Don’t let investing intimidation keep you from building wealth. Learning how to create passive income is one of the most valuable things you can do, and the sooner you start, the better. These tips on investing for beginners will help you begin with confidence. Plus, there are essential caveats that Christian investors need to consider to invest according to their values.
5 Tips on Investing for Beginners
1. Only Invest In What You Understand
Do your homework and research an investment before you put your money on the line. As with anything, you need to prepare before you act. I always say that the favor of God is attracted to a spirit of preparation!
If you’re just getting started and have $1,000 to invest, the best thing to invest in is yourself. Get education on how to steward your money best, and it will be well worth it.
Take cryptocurrency, for example. Many people have jumped on the bandwagon blindly. Before you invest in something like Bitcoin, take the time to understand as much as you can about blockchains and decentralized currency.
I believe the future is decentralized, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk you should evaluate before jumping head over heels into crypto. Check out The WealthBuilders Podcast for episodes on crypto, as well as general investment tactics.
2. Only Invest in What You Value
What you invest in has more weight than what you purchase. When you invest in an asset, you own a portion of it. This is easy to conceptualize with something like investment real estate, but what about stocks? When you invest in a stock, you own part of that company. So, as Christian investors, it’s essential to do some background research before you invest.
Here are some options to invest in what you value:
Biblically Responsible Investing evaluates more than just the profit potential. It considers an investment’s impact on the world. For example, a biblically-responsible portfolio would screen out companies contributing to drugs and tobacco, pornography, human trafficking, and adverse environmental effects.
Pro-Values Investing supports companies and funds that align with Christian principles and ethics.
Kingdom Impact Investing is dedicated to utilizing their resources, time, skills, and wealth to advance the Kingdom of God. The focus is impact, not a return, though both are achieved.
Here is a tool Christian investors can use to further investigate companies before investing in them.
3. Only Invest With Money You Can Afford to Lose
One of the best tips on investing for beginners is to play it safe. That doesn’t mean avoiding risks–every investment involves risk–but it does mean only investing with money you can afford to lose. When you start investing money that needs to go to your utilities or grocery bill, it becomes more like gambling!
Here’s how you operationalize this tip:
First, take a look at your budget. Evaluate how much extra room you have after you tithe, pay your expenses, and put money toward emergency savings. That amount is your winning percentage. Ideally, it’s great to have at least 10 percent of your income that you can devote to investing.
If there’s not much wiggle room, go back to the budget. Are there any subscriptions or spending habits you can cut? Do you have any space to start a side hustle or get a part-time job? The goal here is to find or make as much extra money per month as possible without sacrificing your quality of life or becoming too busy.
4. Learn How to Invest Personally
Many new investors miss this tip. They go straight to the financial services industry without learning how to invest themselves. Whereas it’s good to put a chunk of change into professionally-managed retirement accounts or long-term stock options, that can’t be your only strategy.
People in the financial industry don’t always know what they’re doing. In addition, if you don’t learn how to invest personally, you’ll cap your earning potential and reach retirement without knowing how money works.
There are several ways to personally invest with a portion of your winning percentage. For example, you can start your own business by purchasing goods, improving them, and selling them for more than they’re worth. (I taught my grandson how to do this with a wheelbarrow.) Or, you can take the next step to invest in real estate by:
- Saving for your first home
- Saving for an investment property
- Buying an investment property and making passive income from rent
- Renting out a space in your home for extra income
- Wholesaling properties
- Purchasing tax liens
For more information about creating short-term passive income, read How to Build Wealth: 6 Forms of Passive Income.
5. Invest Professionally
The remainder of your winning percentage should be used for professional investing. A great way to do this in the United States is with a Roth IRA. This retirement account grows at an average of 7-10% per year and allows you to withdraw your funds tax-free after age 59 ½. Another way to invest professionally is by opening a brokerage account at an investment bank. You can then discuss your risk tolerance and specific financial goals.
I recommend diversifying your portfolio by spreading your investments into multiple asset subclasses. That way, when one subclass drops under market pressure, you have investments in subclasses that remain strong during that particular pressure.
I hope this blog added value to your life. What questions do you have? Are there any tips on investing for beginners you can share? Please share them in the comments!