How I started investing
My senior year in college I attended a church that offered Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class, I followed along the classwork and that material really focused on alot of topics, but the class that stood out to me was getting out of debt. Having almost no money in my pocket along with student debt that was in the tens of thousands, I focused all of my attention and efforts into getting out of debt, determined that I would not carry along college debt into my thirties. Well, I’m happy to announce that, through alot of hard work, scholarship applications and sometimes sleepless nights, I was able to completely pay off all of my debt 4 months out of college.
Going back to my time in the financial peace class, I remember Dave mentioned something about endorsed local providers for investing, and I thought “wow, these people will help me start investing, how nice”. I took them up on their offer and met with a very nice investing agent from Allstate, who was selling mutual funds in the American Funds family. For someone who knew absolutely nothing about a mutual fund, I was ecstatic at the thought of having my money work hard for me with American Funds. So every month I gave them a few hundred dollars and trusted the fund managers to do right by me and reap a good return.
Winning at the Loser’s Game
I won’t go in to the matter too much here because this post is just about my journey of how I started investing, but, long story short, I failed to research the mutual funds that I was invested in, and I put a lot of trust in the agent that helped me get started. If I had known what I wish I knew now, I would be much farther along in my investment journey, would have had a better return on my investment, and wouldn’t be taking a heavy tax hit this year.
Although I wouldn’t recommend anyone to American Funds or any investment company with high fees, the principles I know now about investing will save me in the long run and help me get a better return on my investment. Thankfully, I learned these lessons before I hit my thirties, and hopefully you young investors take my failure to heart and open an account with a brokerage firm that keeps costs low.
Have you started investing? How did you start ? Do you have any regrets ?