Investing for Beginners

Investing For Beginners: Pick An Account And Go For It With Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden from Invested Development joins Jillian to clear the air and the anxiety around investing for beginners.

More About Amanda Holden:

Amanda Holden is a writer and speaker who helps womxn prepare for their future by building wealth. She is the owner and founder of the Award-Winning Dumpster Dog Blog and Invested Development. Amanda uses humor and real talk to break down complex financial topics into golden nuggets of actionable information. Amanda is also a member of the ChooseFI Foundation speaker bureau.

Topics Covered:

  • Amanda recognized that women were being left out of the investing conversation
  • Investing isn't only for the wealthy (and they don't know what they're doing either)
  • You can start investing today by choosing your investment container
  • Having anxiety around investing is normal
  • It's within your capacity to invest

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Learning How To Invest Should Be Accessible To Everyone

Amanda began her career at an investment management company straight out of college. Like many new graduates, Amanda needed the money and that's what drove her to this particular position. From day one she was on the front lines working with high net worth clients as an investment counselor. The main demographic was “old rich white guys.”

Helping rich men get richer, wasn't going to be my final and ultimate calling.

So often, investment advice is reserved for those who are already wealthy. The accessibility of money management can be a barrier for many who don't fall into a certain income bracket.  Amanda saw this gap. She was able to leverage the knowledge gained at this corporate position to eventually quit with the intention of bringing her expertise to a wider audience.

I learned a lot of information that is so important to everybody, and so I could take that information and get this information to the demographics that I care most about, which just so happens to be young women or really anybody who has felt left out of these conversations.

Do The Rich Automatically Know How To Manage Money?

Have you ever thought that the wealthy must know something you don't? It's not true. Being intuitively good with money because you're wealthy is a myth that Amanda squashes.

Just because you know how to make money, doesn't mean you know how to manage your own money.

Not knowing what to do with money is something even the most wealthy get in a tizzy about, Amanda explains. This is one of the many reasons you should start familiarizing yourself with money management and investing terms early on. It's easier when you have a small amount of money, rather than waiting until you have accumulated wealth.

If you are waiting until you have a million dollars to manage your money, you're doing it wrong.

If you have kids, money management lessons can start now. Jillian has a system in place for any income her kids bring in. The money is placed in a RothIRA and the kids get to experience a few down cycles before they even reach the age of 18. There is no better time to start investing than right now. Taking the first step helps prepare you for a better financial future.

The Containers Of Investment

There are three steps to gaining control of your money.

  1. Pay down debt
  2. Know where you're spending
  3. Invest

That last step of investing can create anxiety. That's because investing can be confusing. Amanda is here to clear that up with a simple concept of containers.

First Investing Step: Make A Decision About Where To Put Your Money

The first question that anybody has to ask themselves when they're managing their money is ‘where do I put the money?'. In what account am I supposed to actually put the money? And so many people get tripped up by this very first step, that they don't do anything at all.

Don't let this step trip you up. Whether you choose RothIRA or a 401k it's important to remember that these are just containers. They hold your money. It is the container that you hold your treasures, just like the garage where you park your car.

When I hear people say something like, ‘My 401k is my investment,' that's not quite right. Your 401k is an account that holds investments.

How do you decide which container to use? It all has to do with taxes. Containers like a RothIRA and 401k offer certain tax advantages compared to a regular brokerage account. Remember, a brokerage account is also a container. Amanda recommends you pick one and go for it. You can run it by a tax advisor to make sure you qualify for the account if you're not sure.

Most importantly, don't let the details stop you. Get started and put some money into a container.

Second Step: Choose Investments For The Container

Within each container, you will have options for investing. You may have heard of Index Funds, ETFs and Mutual Funds. These are baskets within your container that hold stocks and bonds. Again, don't get caught up in the details. You have things to do and it's possible to choose a simple strategy. There are plenty of easy ‘set it and forget it' investments for your container.

If this sounds like a foreign language, check out Amanda's Instagram story highlights. She covers types of investments in quick and digestible videos.

Investing Is Within Your Capacity

When you're getting started you might not be perfect. That's totally ok.

Even though the world of investing can seem so complicated and so vast, it's really not. Investing is within your capacity.

Women and those left out of the investing conversation should know that you aren't alone with your investing anxiety. You should also know that you can and should invest in your future. Take it step by step and you will start to feel more in control of your money.

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ChooseFI seeks to uncover helpful services that help you be financially resilient. However, we may receive compensation, at no cost to you, from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article, including from CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Opinions are the author’s alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of these entities. See our disclosures for more info.

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