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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. For the next few weeks we’re diving deep into investing to teach you everything you need to know about getting started with investing, choosing your own investments and building wealth over time.
This week’s episode starts with exploring your personal money background and how it can affect your investing choices. Then we bust some common myths about investing, so you can confront any reasons you may have for avoiding it. Finally, we’ll go over two questions for folks looking to get started: Do you want to DIY your investments or get help, and what investment account is best for you.
At the end of each episode we leave you with some Nerdy homework so you can uplevel your investing game.
Check out this episode on any of these platforms:
Eating vegetables, sticking to a budget and investing: We all know we should do these things, but getting yourself to do them is another story.
If you haven’t invested before, start off by asking yourself what’s holding you back. There are tons of reasons why you may not have started investing, like feeling like you never have enough money left over at the end of the month to commit to the future. Or maybe you feel like you just don’t know enough, and that it’s impossible to learn everything you’d need to in order to buy stocks.
All of these reasons are valid, but none of them are good enough to prevent you from investing in your future. Investing is for everyone, and investing any amount of money — even $1! — is better than nothing at all. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of your financial goals and why you want to invest: What is that money going to do for you down the road? Whether you’re saving for retirement or college tuition, having a solid goal in mind can help you stay on track.
Once you can commit to building an investing habit, it’s important to think about whether you’d prefer to be hands-off and let someone else (or a computer) invest for you for a fee, or whether you’d like to dive in and do it yourself. Don’t worry, we’ll help you with that next step over the following weeks.
You’ll also need to think about what specific investment account is right for you. Investment accounts aren’t actual investments — they are just where your investments live. But some have tax advantages that are important to consider.
Your nerdy homework
Understand your mindset around investing. Complete the investing associations writing exercise to understand why you haven’t invested until this point, and what’s driving you to make the change now.
Know your goals. What do you want to achieve with your money?
Think about your investing style. You can invest on your own or get help from a robo-advisor or more traditional financial advisor.
More investing help on NerdWallet: