Savings & Investment

What Is Investing and How To Get Started

Investments are a way of saving money, but they can also be a way to increase your wealth. They provide benefits such as earning interest or profit from growth. Investments include savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and certificates of deposit, among others. An investment can also be termed as an asset acquired to make money.

They help you save money by providing the ability to earn interest or profit from growth. You can also use them to diversify your portfolio, which can help reduce risk. Some risks involved with investments include the potential for the value of the investment to fall, not providing sufficient income, or loss of principal.

Types of investments
There are various types of investments. These different types of investments include, but are not limited to, stocks and bonds. Stocks are also equities because they represent part ownership in a company and profitable business venture. A bond is considered a debt instrument issued by the government and normally pays a certain fixed interest rate.

  1. Real Estate
    Real estate is a common type of investment, and it can be either an investment-only or rental property. It can provide steady income, sometimes even during times of economic recession. The main advantage of investing in real estate is capital appreciation. Also, in most real estate markets, home prices tend to rise faster than the rate of local increases in wages and inflation.
  2. Commodities
    Commodity investments are another type of investment that can be very profitable and generate a steady income. They can provide a reliable source of income, as they may avoid market volatility since many commodities tend to rise in price due to demand rather than speculation. Some commodities, such as precious metals, tend to increase in value over a long period. This makes them very attractive to investors who are looking for long-term returns.
  3. Collectibles
    Collectibles are a type of volatile investment that may produce a steady income. They are assets such as art, fine wines, gold, antiques, and stamps that can be valuable only if they rise in value. They do not offer income but can provide an attractive return on investment if they appreciate value. They are highly illiquid and can be difficult to sell, meaning that an investor may need to hold the asset for a long time.
  4. Stocks/Equities
    Equity may be defined as the residual interest in an entity’s assets after deducting its liabilities. A stock is a form of equity and represents ownership in a company. The profits earned by the company are shared among its shareholders based on the number of stocks they own. The value of the stock is determined by its earnings power, price ratio, and the policies made by the company.
  5. Bonds/Fixed-Income Securities
    A bond is a debt security discharged by either a government agency or a corporation, which obligates the issuer to repay a certain amount of money borrowed by the bondholder with interest and a fixed number of installments. A bond is issued by a corporation, municipality, mutual funds, banks, or U.S. government agencies to finance specific projects or provide government debt financing. Bondholders receive interest payments on their investment and generally a fixed or variable annual redemption amount. Bonds are used to saving money for the future and borrow against them when you need money.
  6. Cryptocurrency
    Digital or virtual currencies are another type of investment. They are digital assets used as a medium of exchange like conventional currencies such as the United States dollar. Additionally, digital currencies can be used to buy goods or services and can be accepted by merchants or organizations. Examples of cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  7. Index Funds and Mutual Funds
    Index funds and mutual funds are also forms of securities. Index funds are usually passive investments whose benchmarks or tracking indexes reflect the performance of a specific index, such as the S&P 500. Mutual funds may be either actively or passively managed, depending upon how they are managed. A professional fund manager manages them, and mutual funds can be either open (anyone can buy shares) or closed (shareholders may buy into them at any time). Mutual funds pool your money with many other people, reducing the risk of loss.

Investing vs. Saving
Investing money involves taking a risk. You should know the amount of risk you are willing to take on beforehand. When saving money, you keep your funds in a savings account, which means you will only receive returns if the interest rates go up. Your capital is parked in a secure place so that you can use it whenever you need it. You will only get much growth on your money if your bank offers higher interest rates.

Investing your money involves taking control and trying to earn returns off the capital invested. Your capital is at risk, and you should know this. Investors are driven by the goal of making more money through investments than they would have if they had put their money in a safe place. Investing does not guarantee returns.

Most investors mistake putting their money in high-risk investments, which may not pay off as expected. Many also need to reevaluate their investment returns which can cause them to lose all their money.

Advantages of Investing
• Capital appreciation
It is an increase in the value of the investment over time.
• Control over your money
This is the ability to use your money for your benefit when and how you want. You can invest in the asset or asset class of your choice.
• Diversification
Having your money spread out over different types of investments reduces risk.
• Capital growth
An increase in the value of an investment from a change in its price is usually due to interest, dividends, or capital gain distributions.
• Earning income
Receipt dividends paid by stocks and interest from bonds and other fixed-income securities.
• Liquidity
Liquidity is easily converting an asset into cash or ready funds.

Disadvantages of Investing
• You may lose money on an investment. If you lose money on an investment, you are probably unable to sell or exchange the asset for cash, so you will lose money if the price does not return to its original value. The worst case scenario is when you invested a large amount of money, and it lost all its value.
• You may have a hard time selling or exchanging an investment.
• The value of your investment may go down after you buy it due to a change in prices, just as it is going up in value.
• Investments will not be available immediately.
• You may have to pay higher commissions than with an investment that a bank offers.
• Buying and selling assets may be time-consuming and require much free time.

As you can see, investing money is not difficult and does not require formal training. However, it is important to know that you may lose all or part of your investment. This can be stressful, especially when it happens to large amounts of money or when you are out of money from an investment.

Investing money can generate more income than you would have if you had put the money in a safe place. It is an entry in your toolkit that gives you control of the value of your money and an opportunity for added capital gains.