I have an embarrassing confession to make. 6 months ago I had no idea how to go about investing. If you put a gun to my head and told me to buy a stock, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Sure, I had my 401k that work opened for me and was automatically depositing money into, but I had nothing outside of that. I just squirrelled away my money in a lousy savings account that I wasn’t even getting 1% interest on. OUCH.
I was honestly afraid to invest. When I graduated highschool in 2009, I didn’t understand investing or the economy, all I knew was that sh*t was hitting the fan. I only had negative associations with the stock market, and didn’t like the prospect of my money disappearing overnight. I liked my money sitting nice in safe in a savings account – not even keeping pace with inflation.
Eventually I discovered JL Collins book The Simple Path to Wealth, which provides a great overview on investing and managing your finances. Shortly after that we opened a Vanguard brokerage account and poured almost all our cash, minus our emergency fund, into a low fee index fund. It still took me awhile to do that – we ended up doing it in 3 chunks because I was too apprehensive to put all our money in at once.
Now I can’t wait to put more money into our investments. I nerd out over expense ratios. I’m ready to weather the storm of a market downturn, aka a sale on stocks. It’s amazing the difference 6 months can make. I wanted to write this post to highlight that we’ve all made bad financial decisions in the past, but we shouldn’t let them limit us today.
What do you guys think? Where you afraid to start investing as well, or maybe you still are? Drop a note in the comments!