Article by Carly Barnes

As Brand Manager for EasyEquities Carly seeks to empower all South African’s to engage with the stock market – growing their wealth and the economy at large – on the cheapest, easiest platform around.

I was asked for my tips on how to start investing. Here’s my quick guide to kitting yourself out for your investment journey:

  1. Get curious: redirect a chunk of your social media binge scrolling to some finance fact snacking. Information is going to help you feel a lot less overwhelmed when it comes to taking that first step in your investment journey. If there are some terms that are intimidating you, look them up and get your mind around them. If you want to understand the benefits of investing or the best way to go about it, do some googling. Heard of a Tax Free Savings Account or Exchange Traded Funds? Go find out what they are all about. First time investors will find the EasyEquities website and blog a great source of information – minus the jargon!
  1. Do.It: procrastination does not an empire build. Start. Jump in. Sign up and make that first deposit. Even if you’re not sure what to buy, commit to just starting and the rest will soon fall into place. Now you can buy a basket of shares which have been selected for you by an asset manager or a personality, so you don’t need to overthink your decision too much. The top guys have done it for you!
  1. Go with what you know: Once you’ve done a transaction or two and are feeling a little more confident, think about how you can start to really build yourself a valuable share portfolio. Start with considering the brands you are already willing to give a chunk of your salary to. Where do you buy groceries every month? Who is your medical aid with? And your cellphone bill? These are companies which you have already placed some trust with and are a good place to start when picking shares to invest in.
  1. Get personal: Understanding who you are and what your goals are is also an important part of navigating your investment journey. Have you thought about a plan for retirement? Are you working towards funding a wedding? An overseas trip? Depending on your time frame and the amount you want to achieve, you might need to adjust your plan. The folks at Emperor Asset Management do this through their riskalyze assessment.
  1. Commit: It’s as easy as it sounds. Every month commit to setting aside an amount to invest with. If you want to start forming good investment habits, set up a recurring investment on EasyEquities so you don’t even have to think about it! That money just goes poof out of your account every month. Every little bit counts. Start small if you need to, and build yourself up to bigger amounts. Hit that Tax Free Savings Account yearly limit every year! Make it a part of your life for the long term. Be patient and keep your eye on the long term prize. It will pay off (compoundly) in the end.

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