How to start investing from scratch? Detailed step-by-step guide for novice investors

How to start investing from scratch? Detailed step-by-step guide for novice investors

It's not easy to start in any new field, it's easy to make mistakes, and learning from your mistakes is not always pleasant, so I decided to structure information that will help you understand all aspects of investing and start this path as comfortably as possible.

In this article, you will go through 10 steps that will help you come to an understanding of your goal, your capabilities and how to use them. Let's get started:

Step 0. Laying knowledge
We are not starting from the first step, but from zero, because it is implied that if you are reading this article, you already have an idea about investing. But if this is not the case, then first of all it is necessary to understand the basic concepts and terms, how the market works and according to what laws it operates.

I advise you to start by reading books (a selection of the best books on investing) this will give you a good knowledge base. After that, you can apply knowledge about current market trends to it. I prefer to follow telegram channels on investing, because there you can find out up-to-date information about the market, the economic situation, or learn from someone else's investment experience.

Step 1. Create an airbag
When the question of the basics of investing is closed, you can proceed to the next step. And no, this is not a choice of securities or even an account opening. The fact is that the result of your investment directly depends on the regularity, stability and consistency of investments. Investors, unlike traders, cannot afford to use the invested funds, because in this case you risk withdrawing funds at the wrong time (when the portfolio is in a downturn) and you will have to start the investment process again.

In order to avoid such an outcome, it is necessary to create a financial cushion. These are free funds in your account, in case of unforeseen circumstances or difficult life situations. It is usually recommended to do it in the amount of 6 of your salaries. So you will not be tempted to pull funds out of the portfolio, or, even worse, take out a loan or loan.

Step 2. Setting a goal
At this stage, we must set the goal of your investment, since all the following actions will be based on it. Most often, investors tend to:

Preservation and multiplication of funds. If you have formed a significant amount of funds (lottery winnings, inheritance, etc.), then it will be much more effective to invest them in securities than to keep them on deposit or buy real estate. This will not only block inflation, but also make a profit;

Passive income. Investing can help you earn additional income to your salary, or replace it altogether. This is achieved, as a rule, through dividends, coupons, crowdlanding, etc.;

Capital for the child. Many have to take out loans for the education of children, or help them with the purchase of an apartment. By investing funds, you you can get a decent amount of money by the age of majority of the child;

Accumulation on the target. You can set yourself a more material goal, such as buying an apartment without a mortgage, or a dream car, here your imagination is limitless.

A clearly set goal helps to achieve the best result. This is due to the fact that you will be able to choose more effective means to achieve it and with a higher level of motivation.

Step 3. Define the risk profile
The next thing you will need to do is determine your tolerance to risk. The higher the risk, the higher the return, respectively, the more you are willing to lose, the more you have a chance to get. To determine your risk tolerance, there are a lot of different tests (for example, one of them), you can pass any one, and based on this, understand which strategy suits you, as well as what ratio of high-risk assets to low-risk assets will be in your portfolio (I recommend starting with low-risk and gradually increasing the share of high-risk).

Step 4. Visualize your goals
I have an article that is dedicated to this point. There is a link in it on the table, thanks to which you can clearly see how much money and time you need to achieve exactly your goal. The table does not guarantee an exact result, since the future is changeable, but it makes it clear under what parameters you will be able to achieve what you want.

Step 5. Thinking over the strategy
The moment has come to decide on an investment strategy. The strategy must match your risk tolerance, as well as your goals and capabilities (you have already defined all this in the previous steps).

There are many different strategies in the investment world. There are both aggressive and conservative ones. For some, it is necessary to have knowledge of the stock market or fundamental analysis, while others, on the contrary, require only a superficial understanding of the processes.

There are several basic investment strategies:

Dividend (purchase of exclusively dividend shares, permanent reinvestment of dividends);

Profitable (purchase of shares that should rise in price);

Growth (purchase of shares of small companies);

Passive (purchase of funds and ETFs);

Cost (purchase of undervalued companies).

Over time, your strategy may change, as well as your tolerance for risk, but you should not change them too often, since it takes time to implement the strategy and the result will not be visible.

Step 6. Select assets
Finally, we got to the most interesting and at the same time the most difficult. It's time to decide what will be included in your portfolio. How to do it? You already know how to distribute your assets according to profitability, you know what strategy you will follow and what amount you have. It remains only to summarize the work done.

Your portfolio may consist of:

and other tools.

There are two fundamental principles of making a portfolio:

It means how many different assets will be in your portfolio. You can diversify by country, by asset class, by industry, by broker. An elementary rule works here, don't put your eggs in one basket.

Different strategies use different types of analysis, the following can be distinguished as the most popular methods: fundamental (when analyzing company indicators, revenue, profit, EPS, etc.) and news (when making purchases against the background of news). You can also take an easier path: turn to trust management (the analysis will be performed for you) or choose passive investment in ETFs, mutual funds, ZPif (only a superficial analysis is required).

Step 7. Looking for the best broker

There is very little left, because we have already done the main work. It's time to get active.

Since securities trading is possible only through an intermediary broker, a comparative analysis should be carried out according to the following criteria:

Check if the broker has a license. 

Choose the most convenient tariff and the most profitable commissions. To do this, decide on which markets you plan to trade and how often you will make transactions.
Main commissions:
-broker account maintenance fee;
-fee for the services of the depository;
-commission for transactions;
-commission for depositing and withdrawing money;

Evaluate the reputation and reliability of the broker, read reviews or see ratings;

Pay attention to the usability, check the functionality of the website or the broker's application for the availability of available operations.

Step 8. Open an account

After you have decided on a broker, you can open an account, basically it can be done remotely. Each broker has instructions on the website, so you should not have any difficulties.

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that if you have a higher economic education, you can try to apply for a qualified investor, this will allow you to remove any restrictions on the purchase of securities (read more about obtaining the status of a qual).

Step 9. We implement our plans

At this stage, you only have to buy the selected assets through your broker. You should not do it all at once, buy more assets gradually, so you can average their value, and also do not forget to monitor their ratio.

Step 10. We continue to invest

If you have reached this step, then you are great fellows. Now you are a real investor, but do not forget to monitor the state of the market and the state of companies, improve your knowledge.

Tips for newly minted investors

If you are counting on instant enrichment, then most likely investments are not really your tool, speculation in the market or investing in your own business is more suitable (but this is another topic).

The more your income, the more you will be able to invest, do not neglect the opportunities to earn extra money.

Don't treat investing like a casino, there are its own patterns. Shares are a share in a business (albeit a small one) and you need to treat it accordingly.

It is very important to have your own point of view about the purchase of a particular instrument, if you buy because everyone buys, then in case of failure you will become one of the opponents of investing.

Discipline is very important. Make an investment one of your expense items and invest regularly.

The status of the portfolio is not constantly monitored. This way you will be less exposed to psychological pressure. Rebalancing should be carried out no more than once a quarter (this is written in more detail in the books), fluctuations are inevitable at short distances.

Constantly learn new things. If you have already made up your portfolio, then this is not the end, earning capital is not as difficult as saving it.

By Terra TEAM.

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