Ask yourself whether you’re investing for the long-term, which typically means five years, and whether you have a good understanding of the business you’re investing in.
Prices for stocks are updated every second of the trading day, so people often get confused and get drawn into the short-term trading mentality when they own individual stocks.
Stocks, however, represent a partial stake in a real business, and as your investment grows, so will your fortune. Investing in mutual funds or ETFs is a more diversified alternative to individual stocks if you don’t have the expertise or stomach to ride it out.
Before committing money to an investment, you should consider your risk tolerance and financial goals. If an emergency occurs, investments such as high-yield savings accounts can be accessed quickly. On the other hand, stocks should probably be included in a longer-term investment plan.
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