When it comes to growing your money and working towards financial wellness, investment is probably an important tool. Through investments you can buy an asset that would grow in value, be it in the form of fixed deposits, gold, mutual funds, postal schemes, tax-saving investment options, or real estate. All of these, need to be carefully planned and properly balanced, so as to reap maximum benefits. If you or someone you know has recently become financially independent and are wondering how to invest for beginners, there are some simple ways and tips that can help in making an investment plan.
1. Figure out your goals and pick a suitable investment strategy:
First things first, when you are set on a journey, you need to have a goal. Only when you understand your expenses and expectations would you be able to come up with an investment strategy. At the onset, it is recommended that you understand your investment temperament. Whether you would be open to taking higher risks or would want to invest only in low-risk options, etc., may greatly affect your strategy and hence your financial portfolio.
Tip: Get in touch with a professional investment portfolio manager to help you start off your journey. If you do not wish to spend on the fee, do thorough online research and use an investment calculator for computations.
2. Decide how much to invest and get started as early as possible:
You must have heard ‘A journey well begun is half done’. When it comes to investments, it's more like a journey soon begun is half done! When you invest early, you can see steady returns over the years. This is how the power of compounding works best.
Even if you have just started earning or are financially committed, make small yet suitable goals. Also, when you are new to investment, avoid falling for too many temptations, which include aiming to save more than you can afford. Don’t be too stressed wondering if the contribution is sufficient. Try to focus more on what is the maximum you can do.
Tip: As the cost-of-living rises day by day, make sure to cater to essential spending. Set a convenient monthly savings goal and continue your investment journey.
3. Open an investment account:
Being a novice investor, if you are too intimidated by the available investment options, the way to start is to open an investment account. You can start with as little or even as much as you are comfortable with. Putting aside even the smallest amount of money will help build your confidence.
Not just that, it would give you a realistic picture of how much you can actually save/ invest. When you invest at a consistent pace, it can develop into a sizeable balance over time. Without the worry, just ensure that whatever you can save is invested diligently.
4. Understand your options:
While there are a plethora of options available in the market to choose from, you may consider starting your investment journey with life insurance. Certain plans like ULIPs offer life cover as well as wealth creation prospects. While these plans may come with a certain amount of risk, you can always go ahead as per your risk appetite.
Some of the common life insurance plans are as follows:
○ Term Insurance:
A term plan offers life cover at affordable premiums. In the event of death of the policyholder, the nominees/beneficiaries will receive the sum assured under the plan as death benefit, subject to the terms and conditions stated in the policy. It might be preferable to opt for term insurance plan early on as the premiums are generally low when you are younger.
○ Endowment plans:
Traditional investment plans offer insurance coverage along with an element of savings and hence works as a fixed-income investment option as the returns are pre-defined.
Unit Linked Insurance plans offer investment along with the security of an insurance plan. They are a preferred way to ensure that if something happens to you, your family may not be in a financial crisis. However, you should choose your funds as per your risk profile and life stage.
Tip: Take time to understand how each product works and see if it is in alignment with your financial goals. Then choose according to your risk profile and asset allocation so that your financial goals can be easily achieved.
As a budding investor, choosing the investment option is probably daunting when you start thinking about how to start investing. But it need not be like that. With the right mindset, the smallest amount can help you slowly yet steadily tread toward your financial goals. Smart and thoughtful investment plans will make your investment journey fruitful. It is important to remember that investment is a discipline that depends not just on analysis and luck but also on your behavioral responses. You will soon see that there is an ocean of options out there. Sorting it all out will require deliberate reflection.