Funny Money. Photo: fullvalue (Getty).
What do you do if you have a job, but it doesn’t have a retirement plan? Well, you have some options. You can pay a financial advisor to invest your money for you. But whatever gains they make with your money, they’re going to take a cut. Or, you can use one of the big brokerage websites like E-Trade and pay a commission every time you buy or sell stock.
But why not just skip out on other people taking your money and do it yourself?
How to Invest If You’re an Idiot
There is a fairly new app out called RobinHood. It’s available for Android and Apple phones and is in the process of having a web-based site. You can buy and sell stocks without paying a commission, you don’t have to wait days for the money you transfer to be deposited, and you don’t have to be a stock insider to use it. It makes buying stock and investing simple. E-Trade is fine, but most of the options and tools are too complicated for your average idiot. Plus, they make you wait days for the money you deposit to be used for investing. Our advice would be, find an app or site that you are comfortable with, then put your money to work.
Here are some tips on how you can get your money to work for you:
1. Pretend it’s a fever blister and leave it alone.
If you’re saving for retirement, don’t get antsy when looking at your portfolio. Know that the market goes up and down all the time. Don’t panic if you check your portfolio and see that it’s lost money. You’re in it for the long haul. If you’ve invested it in low volatility stocks, bonds and mutual funds, you’ll be fine. The worst thing that can happen is that the world’s economy collapses and taxpayers have to shell out billions of dollars to the people who caused it. But that’s the worst thing that could happen.
2. You’re only playing with yourself.
This ties into the first point. We don’t have the algorithms and high-tech software that day traders have. We aren’t going to beat them at their own game. And you’re not trying to beat them. The trick is to get your money to make money (which you don’t need a financial advisor to accomplish ). With a little bit a research on your part, you can find a safe way to invest that will earn more interest than the savings account at your bank.
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3. You don’t have to be rich to invest.
Take the money from your “swear jar” to the bank and put that money into the market. Skip the bar and invest the money you were going to spend on your tab into the market. Little deposits here and there can start to add up. Pretty soon, the interest on your investments will be paying for your bar tab! There are stocks and funds you can buy shares in for any budget.
4. Spend less than you earn.
Dave Ramsey is incredibly wealthy because he started a series of books and radio shows that hinge on this principle. It’s such a dumb idea that he played it in the right way. And now he never has to worry about money ever again. I’m going to start a series of books that teach the Biblical principles of not eating lead paint. Let’s hope it works out for me.