Want to Invest for the First Time? Dave Ramsey Says to Take These 5 Steps to Get Started

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Make sure you set yourself up for success by checking out his recommendations.


Key points

  • Dave Ramsey is a finance expert who suggests investing in your budget.
  • It also stresses the importance of choosing the right type of investment account.
  • Ramsey notes that it’s a good idea to start investing using a 401 (k) or other retirement account before moving on to other investment accounts.

Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth. When you open a brokerage account and buy assets, you no longer have to work for every dollar you earn. Your money can actually make more money for you because you can earn returns that are reinvested and thus help you earn even more.

However, you need to make smart investment choices, because investing comes with risks. Finance expert Dave Ramsey has outlined five steps you need to follow to get it right, even if some of his advice is better than others. Here is what he suggests to do to start investing.

1. Budget for your investments

According to Ramsey, the key first step in getting started investing is getting your investments into your budget. Specifically, he recommends investing 15% of your retirement income.

“Investing 15% of your income consistently month after month, year after year, will put you on the path to becoming a Baby Steps millionaire thanks to the time and compound growth they do their thing,” the Ramsey Solutions blog says.

Ramsey provided some tips on freeing up cash, including making lunch instead of paying for it in a restaurant and canceling the cable. These are great tips because you want to reallocate some of your money to invest, if you aren’t already, so you can build a secure future.

However, Ramsey says you should pay off debt before investing and this isn’t necessarily always true. If the returns you can earn by investing are higher than the interest rate on debt you have, you will probably want to invest money in the market first rather than focusing on becoming debt free.

2. Invest in growing equity investment funds

Ramsey’s next tip is to put your invested funds into growing mutual funds. “Good growth equity mutual funds are the best way to invest for consistent long-term growth because they allow you to spread your investment across many companies, from the largest and most stable to new and fast growing,” says Ramsey .

While Ramsey is right that scattering your money is a good idea, many people would actually be better off investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rather than mutual funds. ETFs that track the performance of market indices can provide instant diversification just like mutual funds do, but they trade like stocks, so it may be easier to buy and have a lower spend ratio.

3. Contribute to your 401 (k) first.

Ramsey’s next tip is about the type of account you should use. Specifically, he says to prioritize putting your investment money into a particular account first.

“If your company offers a 401 (k) with matching contributions, start investing there first,” he advises. This advice is absolutely spot on. Matching funds from an employer are free money. You should make sure you invest enough to get all the free money you can.

Ramsey suggests maxing out a Roth IRA after earning the entire company lot.

“Whenever you hear the word Roth, your ears should perk up,” the Ramsey Solutions read the blog. “First, the money you invest in your Roth IRA grows tax-free. Second, you won’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw your retirement money. So, if your account grows hundreds of thousands of dollars over time, everyone that money is yours free and clear when it’s time to use it in retirement! Talk about a win! “

A Roth, such as a 401 (k) is a tax-subsidized retirement plan. And Ramsey is right, you should consider investing in it if you want to defer your tax savings until retirement. However, whether you should opt for a Roth or put more in your 401 (k) or traditional IRA will depend on your situation.

A 401 (k) and traditional IRA both provide a deduction in the year you make your contribution, which a Roth IRA does not. However, you pay withdrawal fees with these accounts. So if you think you are taxed at a higher rate in retirement than a Roth is best, but if you think you are in a lower tax bracket later on, you’d better take the tax deduction when you invest rather than putting it off for more. late.

5. Get professional help

Finally, Ramsey recommends getting help from an investment professional. And while this can sometimes make sense if you don’t know where to start, the reality is that the fees you pay will dent your returns. Investing doesn’t have to be difficult if you use these tax-free retirement accounts and take a few minutes to research to decide which ETFs to buy.

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