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The Complete Guide to Beginner Investing

April 1, 2024

Blueprint Income Team

Introduction to investing

While investing may seem like a daunting concept for beginners, it doesn't have to be. Fundamentally, investing means putting a little money away with the hope that you'll make a profit. Once you get past the initial hurdle, you can use investing to unlock a route to financial independence and genuine wealth building.

Why is investing important?

Investing has an essential role in long-term financial stability. It's a strategic financial decision that can help you access an array of financial opportunities.

While there are many reasons you should begin investing, here are the three most important:

  • Financial independence and wealth growth: Investing allows you to grow your money over time. By investing in assets such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you can avail of compound interest to generate substantial earnings. Compound interest can increase the growth rate of your investments, giving you a greater return to look forward to.
  • Saving for retirement: Building a sizable retirement account doesn't happen immediately. Investment vehicles such as IRAs and 401(k)s are long-term considerations, giving you plenty of opportunity to grow your money while you wait to retire. Some employers may match a certain percentage of your contributions, further incentivizing you to prepare for the future.
  • Generating passive income: Certain investments have the potential to generate passive income, such as real estate properties or dividend-paying stocks. These income streams can supplement your current income or replace it altogether, allowing you to pay your bills without having to work. Passive income is especially beneficial for retirees who don't work and need to replace an income entirely.

Important considerations for new investors

Before you start investing, you should consider several key factors.

The first step you should take as a novice investor is to set clear investment goals. Some people invest to save for retirement, while others put money aside for large purchases, such as a new home. Regardless of your goal, setting it from the beginning can help guide you to it. It can also help you decide on the best investment vehicle, as different investments come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

After you've decided on a worthwhile goal, assess your risk tolerance. Risk tolerance is the level of risk you're willing to take in your investments. Time can play a major role in risk tolerance, as someone about to retire might not have enough time to recover from a financial loss, leading to lower overall risk tolerance.

Conversely, a beginning investor may tolerate more risk, as they have more time to recover from potential losses.

When beginning anything new, it's beneficial to start small and remain consistent if you want to experience growth. While some may think that you need to make a large contribution to your investment to see it grow, steady contributions can use compound interest to create a significant return.

When exploring investments, you should also contemplate the associated costs and fees. Some platforms offer free investing, but others don't. Consider the tools you use to invest and how much you're willing to pay.

Getting started: strategies for beginners

There are several helpful strategies beginners can use for investing. The easiest way to get better at investing is to educate yourself. Consider researching aspects of investing, such as information on various investment vehicle options and how to assess your risk tolerance.

After you've acquired this beginning information, you can start slowly with some easily understood investments. Index funds and exchange-traded funds can be good starting investments, as they're less volatile than individual stocks and provide diversification.

Setting financial goals

Setting short- and long-term financial goals can provide a pathway to your desired return.

Once you've set your goals, quantify them and put them on a timeline. If your goal is to buy a house, how much money do you require for the purchase, and when do you need to have it? By creating tangible markers, you can achieve your goal through investing.

When setting financial goals, however, remember that you might not always be able to invest the amount you planned on. Unexpected emergencies may arise, from medical bills to car troubles, and they can set you back financially. Consider these possibilities when you're setting goals so that they'll cause less hardship in the future.

There are online tools you can use to get a better estimate of when you might retire. These tools can be helpful when setting financial goals as they can give you a good idea of how long you have to save for retirement.

Understanding your risk tolerance

Risk tolerance is the amount of risk an investor is willing to face. Understanding your risk tolerance is essential in investing. It influences the types of assets you keep in your portfolio and how you navigate the market overall.

If you don't want to experience losses and stay with safer investments, you have a low-risk tolerance. If you're willing to take more risk to potentially experience greater returns, you have a higher risk tolerance.

Your risk tolerance should align with your financial goals. Short-term goals may benefit from a lower risk tolerance while the opposite may apply to long-term goals. Investing can also be emotionally taxing, so if the thought of a sudden drop in your portfolio's value makes you feel uneasy, having a high-risk tolerance may not be for you.

Diversification of portfolio

Diversification is another key concept to understand in investing. This emphasizes spreading your investments across a variety of assets to mitigate potential risks. It's the opposite of having all of your eggs in one basket.

The goal of diversification is to protect your portfolio from losses. For example, if you've invested 100% of your money in two companies equally and one of them fails, you've lost half of your investment. If you invest the same amount in 10 companies equally, and one of them fails, you've only lost 10% of your investment.

There are many ways to diversify your portfolio. You can invest in assets of different classes, assets from various geographical locations, and assets in different sectors of the economy.

Understanding different types of investments

When looking to invest, you might notice how many different types of investments are available. They each come with their benefits and drawbacks, making them good tools for specific situations.

Some of the most popular types of investments include stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. Understanding the differences between them is key to creating a good investment portfolio.


Stocks are a staple of investing. They're also known as equities or shares and represent your stake in a company. When you buy a stock, you buy a portion of the company and become a shareholder. The value of the stock varies based on the company's performance and market conditions.


Bonds are a little more complicated than stocks. Instead of buying a portion of a company, bonds allow you to purchase a debt security that entitles you to receive periodic interest payments and your principal amount back when it matures. They're generally considered to be lower risk than stocks.


ETFs are investment funds that trade on stock exchanges. They usually track an entire index or commodity, providing diversification. ETFs can have low expense ratios.

Mutual funds

Mutual funds take money from multiple investors to invest in a diverse portfolio of stocks, bonds, and ETFs. They're usually run by professional fund managers who have years of experience in finance. The fund managers decide on behalf of everyone who has invested.

Maintaining your investment strategy

Investing can lead you to the financial future you've been dreaming of. It can provide you with financial independence, grow your wealth, and give you enough passive income to quit your day job.

For new investors, setting clear goals, assessing risk tolerance, starting small, and understanding associated costs are crucial considerations. To get the most out of your investing journey, it's important to educate yourself and maintain consistency. You can always start with straightforward investments, such as index funds.

Visit our website for more information or start your journey today with our intuitive guide.


Blueprint Income Team

We are a team of finance, insurance, and actuarial professionals working to make it easier for everyone to achieve a steady and comfortable retirement. We write about annuities (the good and the bad) and provide strategies to help Americans prepare for retirement.


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