Updated: Feb 1
Let’s face it. When it comes to talking about investing in the stock market, women tend to tune out. This could be because “investing” and “stock market” scream male-dominated.
But, using the stock market as a tool to generate long term wealth is something everyone should consider….and yes, that includes you. Wendy Cartagena is the founder of “Invested Millennial” an online community dedicated to educating and empowering women (especially women of color) to invest in the stock market.
We understand that getting started in the stock market can be tough - which is why we caught up with Wendy to answer the basic investment questions and debunk some of the most common investing myths.
1. As a recent college grad, why should I be trying to invest in the stock market?
W: When it comes to personal finance, investing should be one of the top things on your list. Investing is a way to grow your money over time with a hands-off approach.
As a college grad, investing allows you to start building healthy money habits early because you’re learning how to budget and capitalize on your income. Over time, you’ll be so happy that you made the choice to invest because of the way your money grows with the snowball effect.
2. Do I still need to invest if I’m already saving?
W: Yes! If you’re trying to figure out whether you should save or invest, consider doing both. While saving allows you to have instant cash, it’s not growing at the rate your money would if you invested it in the market.
Additionally, if you’re only saving, you have to beware of the power of inflation. By the time you reach your target savings goal, things could be more expensive. If you invest, your money grows and can keep up with inflation.
3. Isn’t it super risky to invest in the stock market?
W: I had this same fear before I started investing. The stock market is “risky” because it’s volatile. It’s driven by market news, other economies around the world, and us (the investors). But, you don’t necessarily lose money because the market is volatile.
People can lose money in the market because they don’t strategize on what industry or sectors will make sense to hold long term. They follow trends and once they don’t like the stock anymore, they pull their money out.
It’s best to invest long term. During the economic downturn due to COVID-19, I took the opportunity to buy quality companies that have been in that market for many years. They probably aren’t the most popular stocks, but I know my money will be secure long term.
4. I don’t make enough to invest my income. Should I wait to start investing?
W: Do not wait. No matter how much you make, there’s still room to invest. Many investing platforms now have a $0 minimum meaning you can invest whatever you can afford.
Before, it was much harder for younger people to invest because most platforms had $500 - $1,000 minimums. You couldn’t open an account unless you had that money upfront. Now this entire industry is accessible to us. Whatever you have remaining at the end of the month once all expenses are paid…invest it.