6 Women Who Invest Their Money Share Their Best Advice For Getting Started
I won’t lie; when I started reporting for this story, I was wondering if I’d be able to find many millennial women who invest their money. After all, it seems like all I hear about these days is astronomical student debt and rising rental prices. With so many other pressing financial issues, do people really have the means to invest? The short answer is yes — but what’s more, I learned you don’t need a ton of money to start investing.
I spoke with dozens of women who are not only making ambitious strides in their careers and personal lives, but have also begun investing their money. The biggest takeaway? Most of them started off by putting away just a couple dollars here or there, making the idea of getting started with your investment journey feel way more attainable.
Knowing that investing is a topic that comes with a learning curve, Bustle teamed up with Vanguard and their "Bring Your Ambition" campaign to get actionable advice from women about how they began investing their money. If you’re curious about getting started, Vanguard has lots of free tools and calculators for beginner investors, such as a retirement estimation calculator, a questionnaire to help you decide what to do with rollover funds from a former employer’s retirement plan, and even a tool to help you decide what savings account is best for you. Read on to find out how six women began investing their money, then kickoff your own investment journey by opening a new account with Vanguard.
First Up: Don't Delay Retirement Contributions
“I’d say that as someone in their late 20s who graduated college only a few years after the 2008 financial crisis, the most important thing to me is that I’m saving and contributing to a retirement account. If you get a retirement account through work, I recommend meeting with one of their consultants and discussing your options. When I first met with a consultant, I realized I had chosen the wrong customized plan — I had accidentally chosen a portfolio for someone on track to retire in 20 years, and I was 24!” —Anonymous, 29
Build Your Confidence By Beginning With Small Amounts
“I’ve been putting money away every month for a long time, and many people think they can’t invest because they don’t have any leftover money, but it doesn’t have to be a lot! Even if you put away $10 a week or $10 a month, that’s way better than nothing. I suggest people get a certain amount taken out of their paycheck or bank account right when they get paid so they don't ever miss it. Set up a Roth IRA, and, if possible, plan to add the maximum amount to it each year — and don't touch it until retirement." —Colette, 29
Take Time To Make This A Habit
“There is a lot to learn, but it's more important to get your feet wet, get into the habit of investing, learn your emotional response to fluctuations in market, and comfort level with risk.” —Jackie, 36
Tap Your Peers For Advice
"There is so much information out there, and it can be super overwhelming. Believe it or not, online message boards have been a great resource for me. You can ask the community questions, or just browse through other people’s questions and responses. It’s a good starting point." —Anonymous, 34
If You Have A 401(k) Match, Use It
"Invest in any employer-offered 401(k), at least to the amount of the employer match. The employer match is free money that can grow exponentially over time. If you do not contribute the amount of your employer match, you could be missing out on a significant amount of future money that would help fund your retirement." —Christina, 31
Put Thought Into Your Long-Term Plan, Then Move On
"Read up, set up automatic savings plans so you can pay yourself first, then do a Roth IRA in addition to whatever plan your work provides. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Come up with a solid plan and then forget about it. The market will go up and down a lot, but if you have a solid long-term strategy, that shouldn’t matter.” —Anonymous, 34
All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.
This post is sponsored by Vanguard.