In George C. Fishers’ excellent book, All About DRIPs and DSPs, he writes, “the most important investment concept for young investors is get in the game.” That sounds an awful lot like the phrase Jim Cramer uses everyday on his show, Mad Money, “You need to get in the game!”
Fishers point is one I have often had trouble with, until I finally did just that. Of course it is important to spend time doing homework and researching stocks but at some point you just have to dive in. Studying quarterly reports, watching the daily ticker, and reading insight into a company you own has a rewarding feeling to it.
Admittedly it is hard for the youthful investor to invest at our age with our growing expenses and minimal income. However, consider your first investment to be an excellent learning opportunity. No one said it had to be sizable either. Start small. My first stock purchase was $100. I picked a blue chip that was not too volatile with strong international presence, a wonderful dividend, and allowed me to make optional cash purchases at no additional cost.
Most importantly, this simple first step will ingrain in you the power of compound interest. The youthful investor has time on their side. With affordable options such as a no minimum account at Betterment.com and a host of wonderful direct stock purchase plans it is easy to invest less than $100 at a time.
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