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Intro to investing
Most people think of stocks and bonds when they think of investing. But investing’s actually a much broader concept. By definition, it’s the expending of capital (usually money) in the hopes of earning a profit.
Looking at it that way, you’ve most likely invested in some things that don’t seem like “investments.” Maybe you’ve invested in your education with the expectation that it would help you earn more money in the future or a house that you think will be worth more when you’re ready to sell.
You can’t know what you haven’t learned (yet)
Investing can seem intimidating. That’s why it’s helpful to remember you’ve already made several investment decisions in your life. And while there are a few more intricacies when it comes to “traditional” investing, it’s really just another way to grow your money that you haven’t learned about yet.
No one knows how to buy a stock before they do it the first time. Just like no one knows how to buy a house before they do it the first time. Luckily, they’re both things you can learn. And they can both have a great impact on your overall finances.
There are many resources available to beginning investors. From books and online courses to webinars and lectures with many of them being free.
Sometimes, it’s best to talk with family and friends to find out how they got started. And you always have the option of talking with a financial professional or advisor.
"No one knows how to buy a stock before they do it the first time. Just like no one knows how to buy a house before they do it the first time. Luckily, they’re both things you can learn."
How can I invest my money
Over the past few years, new technologies have emerged that make investing simpler, more affordable and easily accessible to everyone. As you expand your investing education, you may want to explore some of the available options: digital investment platforms that use algorithms to assemble an investment portfolio geared towards your goals, or a low-cost brokerage platform that makes it easy for you to try your hand at ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Or maybe you want work with a Financial Advisor to tailor a strategy that’s right for you.
First things, first
Before your start investing in the stock market, it might be best to:
Set up an emergency fund
Experts suggest setting aside three to six months of your family’s living expenses. If you own a home, you also need a separate fund for ongoing maintenance and repairs. Both emergency funds should be in cash for easy access.
Take advantage of your work’s retirement plan
One of the best ways to really start investing is through your company's 401(k) or 403(b). Many companies are willing to match your deposits up to a certain percent (that's free money). If you don't have access to a workplace retirement plan, consider opening an IRA.
Having these in place could provide you a solid foundation to build your investment future.
Financial planning and investment advice provided by John Hancock Personal Financial Services, LLC (“JHPFS”), an SEC registered investment adviser. Investments: not FDIC insured – No Bank Guarantee – May Lose Value. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal, and past performance does not guarantee future results. Diversified portfolios and asset allocation do not guarantee profit or protect against loss. Nothing on this site should be construed to be an offer, solicitation of an offer, or recommendation to buy or sell any security. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and JHPFS’s fees. JHPFS does not provide legal or tax advice and investors should consult with their personal legal and tax advisors prior to purchasing a financial plan or making any investment.