When I was 11, my uncle told me…

Kevin you need to invest. You’re losing your money by leaving your money in a bank.”

But did I care? Hell no. At the time, I was into Pikachu and Nickelodeon cartoons. WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS?

pikachu_01

How I felt when I was starting to invest

Even though I wasn’t interested, he still gave me $500 to invest with. I still remember going to Fidelity and putting all my money into an “aggressive growth” fund.

Three years later? There was only $100 leftFuck.

No one wants to lose money. No one wants to look stupid. So we tell ourselves we just need to figure it out one day

Sounds great. What’s the problem?

One day never happens

I googled searched and screenshoted Investopedia for you. You’re welcome.

Investment books

Investopedia

OMFG. Where do you start?

Sometimes the problem isn’t the lack of information. It’s that too much information overwhelms us and we get paralyzed. Because there are so many ways to invest, you get responses like this.

Idk how to invest

How many of you guys feel like this?

So what is the right choice?

Pick the simplest method and tweak things as you go along. For me, I’m not trying to be the Wolf on Wall Street. Investing is just a tool.

I want an investment that is…

Low start up cost + time efficient + decent return/ROI

AKA A GOOD DEAL

What Chinese person can resist a good deal?!?

Today is your lucky day. I’m going to show you how to start with my favorite investment… index funds.

How to get started investing in 3 steps

Step one: Figure out how much money you have

Investing algorithm

Excuse my really shitty drawing

The more money you have, the better opportunities you have to invest with. Only problem? Not all of us have $10k lying around… so we have to work our way up.

But before we continue, I know what you’re thinking …WTF is an index fund?

Investopedia index fund definition

Bam. Did the google search for you.

It’s basically buying small amounts of stock from the top 500 companies. It’s diversified and a mudda paaking good deal.

So I first started with my Fidelity account and invested into index funds. When I hit $3000, I transferred my money into a Vanguard account. Why? Lower fees and better performance. Finally when I hit $10,000, I was able to purchase the Vanguard Admiral shares (even lower fees).

It wasn’t overnight, but progressively I moved up. The more money you have, the better opportunities you have for investing. 

Step two: Open your account

Really opening account is as easy as clicking this:

Vanguard website

Opening a new account

You have a few options. You can either open up a…

  1. Retirement account (Traditional, Roth IRA, etc…)
  2. Taxable account

I have all three. What should you do? Ramit does a good job at explaining the differences.

What I did: When I didn’t have a 401k, I opened up a Roth IRA and maxed out my contribution. If I had extra money, I would throw it into a taxable account. That way I was covering my ass for retirement and if I need money before retirement.

Step three: Automate your investments

This is probably the most important step… especially for those of us who are lazy.

Automatic investment

Pick an amount you’re comfortable with and each month automatically invest directly into the index fund. It doesn’t matter if it’s $10 or $1000. You can always adjust later down the line.

Start as soon as possible and optimize later

Investing is like fitness. The best workout/investment is the one you’ll actually stick with.

As you accumulate more money, the way you invest will change and the more investment opportunities you’ll have. Maybe it’ll be real estate, individual stocks, or peer to peer lending. It doesn’t matter.

Just remember investing is not like getting a tattoo or having a kid. There’s no life long commitment. At the end of the day, you can always stop contributions and cash out your investments if you feel like it’s not for you.

Vanguard returns

So to the people who still need to figure it out, just remember…if you do nothing, you’re already losing to inflation. What are you waiting for? Make your money work for you.

Kevin

Disclaimer: This is pretty basic investing. Obviously you should talk to your financial advisor, but hopefully this article shows you how easy it is to start investing. The most important thing is to just take action ASAP and start building momentum.

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