It's terrifying. I thought if I hit one wrong button I'd blow up the earth. But I found ways to ease my way into it, like Stash! And now I'm learning and feeling more confident than ever.
If you're feeling scared about investing, don't worry, you're not alone.
It's terrifying, right? You need a license to drive, you have to be 21 to drink alcohol (if you're in the US), but when it comes to throwing your life savings somewhere, there's no requirements and no instruction and they just let you totally lose.
The good news is that you're not alone.
And the even better news is that I was there and I'm working every day on getting past this fear. I wanted to write a post about one of the things that's helping me do that because I think it can help you, too.
It's called Stash.
Stash is a great way for you to invest your money without having to open a fancy account at a brokerage like E*Trade. Stash is wayyyyy simpler, and you can get started with only a few dollars. And best thing of all? I've checked everywhere in the app, and there is absolutely no button that blows up the world if you accidentally click it.
It's incredibly easy to use. Just open an account (which is as simple as signing up for Facebook if you remember doing that 10 years ago). Once you open an account, you'll be able to explore funds and specific companies. (More on that in a sec.)
Once you find ones you like, you can invest as much or as little. In a traditional brokerage, there are a lot of minimums, or if you want to purchase Amazon stock, then you have to purchase at least one share, which is $1,599 at the moment. Don't have that much laying around? No worries. You can invest $5 and have a small % of a share.
To start investing, go to the "Invest" tab and scroll around at the companies and funds that you can invest in. You'll see options that look like this. Click on one that looks interesting.
Once you've selected one, you can learn more about it. If it's a fund, you can see which companies make up the fund.
Most importantly, you can see previous performance to help you decide if you want to invest.
There's not really a right or wrong answer here, but generally I try to invest in funds that show a 10% or higher return since inception or the last 12 months. It's also interesting to look at the current day to see how much it's changed. For example, if it's something that has shown good performance over the long term and seems to be going up, but it's looking down today (or even this year), it could be a good time to buy.
If you decide you want to buy, all you have to do is click "Buy", enter the amount (could literally be a few dollars!). And then you're done!
Easiest of all, Stash will show you how your investments are performing!
It's super easy to see at a glance just how well they're performing, because you can see how much it's worth and how much you've invested. Don't get too disappointed when things are looking down... that's just how markets work! (Honestly, sometimes I use this as a positive sign to go buy more if I feel confident in it.)
So what do you think?
If you're ready to try it out, you can use this link to get $5 in your account, so you can get started with zero cost to you!
Have questions? Still not sure? Comment below, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to answer your questions!