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By Larry Anweiler, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University Published June 2014
How does a novice investor know where to start when there are investment options ranging from real estate to the stock market?
Before you start investing you need to set three goals. First the amount of money you want to accumulate, second the time frame in which to acquire it, third the amount of return you need to obtain to reach your goal.
What are your choices to meet your investment goals that include safety, yield, and growth? The general rule of thumb is that if you have $5,000 or less, you are better off in a managed diversified mutual fund that charges a commission at the beginning. By paying an upfront fee you will only pay on the amount deposited into the account instead of having to pay commissions on the original amount plus any capital gains.
Look at a combination of mutual funds including stock, bonds, or other investment funds. You will want to diversify your portfolio between several funds as this will both increase the total yield of your investment while lowering risk. If you have over $5,000 to invest you may want to try investing in individual securities. The easiest way to choose stocks is to pick a company you already know and whose products you already trust. What industry they are in? Who are the members of that industry group and how are they ranked? Look at number two or number three company in the group for your investment dollars. Usually the numbers two and three companies stock will not be overbought and have growth potential, unlike the number one stock in the group which everyone has read about and has already purchased.
Remember that stock investments are always long-term and avoid strategies like day trading or short term purchases. Watch your stocks weekly at first, then monthly and always reinvest dividends back into the stock. This strategy has two advantages as it can help your assets grow faster and reinvesting dividends will be less expensive as this investment should be commission free.
If you encounter hard times during the course of your career, you can take a margin loan against the value of the portfolio up to 50 percent without penalties of any kind. The interest rate will be low because it is collateralized and you can repay the margin loan at your convenience. If you follow these investment strategies, you will be surprised at how fast your money will grow for you investment goals.Larry Anweiler is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
The contents of this article are presented for informational purposes only, and are not to be relied upon for investment purposes. Always check with a financial professional regarding any questions you may have regarding your investments.
By Cynthia Waddell, PhD, CPA, CFE
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Access definitions and FAQs related to accounting.
Access definitions and FAQs related to investments and wealth management.
Access definitions and FAQs related to real estate.
Access definitions and FAQs related to risk and insurance.
Kaplan Real Estate Education's Toby Schifsky looks at the factors to consider when pursuing a real estate career.
Toby Schifsky talks about the importance of goals and action steps for achieving them.
Access preparation and practice advise from Kaplan Financial Education experts Mary Orn and Julie Ramsey.
Maylee talks about her experiences with Kaplan Financial Education and preparing for her exams.
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