Thursday, February 4, 2021

How The Stock Market Can Put Extra Cash in Your Pocket

The best way to make money in the stock market is to invest for the long term. With the right investments, your money will grow over time. 

The dividends you earn as stocks payout can be reinvested, and the value of the stocks you originally bought will grow over time as well. Best of all, with the right investments, you can lower your tax burden with the right investment vehicle.

Buy and Hold--Mostly

If you're putting money away for retirement, you're inherently a buy and hold investor. This is a good thing because that's the best way to grow your cash over time.

That being said, you want to make sure that your investments are given time to grow. If you have a private investment account that isn't in a retirement vehicle, you can sell a stock, buy new stock, and pull out dividends as you wish. Pulling out your dividends will increase your taxable income now and can limit the dollars you have to invest.

However, if you want to work in a market that can actually pay out in real-time, the world of Forex may appeal. You will need to do your due diligence as trading currencies on the foreign exchange market actually moves quickly and will take serious skills. 

If you're ready to move into a career that you can do anywhere and completely online, consider taking an online Forex trading course to prepare.

Retirement Dollars or Money Now?

If you want to be able to increase your current cash flow, set up a private stock trading account. There are many apps that you can use to easily buy stocks individually or invest in index funds or exchange-traded funds.

For those who have little knowledge of the stock market, it's a good idea to look at the various index funds that track the different indexes that measure the market. The Dow Jones is an index, as is the S&P. 

There are index funds in gas and oil, construction, and different forms of manufacturing. Chasing after different companies to put your money into can be riskier. Index growth may be slow, but it's also less volatile than individual company stock picks.

Double Up on Retirement Investments

If you're looking to invest for your retirement, start with your employer and load up whatever retirement account they offer, at least until you've met the match. For those interested in the more volatile markets and stock picks, the employer match can be fun to play with.

Consider doubling up on your retirement investments if you have the cash flow. For example, you can set up a traditional IRA and get the tax break now, or you can set up a Roth IRA and enjoy the tax break later. 

If you're married and one partner is home with children or working part-time, you can set up a retirement account on behalf of the non-earning spouse. There are actually a lot of options to put away money now so you'll have it later. Talk to a financial advisor about your investment vehicle options.

Look Long Term

Again, it's critically important that you look at stocks in the long term view. One of the most expensive things you can do as an investor is to panic, particularly if you're putting away money for retirement. If you know that you will need cash soon, put it in savings rather than the market. Your best stock payout bet is to let the money sit for five years.

However, if you're planning a large investment, such as a down payment for a house, be aware that there are many options for borrowing against your retirement for just such a purpose. 

The interest rates are low and you pay them to yourself over time. Carefully review the terms and payment amounts for any retirement loan to make sure you won't limit your take-home pay too much.

No matter what happens, do your absolute best to avoid pulling cash out of a retirement account unless you're in dire financial straits. First of all, there will be a penalty of up to 10% off the top. Secondly, you will have to pay income tax on it at whatever rate of pay you're currently making. 

Part of the beauty of most retirement savings is that these accounts invest pre-tax income and you pay taxes on it after your working days are done. Taking it out early can be a real financial double-whammy.

If you need extra cash right now, consider getting a second job or building a side hustle. However, cash over the long term is easy to build with buy and hold investments in the stock market.

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