Expert Advice Before Your First Time Investing

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

In This Episode

The world of investing is often thought of as being confusing, and the community can often put people off of investing for the first time. Today’s guest is here to break that stereotype and to encourage you to start investing in your future today.

In this episode, we’re joined by money expert and founder of TheCollegeInvestor.com, Robert Farrington. He takes us through everything you need to know about first time investing, like how to get started, common problems to watch out for and the benefits of investments overall.

The Guest Expert

As we stated, Robert is the founder of TheCollegeInvestor.com, which is a website that launched in 2009. He started off working on it from home, while finishing up his MBA. He found it hard to connect with other people who shared his love for personal finance and investment, which was one of his main reasons for starting the site.

It’s currently visited by over 3 million readers a month, and is a fantastic resource for young adults who are looking to learn more about money. It’s packed full of useful content about college debt, investing after graduation, and much more.

Since launching his website, Robert has shared his financial industry expertise with thousands of ​young adults online and in person. He is also a regular contributor to major publications such as Forbes and Huffington Post.

What You Need To Know Before Investing For The First Time

What is Investing?

To start off with, what exactly is investing and why is it important? Robert begins the episode by noting his experiences as a teenager working on his side hustles, and describes the process of investing as a young person. He describes how saving accounts were never as interesting to him as investing, and how saving doesn’t make your money work for you as much as intelligent investments might.

In Robert’s words, investing means that you become a partial owner of a company, or multiple companies. He describes it as a great way to make your hard earned money work for you, to help build wealth and happiness for the long run.

Many people don’t get into investing as they think that it’s too tricky or too expensive. Robert talks about how it’s one of the best ways to prepare yourself for your future, and how it can be incredibly fulfilling to make your money work for you throughout your life. If you’ve never invested before, it would absolutely be worth your time to try it this year.

Robert advises people to start off investing as quickly as they can, noting that investment is a long-term game. We particularly enjoyed his nod towards the old Chinese proverb that states ‘the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’

Where to Get Started

One of the best places to start out investing is a retirement account. Robert notes that 401Ks are usually the account style that people start off with investing in, as they are low risk, simple to set up and have no tax implications until retirement. 

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) can also be incredibly beneficial. The money can grow over time, and you have the option of not paying any tax until retirement, or paying taxes now to prevent having to pay it later on.

What You Need to Get Started

There’s a common misconception you need a lot of money to start off investing, which Robert disagrees with. He says you can start off with simply 5 dollars, using mobile apps like Stash or Robin Hood. If you’re looking to start bigger, you can start off with about 100 dollars to invest in larger companies with apps like Vanguard.

He notes that you should look for low cost, broad based investment funds. A lot of apps will offer functions that allow you to invest in top companies all at once. Robert compares this to simply ‘betting on the existence of the world’ and says that this is a great long-term strategy.

Do you Need a Financial Planner?

Financial planners are a hot topic in the investment industry, yet Robert declares that they aren’t a necessity. While there are some benefits to working with an investment professional, Robert assures us that working through apps or by yourself can also be incredibly beneficial. If you are going to work with one, Robert advises working with a ‘fee-only’ financial advisor.

Mistakes People Make

There are a few common mistakes people make when starting out with investment. Robert states not investing at all is a huge mistake. 

Then, he advises not to pick out individual stocks, to keep accurate records and to be prepared for negative events like a recession or a bad investment. Don’t invest the money if you can’t afford to lose it today, and remember that this is a long term game.

For older people, it’s important to pick your options wisely. Robert goes through a few options, but notes that savings accounts are much more beneficial if you’re an older person. He stresses the importance of going for risk free options, and emphasizes again that investing is a game that takes 20-30 years to come to fruition.

Generally speaking, investment should be something everyone looks into throughout their life. As long as you pick your investments wisely and set up an intelligent plan for the long-term, you’re sure to see some great results later on in life.

How To Contact Robert

We were thrilled to have been able to record this episode with Robert, and it was very interesting to learn more about the world of investing. His website is https://thecollegeinvestor.com, and his social media links are as follows;

If you’re looking to find out more about investing for the first time, Robert is the man to speak to. Feel free to reach out to him to learn more about what we discussed in this episode.

Speak With Us

We’re inspired by our community, and we’re always striving to outdo ourselves. We want to make sure that we’re creating the most helpful content possible, so please feel free to get in touch with us and let us know what you think about the show. 

Are there particular topics that you’d like to hear about, or something you want advice on? Is there something you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at contact@365firstschallenge.com today.

What’s Coming Up Next?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got a great roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice. 

Next time on the 16th, we have Caya coming in to provide an insight into first time pitching to investors. After that, we’re going to be visited by Rebecca Noelle on the 21st to talk about painting for the first time.

Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, you can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.

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