You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
This story originally appeared on Calendar
Investing can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? Can you afford the risks involved? What if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in the first place? These questions and many more prevent many people from ever getting into investing.
It’s ok to be hesitant, but your fears shouldn’t prevent you from making wise financial decisions that can transform your future for the better. It’s time for you to take some baby steps into the investing world, and your Calendar can help. Here’s how to get started:
Create a Budget
Did you know that you can create a budget with your Calendar? A budget is the first thing you should do before getting into investing. A budget will show you how much money you have available to invest without spreading your finances too thin.
Your budget should focus primarily on covering expenses with your income. Different plans will help you cut down on unnecessary spending and save money to be allotted toward investing.
Where does your Calendar come into play? Using this scheduling tool, you can set reminders to set aside money or make payments toward bills and loans. You can also improve your daily schedule to cut down on some of those expenses, such as only going out to eat on the days allowed by your Calendar schedule.
Set Financial Goals
What are your goals with investing? Are you planning your retirement fund or trying to generate some extra income? How you invest, and how your Calendar can help, will depend on what your financial goals end up being.
Let’s start with retirement. It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement, especially knowing how much longer interest can stack in your favor by starting to invest early. Your retirement account will need consistent contributions, which you can automate or set your Calendar with recurring reminders to kick your plan into gear.
Investing as an additional source of income requires a more hands-on approach. Your Calendar will be full of events if you’re getting into real estate and checking out potential properties. Occasional reminders to check your stock portfolio will also be helpful.
Tune Into the Market
Most major money decisions happen during the time the stock market is open. As a renowned television host, Steve Harvey once stated, “You can’t live in L.A. and wake up at eight a.m. It’s 11 a.m. on the east coast. The stock market [has] been open two hours. The Stock Exchange is already making decisions about your life [while you’ve been sleeping].” While proper sleep is still essential for proper daily function, Steve makes a good point about tuning into the market to see what money decisions are being made at the highest level.
The stock market information and timeframe doesn’t mean you have to become a daytrader making stock trades every single day. Instead, try to make more effort to be informed about how different companies and assets are performing. For example, add earnings report meetings to your Calendar to listen to the companies you’re invested in or schedule a time to watch a news broadcast discussing the future value of gold, silver, and real estate.
If you want to get deeper into trading options and other complex forms of trading, you might want to heed Steve Harvey’s advice more literally. Your Calendar will help you develop a schedule that will help you wake up easily with the stock market’s opening while still having a full day and getting enough sleep.
Meet With an Advisor
You don’t have to be a financial expert to become a good investor. However, it helps to have a trained expert on your side. Meeting regularly with a financial advisor pairs you with a professional with the industry knowledge to help you succeed right out of the gate.
Schedule a regular time in your Calendar to meet with your financial advisor of choice. Once a month is a good start. You can adjust the frequency down the road based on your needs and preferences. Come to each meeting prepared with questions and thoughts to share with your advisor so you can work on your game plan together.
For example, your first meeting with a financial advisor will be to discuss the goals you’ve set and ask for advice on how to achieve them. Next, your advisor will lay out a preliminary plan and help you manage risk. Down the road, meetings can be centered on specific assets or how your holiday bonus should be put to use most effectively.
Take Time to Review
With or without a financial advisor, you need to take time to review your investment plan periodically. You may want to move on from certain investments and need a review period to execute a decision. Without a review scheduled into your Calendar, your windows for making such decisions can pass you by.
Your goals and investing capabilities may also change as time goes on. If you get a promotion at work, you’ll have more income to work with and will want to adjust your budget accordingly. You might not be as interested in your retirement plan in your 20’s, but that will quickly change as the years go by.
The sooner you start investing, the greater the long-term benefits you will be able to enjoy. Even investing a couple of dollars today can make a big difference if you play your cards right. With the help of your Calendar, you’ll be able to take financial matters into your own hands.