© Business Insider How to start investing and building wealth with just $5, according to experts

© Insider

  • Investing experts Dominique Broadway and Ryan Viktorin joined Insider’s Master Your Money virtual panel.
  • They discussed how to invest smart and build wealth while managing risk and protecting assets.
  • Both experts recommended understanding your overall finances and developing clear goals first.

Investing and wealth-building are more accessible than ever, thanks to online brokerages, micro-investing apps, robo-advisors, crypto exchanges, and other investment options.

These platforms typically make it easy to set up new accounts, keep up with stock prices and market news, and trade on the go. But if you’ve never invested, you might be overwhelmed by the vast range of investment choices and account types at your disposal.

At a recent virtual panel entitled “How to Invest Smart & Build Wealth” – part of our Master Your Money series presented by Fidelity – experts Dominique Broadway, founder of Finances Demystified, and Ryan Viktorin, financial planner, vice president, and financial consultant at Fidelity, explored different ways to invest intelligently, both for beginners and experienced investors.

You don’t need millions (or even thousands) to start investing

“One of the biggest myths, and I’m sure Dominique would agree, is that ‘I have to have a ton of money to start investing,'” Viktorin said during the event. “And it’s just not true.”

She emphasized the importance of simply starting, adding that you can build wealth without being “wealthy.” Broadway seconded Viktorin’s points and explained that many platforms allow newcomers to both start with smaller amounts and utilize additional educational resources if they need to.

“You can literally start investing with as little as $5,” Broadway said. “I’m really excited that now people are realizing that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to actually start investing.”

Viktorin and Broadway also debunked two other stock market myths:

  • You need a lot of money to get help investing: Similar to the myth that you need a lot of money to start investing, another myth is that help is ridiculously expensive. “You don’t have to do it alone,” Viktorin said. “You can, and that’s awesome, but you don’t have to.” And that’s a huge change in the industry, she added, which is great. Robo-advisors are great for beginners, and there are many apps that offer members support from financial advisors.
  • You have to know everything about the stock market before you get started: “Don’t feel like you have to understand every single thing about fundamental analysis, technical analysis, reading charts, and all these different things to actually start investing,” Broadway said. “You can keep it super simple and be able to go ahead and jump in and possibly see good returns over time.”

Understand the risk of investments before you purchase them

If you’re not planning to use an automated investing account or financial advisor (although you can still research the investments you have for either of these options), it’s crucial to thoroughly assess the securities you’re eyeing. And this isn’t something that just applies to beginner investors; it also applies to experienced and advanced traders.

Viktorin added that a few common mistakes investors make are not having a clear expectation of the risk behind a certain investment or portfolio, not keeping the “big picture” in mind, and panic selling. “The only way you have lost that investment is if you sell it,” Viktorin said.

And regardless of the wealth-building vehicle you choose – whether it’s an individual retirement account (IRA), employer-sponsored retirement plan, or banking app that rounds up spare change from your purchases and invests it – your risk tolerance isn’t something that’s set in stone. It may fluctuate as you age or make more or less money.

Don’t stop investing after you’ve bought your first shares

It can be exciting to have your first few shares under your belt, but what you do after you purchase your first investments is even more important than the action of buying them.

“You’ve bought your first year of something that maybe you like or believe in,” Broadway said. “My recommendation is just keep going.”

She stressed the importance of contributing to your investment accounts consistently by setting a contribution schedule (e.g. weekly, monthly, etc.) to deposit funds from your bank accounts into your investments.

Make sure you understand your financial situation before you get started

If you’re almost ready to begin building wealth but aren’t sure which steps to take right now, Viktorin and Broadway shared two actionable items:

1. Organize your finances by mapping out your assets and liabilities.

2. Figure out your investing goals and which vehicles you’d like to utilize to reach them.

“Have an understanding of what you have,” Viktorin said. It could be the income you’re earning versus your expenses and what can you save.

“Do you have any debt?” Broadway said. “Do you have any investments? Do you have 401(k)s offered through your job? You can’t create a goal of where you want to be if you don’t know where you currently are.”