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Making (or Losing) Money the Fun Way

by Nitin Agarwal


The time to invest is now.
Hello “insert name” – invest in the stock market. I have preached to countless friends about the miracles of compound interest and greater returns, but to no avail. Sadly enough, to date, I have only convinced three.

I ask all my classmates why they choose not invest, earn some extra money, save for retirement, and millionaires. Nevertheless, every one of my friends complains about just one thing – money.

Books, clothes, food, supplies, I hear my classmates complain about expense after expense. It simply blows my mind that party after party goes by and money is never an issue, but when it comes to investing in the next Google, Microsoft, or Apple, no one is ever interested.

Perhaps if you start investing now, years later you will not regret it.
Why should I invest? I cringe every time I hear this rhetorical question. Investing is the key to a financially sound future. By sitting on the sidelines in a checking or savings account you are gambling your financial security away to inflation.

Investors know that interest rates from the highest earning checking, savings, and money market accounts only earn a maximum of 3 to 5 percent. However, the annual return from most stocks and mutual funds is over 10 percent. We haven’t even factored in the capital accrued from dividends and short-term and long-term capital gains.

Essentially you can labor your life away working while your money rots in a bank account or invest today by opening a brokerage account and sit back while your money earns money for you.

A huge obstacle for most is that they claim they don’t know where to begin. Here are three simple questions:

Do you have a bank account? If you have a bank account then you already have funds you need to invest. Contrary to public belief, investing is a simple process. Opening a brokerage account is as easy as opening a bank account. Moreover, you do not need a substantial amount of money to invest. The more you invest the more you can expect to earn, but there is nothing wrong with investing just a few dollars.

Do you have an internet connection? Investing used to be for the rich due to the steep commissions that some full service brokerages charged. However, with the advent of the internet, several discount brokers have sprung up that allow you to trade for commissions for as low as 4 dollars. Some brokerages will even offer you free trades just for opening an account. Feel free to check out firms like Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Trade King, and Zecco.

Can you read? The internet has an enormous wealth of information on investing. Investopedia.com is a great free resource with tutorials for investors of all levels of experience from beginners to experts.

What’s the point? Invest now! The economy is starting to recover, but more importantly so is the stock market. Some of the mutual funds I own are up 60 percent for the year alone. To put that in prospective, if I invested 1 million dollars at the beginning of this year, I would be 600,000 dollars wealthier today.

In particular, I am very interested in penny stocks in the healthcare sector. Biotech stocks with a low share price are very risky, but I contend for the young investor, stocks like BioElectronics, ticker symbol BIEL, will be a goldmine in the years to come.

The bottom line is either invest now and become the next Warren Buffet or stow your money in your mattress and forget about it because with the effects of inflation eventually your money will become worthless.

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