Make your first investment a boring one

The investing world is a new and exciting place.  Investments once only available to the rich are now accessible to the $25.00 investor.  There are commission free stock brokerages, peer-to-peer lending, and even precious metals just to name a few of the growing list of opportunities.

With such a buffet of exciting choices, where to start?  Start boring.

The best, safest, highest yield investment you can make is also the one that has been there all along.  If someone came to you and said they would guarantee 50% return on your investment, your would think there must be some catch or it would be very risky, or you would have to break some one's legs.  Such high returns are rare indeed.

How can you experience such returns safely?  401(k)

A lot of companies do a match  of contributions, often 50%.  For every dollar you contribute, they will put in 50 cents.  This is a very simple and safe 50% return.

How much should you put into the 401(k)?  You should be saving 10% of your salary b…

Giving Facebook Page Boosting a try

The other day Facebook made me an offer I couldn't refuse:  $30.00 to spend on boosting a page.  Never having done it before I decided to give it a try.

First a picked a page at random, mostly because I like the picture.  This page:
Next, they have you choose an audience.  I picked people interested in various investing terms. 
Then, go.

The result were impressive.  A blog that has very few followers ( < 10 ) got over 500 views in a week.  The page and the post both got a couple of likes -- thanks to those who did.

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared only made $.38, yup 38 cents from Google AdSense. 

It was a good experiment, didn't cost me anything and shows that a small investment can reach people.

I will be doing it again, but first Google sent me a similar coupon which I will try on my book, Ferocious Flirting.

You can't miss

Just yesterday I wrote a post called Don't Panic which talks about the need to prepare with an exit strategy to avoid the pitfalls of making panic decisions.

Today, I ran across on article: Warren Buffett: If you invest this way, 'you can't miss'.  Like a lot of finance articles, there are a lot of words but not a lot of concrete advice.  To summarize the things that stood out to me:

you've got the right facts, and you reason by yourselfopinions and emotions aren't likely to help yoube able to play out your hand under all circumstancesgiving in to your fear is not a sound strategy These bullet points are some good advice to follow.  Plan before investing and know before hand when you want to get out, regardless of what the market does.  The more you understand about the investment, the better decisions you are going to make.

Don't Panic

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says this about why the fictional The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sells so well:
It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words 'DON'T PANIC' in large, friendly letters on the cover.
If I ever write a book on investing, I think I will include "DON'T PANIC" in large friendly letters on the cover as well.  If you learn nothing else about investing,  learn to not panic.  The world is full of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- especially the investing world.  The other day the DOW lost 400 points because of a possible financial crisis in Italy.  How do you learn to relax in such an ever changing world?

Some of my most costly lessons have come from fear and panic.  Sometimes a stock is rising and I want to hurry and catch it, just to have it …

Finding an extra $25.00 in your wallet

As the $25.00 Investor I have budgeted some from each paycheck to invest.  This way it happens regularly allowing me to take advantage of dollar cost averaging.

One thing I really like to do is when I have some extra $25.00 is to invest it as well.

What if you found an extra $25.00 in your wallet that you hadn't expected to be there?  Using the Chime prepaid Visa card, this can happen to you.  By using the Chime card, I get free money in my wallet.

How to get started
First, get a  Chime prepaid Visa card using this referral link (so we both get some free money).

Second, setup direct deposit onto the card.  This will avoid any monthly fees.

Third, make sure the round up savings is set up.

Finally, spend.

How it works Each time you make a purchase, Chime rounds the purchase up to the nearest dollar and puts the extra into the savings account.  For example, if you make a purchase for $2.30, the charge will be for $3.00 with $2.30 going to the store and the 70 cents going into your s…

Is Investing $25.00 worth it?

As I have been having success investing $25.00 at a time, it is good to see what others have to say and if they are having success.

One site I like is Investopedia for all kinds of investment and financial knowledge.  They have an article called Is investing $25 a month worth it? which discusses some of the things to think about when investing $25.00.

First is fees and it is a huge one.  I learned this when I started investing in Stockpile which charges a fixed $.99 per transaction which is quite small when compared with many other brokers.  I really like Stockpile for its fractional shares.  It allowed me to really grow my investment over time.

However, I soon realized that $.99 on $25.00 is almost 4%, which is a lot of ground to make up to just break even.  This made me change from investing $25.00 at a time to waiting and investing $100.00 so the fee would be just 1%, a much more palatablecommission.

The article talks about fees of over $40 a year which is way to much for a small dol…

How I accidentally discovered the power dollar cost averaging

My first foray into $25.00 investing was of course into the stock market.  There are several low cost brokerage companies like M1 Finance where you can buy fractional shares of stock.  These allow you to own less than a single share of stock and often have little or no fees.  A seemingly perfect match for my goals of creating consistent income $25.00 at a time.

I have always wanted to own some shares of The Walt Disney Company.   My plan was to invest my first $25.00 and buy a fractional share, buying more over time.  At the time DIS was trading at around $115.00 a share so I knew it would take several investments to finally reach a single share.

I placed my order and took the plunge.  The order executed at about $112.00 dollars a share, giving me about .22 shares of DIS.  My journey had begun.

And the price dropped.  I felt like someone had kicked my puppy.  Didn't these people realize that the stock was supposed to go up after I bought it?

Fortunately for me, I stuck to my plan…