How Can You Invest Your Money If You Don’t Have Any?
The idea of investing has been an idea that we can date back all the way to 1754 BC with the Code of Hammurabi. Since then, if there were a form of goods or currencies, people found a way to invest and build to their value. Fast forward to our modern day and we can see the world is no different. Entrepreneurship, stock trading, and owning real estate are just a few ways people are investing today, but what about those of us that don’t have money to invest? What are the steps we need to take to get in on the action?
For many, the idea of investing seems like a rich man’s game, but in reality it’s not. You don’t need to be a Cornelius Vanderbilt of the railroads or a John D. Rockefeller of oil to make an impact in your financial life. What you need is an understanding about how investing works and a strong will to take that understanding and put it into action. What many successful investors will tell you is that your first investment shouldn’t be in the stock market or in real estate; it should be in yourself. Your knowledge is the most valuable asset you’ll ever have in your investing portfolio. That is because your knowledge is the one investment that will never fail yet forever grow over time.
“From the beginning, I was trained to work, to save, and to give.” — John D. Rockefeller
Obviously in many cases, knowledge isn’t free. So what is the first step you need to do before you can even invest in yourself? While loans seem like an easy way to get into investing quickly, what you’re essentially doing is already putting yourself into debt and that is not what investing is about. What you need to do is to find a form of active income or in Layman’s terms: GET A JOB. Self-made success stories all begin with the same introduction: Those who want to succeed, first have to work for their money if they ever want their money to work for them. Once you’ve acquired a form of income and received your first paycheck, the next step is to PAY YOURSELF. When I say that, I don’t mean treat yourself to a night out on the town, but rather put that money into some sort of savings before you do anything else with it. If you aren’t able to save your money, you’ll never be able to invest it. This is where your investment in knowledge will greatly help. If you learn to manage your money and live below your means, you’ll find it much easier to grow that savings account over time.
After you’ve gotten a grasp on saving, the next step is to learn how to invest that money. With many financial books and courses being sold today, it is essential for you to take advantage of them. Yes, some of them will likely cost money, but remember what I said before, knowledge many times isn’t free. The one thing you need to watch out for is the books and courses that are simply out to make money and not actually teach you anything. “How to make $1 Million in the Stock Market Today!” for example is NOT the type of courses you want to spend your money on. Instead, do your research and find out what books or courses are recommended by those who have already begun their career in investing.
Once you better your understanding about the different ways to invest your money, the next thing to do is to decide what area of investing you want to go into first. Whether it be passive, semi-passive, or active; the world of investing has a lot of different choices to choose from and this will be the first of many decisions you will make as an investor. One thing I urge you to stay away from is investing into too many things at once. I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t diversify your portfolio; I am simply recommending that you master one investment before adding another to your list. If you spread your money out in too many places too quickly, it’ll cause you to most likely neglect an investment and leave it to fail. If you want to start in the stock market for instance, give all your attention to that market and the companies that are in it. Find out everything there is to know about the company you want to invest in and make sure you are confident with where you think that company is heading. With any investment, intend to invest in it for the long term. Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme that will make you thousands overnight. It is a decision that will (hopefully) improve your financial status over time.
The reason I tell you this: I had that get-rich-quick mindset when I first began investing, and it bit me in the butt. When I started, I began my journey in the stock market. I had done a little research here and there, but not nearly enough as it would eventually turn out. I saw a company that was selling for dirt cheap and thought “oh wow, this is my chance to really make some money!” when really it was simply a rookie mistake on my part. I had looked at the past 5 years of this company’s stock price and had seen that they were once a pretty penny, so I thought to myself, “Well maybe they’ll bounce back!” So I bought into that company… and in less than a week… they went through a reverse-split. This turned the 2000+ shares I had just purchased, into less than half of that. Even though I had the same amount of value in those new shares after the split, the news of the reverse-split caused many to sell and in turn caused the price to drop once again. When that happened I lost a lot of money, but I gained the ability to learn from it. I learned that the market rewards those who do their research and invests for the long term, and it can punish those who are just in it for a quick buck.
Finally, if there is any one piece of advice I can give you starting out, it is to expect to fail at least once. You are never going to hit it out of the park every time you come up to bat, and that’s ok. What you need to do when you fail isn’t to call it quits, but to learn from your mistakes. Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean you are a failure. Figure out where you went wrong and then try something different. There is a WORLD of opportunity out there waiting for you. Don’t feel intimidated by failure, but rather let it inspire you to prepare yourself even more. “How can you invest your money if you don’t have any?” The answer is simple — by working hard to make the money you need and investing in yourself FIRST so that you can be the best version of yourself that you’re able to be. If you do that, you’ll be able to not only invest your money, but succeed at it as well.
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