The concept of investing can be intimidating if you’re just getting started, but it isn’t nearly as scary as it seems. The right investments can make all the difference when it comes to saving for your future, so we share some tips on how to become a savvy and confident investor.
Start within your comfort zone
Many banks such as TD Canada Trust offer an investing questionnaire the first time you meet with an investment advisor. This test will help both you and your advisor get a better sense of what kind of investor you are. If you aren’t comfortable with risk, they’ll recommend safe investments you can rest easy with. If you’re willing to take a few risks for greater growth, they can steer you in that direction. The important thing when you’re starting out is to understand what you’re comfortable with so you can make investments you’ll feel good about.
Set money aside on a regular basis
It can be intimidating to take a large sum of money you might have been hoping to use for a trip or a fun purchase and invest it all at once. A better way to feel good about your decision is to set a small amount aside each month that you can put toward investing. It can be as simple as saying no to that latte before work one day a week and reallocating that money toward your investment goals. When you know a certain small amount will be used for investing purposes, it doesn’t feel so hard to part with it — and you can feel really good about where it ends up.
The best way to feel confident about what you’re doing is to feel you know what you’re doing, and that kind of confidence comes only through education and research. Fortunately banks such as TD offer free educational seminars to help you learn about investment basics, trading options and more. So find a class near you, and get learning!
Focus on the present
At some point in your investing journey, it’s possible you’ll make a decision that doesn’t go as well as you planned. Although it’s certainly good practice to learn from your errors, there’s no need to dwell on them and let past choices hinder your progress. Once you understand what went wrong in the past, take the lessons you’ve learned, and move forward with confidence in your new knowledge. Focus on what you can achieve rather than what you haven’t achieved, and you’ll feel much better for it.
Find an investment advisor you trust
Making all your investment decisions on your own can be overwhelming. That’s where having an investment advisor comes in handy. Knowing someone who’s familiar with investing is a huge asset when making financial decisions. But you don’t have to settle on the first one you meet with. If you talk with an advisor at your local bank who doesn’t seem to understand your perspective or your goals, see someone else. Plenty of competent advisors can be found, and taking the time to find one you trust can make you feel more confident in your investment decisions moving forward.
Your friends and family can provide a wealth of knowledge and thoughts on the subject of investing. Although you don’t want to take anything you hear blindly at face value, it doesn’t hurt to get perspectives from others with experience in the field. Ask around, collect information on what has worked for the people around you, and then consider what might be good options for you as well. The more you know about what possibilities are out there, the more confident you’ll feel when you make a decision.
Learn how to check in on your investments
When you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night because you can’t remember what investment decisions you settled on or how your choices are going, having the information at your disposal is helpful. Fortunately, these days it’s as easy as logging in to your bank account online. So whenever you need to see the numbers in black and white, check them out on your computer.
Never stop learning
The more you stay in the know, the better you’ll understand how things work, and the more you’ll ultimately feel confident in the choices you’ve made. One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with what’s going on is to check in on resources by using tools such as TD’s Market Overview. Find a few sources of information you can count on, and check them on a regular basis to see how the market is changing.
Keeping up-to-date on the market is wise, but it’s also important not to panic if you spot something that makes you feel uneasy. The market is constantly fluctuating, and rarely is there a need to get your investment advisor on the phone just because things change a little. By the time you settle on the investments you’re comfortable with, you’ve given your decision a lot of thought, research and consideration, so rest comfortably in that knowledge, and relax.
Know your resources
If you feel you don’t know quite as much about investing as you would like, having knowledgeable resources you can turn to at a moment’s notice will put your mind at ease. Ask your bank about the kinds of support services it offers. TD Direct Investing, for example, offers a 24/7 hotline in four languages so you can get the information you need whenever you need it. Investing can be intimidating, and you have a right to get the support and knowledge you require to feel comfortable. When in doubt, ask!