Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How Old is Too Old to Start Investing?

While it is ideal to get started investing early, it is by no means only for the very young. Even if you are in your forties or are approaching retirement age, you can still build your wealth, prepare for your retirement, or create a better future for your children and grandchildren. What is important is that you get started. And the sooner you do it, the better.

The power of compound interest

One compelling reason for you to invest today is the power of compound interest. If you invest $10,000 today and it earns an interest of 15% every year, you will double it to $20,113.57 in five years. 

If you set aside $100,000 from your retirement fund and it earns 15% annually, you will have $201,135.72 after five years, and $404,555.77 in ten years.

No matter how much you choose to invest, compound interest has the potential to help you build your wealth faster than if you were to save all of your money in the bank.

Learning how to invest

Before you start investing, learn as much as you can first. There are plenty of books and blogs dedicated to the subject, so you will have all the resources you need. 

Begin with the fundamentals because you will be able to apply these to different forms of investment, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

You can also use free online tools to practice what you have learned. Virtual stock markets, for example, let you follow real-world stock movements and trade these stocks using virtual funds. 

Practice in an online sandbox until you are confident enough to use actual money to invest.

The importance of diversification

All investments have inherent risks. Companies go bankrupt, markets experience downturns, and inflation can erase your gains. 

You can minimize your exposure to risk by creating a highly diversified portfolio. If you invest in stocks, buy shares from companies across a wide range of industries.

While stocks are a popular form of investment, diversify further by investing in bonds and real estate. Real estate, in particular, has proven to be relatively safe and stable, especially if you want a long-term investment.

When investing in real estate, you can also buy shares in real estate investment trusts (REITs). These allow you to invest in a portfolio of properties and provide you with income through dividends. 

By investing in a REIT, you will have a diverse real estate portfolio, which would limit your risk significantly compared to owning actual properties.

Use the equity in your property

When your children have all moved out, and as you near retirement, it may be a practical choice for you to move to a smaller house. It is easier to maintain and provides you with only the space you actually need. 

But more than that, you can release the equity that you built up in your current property and have some capital to start your investment.

Knowing what your goals are

Know what your specific goals are before you invest because your goals will let you determine your most ideal type of investment. 

For example, if you wish to save up for your retirement, it may be a wise choice to invest mostly in low- to medium-risk investments. If you want to build your wealth faster, you can invest some of your capital in high-risk investments to get higher returns. 

Keep in mind, however, that high-risk investments also have more chances of failing, so limit your risk accordingly.

Whatever your goals are, whatever your preferred investments, and whatever your age, getting started may be a scary step to take, but it can be rewarding too. So invest today—it can change your future for the better.

Kenneth T. writes for The Investor, a real estate blog with a passion for real estate investments and provides real estate investors with insights on the most pertinent issues in the market to help support their investment decisions, wherever they are in the world.

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