The Millennial and Gen-Z Guide to Investing

    3 minutes
    Take actionable steps to begin investing your money
    What comes to mind when you hear the word, “investing?” Do you think of people on Wall Street obsessing over the stock market? Maybe you imagine a meeting room full of bored executives staring at pie charts.

    Here’s the truth – Investing isn’t just for large corporations, our parents or people with expensive suits. Almost anyone can start investing, including you. To get you on the right track, we’ve put together a list of actionable steps to take if you’re wanting to start investing your hard-earned cash now.
    STEP 1: Start by asking yourself a few questions.
    • Is this something I can focus on right now? It’s important to be in a financially healthy position before you start. Minimize risks by asking yourself questions like: Am I able to afford everything I need without worry? Do I have emergency savings? Are there easy ways I can make more room in my spending plan? Do I even have a spending plan? If you answered “no” to that last question, use our spending plan to get started. Step one of any financial conversation is knowing where your money is going.
    • What are my goals and how will I achieve them? Once you know where you are in your financial journey currently, you can begin mapping out a plan to reach your goals. Are you investing to purchase a home? Saving for your child’s college fund or your future retirement? Define your big picture, then set small, achievable goals along the way to keep yourself motivated and on track.
    • Am I taking full advantage of the resources available to me? Many young people rely on social media to learn about financial matters. While online content can be an excellent resource, you should always be aware that not everything you come across is accurate or applicable to you. To ensure the information you’re getting is accurate for you, most financial institutions offer a wealth of resources such as a free consultation with an investment professional, financial education and more. Credit Human members have free access to a multitude of financial information and guidance. Reading this blog is a great start. 😉
    STEP 2: Familiarize yourself with the different types of investing.
    There are many ways to invest. Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, as well as traditional and Roth IRAs are great places to start. Here’s a breakdown of what these are:
    • Mutual Funds. Mutual funds are investment securities that allow you to invest in a portfolio of stocks and bonds with only one transaction. This means mutual funds can often be a great option for beginners, as you don’t have to worry about a bunch of transactions. Initial minimum investment amounts will vary depending on which mutual fund company you choose.
    • Stocks. Purchasing stock gives you a share of ownership in a company. This means that as the company grows or shrinks, your money will follow its lead.
    • Bonds. When you purchase a bond, you give the issuer a loan and they agree to pay you back the face value of the loan on a specific date plus interest. Think of a bond like an IOU between the lender (you) and the borrower.
    • IRAs. An IRA is an individual retirement account. Within an IRA, you can find all the above types of investments, such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds.
      • A Traditional IRA uses pre-tax dollars, reducing your taxable income in the current year, and you pay taxes when you withdraw the money.
      • A Roth IRA uses post-tax dollars, offering no immediate tax savings, but both the contributed amount and earned money can be withdrawn tax-free during retirement.

    STEP 3: Speak with a professional before making any decisions or taking big risks with your money.
    An investment expert will assess your finances as a whole and determine which investment options are right for you. Credit Human members can schedule a free consultation appointment with one of our investment professionals for personalized guidance.

    Learning to invest your money can be overwhelming, but the sooner you can start the better. Use these actionable steps to get started. If you need financial guidance, make an appointment at your nearest Financial Health Center.

    Investment Center

    Regardless of your stage of life, a sound financial plan today can be the key to creating opportunities for tomorrow. Our CUSO Financial Services, L.P.* Financial Advisors are here to support your financial journey, no matter what life brings.

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