The following strategies and tools are a few of the ways beginner investors can get in the game.
Hire a traditional advisor. Welch suggests hiring a money manager. “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.” But if you go this route, be careful of the hidden fees. You shouldn’t have to weed through fine print to find out how much you are paying for financial advice. American investors are paying as much as 3.5% each year in advisory and fund fees. And while the difference between a 1% annual fee and a 3% annual fee may seem trivial, it can amount to more than $400,000 over the course of a lifetime.
Use a robo-advisor. Robo-advisors – online, automated services that deliver information and some advice – are now mainstream. But they are not for everyone. Working with a robo-advisor provides a low-cost solution to investors who are just getting started. Lower costs mean more money to invest. The fees from robos can be less than human advisors, although this difference can be less than you think. In addition, robo-advisors can’t take your long-term lifestyle goals into account, and a successful investment strategy always aligns with those goals.
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Turn to an app. Investment apps such as Robinhood, Fundrise, Acorns and others waive fees entirely, or nearly so. To find the one best suited for you, determine how deeply you want to invest. Are you willing to research the stocks you buy and trade, or would you rather rely on a preselected portfolio? Do you plan on investing regularly, or is this just an experiment?Carefully read the terms and features of each app before committing to it, and don’t be afraid to cash out and try a different one if you don’t feel your needs are being met.