1. An Introduction to Investing
Popular misconceptions and the millennial mindset
- When you think of investing, do you picture people in suits yelling “Buy! Sell!” and throwing scraps of paper in the air? That’s not really how it’s done anymore, but those dramatic and complicated scenes stick in our minds. For lots of us, investing exists in our subconscious as a complex science that is best left to professionals and people with tons of money. The reality is much less exciting—and way more accessible.
Investing is not just reserved for the wealthy anymore, and that’s good news! New technology has democratized investing and made it available to the general public by offering the option to buy, sell, and trade shares without the hassle of meeting an advisor, and often entirely free from fees. Investing is a reliable path to wealth that is often overlooked for fear of the unknown.
As a result, Americans aged 23-38 have a not-so-great situation: Almost half of Millennials are not investing. Higher than ever student loan obligations, low wages, increased cost of living, and two enormous economic downturns have had a devastating effect. Whatever the reason, young people are not buying stock directly or through mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or retirement plans. Saving definitely has its place in the financial playbook, but it will never make you wealthy. Investing creates a powerful path to prosperity—and the earlier you start the better off you may be.
This article will cover what investing is, how it started, how you can become an investor, the risks, the potential rewards, and how to determine what type of investor you are.