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MAKE IT MAKE CENTS

Investing 101:
Planting Seeds for Your Future Harvest 

APEF: Solving the Financial Illiteracy Crisis

Investing – the word can conjure images of Wall Street trading floors filled with rows of desks, computer monitors, and people in suits frantically yelling, “Buy! Sell!” Day-to-day investing isn’t quite as hectic as it seems in movies or shows. At its core, investing is all about sowing seeds today for a prosperous harvest in the future. It's about growing your money, not just letting it sit in a dusty piggy bank (or bank account). So, grab your gardening gloves, and let's dig into the basics of smart investing!

What is investing?

Think of investing like planting a seed. You plant some of your hard-earned money up-front, tend to it by making smart investment decisions, and over time it should grow into something more valuable (return on investment). Options available to investors range from stocks, real estate, or even small businesses - here are just a few popular ones:

  • Stocks: Stocks represent ownership in a company. Investing in stocks allow you to participate in the company's success and share in its profits through capital appreciation and dividends.

  • Bonds: Bonds are debt securities where investors lend money to governments or corporations in exchange for periodic interest payments and the return of the principal amount at maturity.

  • Mutual Funds: Mutual funds pool money from multiple individuals to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities. Don’t worry- they are managed by professionals; you don’t need to be a financial expert to participate.

 

Why should you invest?

Time is on your side! By starting early and diversifying assets such as stocks and bonds, investments may give your money the time it needs to grow at an incredible rate compared to traditional savings accounts. Remember, tiny seeds can grow giant trees! There’s another excellent reason to invest- over the long term, the purchasing power of money tends to decrease due to inflation. Investing helps counteract the impact of inflation and preserves the real value of money.

 

But how do I start?

Take it slow and steady! Do your research and understand the different types of investments and their risks. Determining your risk tolerance and investment goals will help you decide what type is right for you. Think of it like choosing the right plant for your garden – some need more sun, others prefer shade. Ask your parents, guardians, or teachers for guidance, and explore educational resources to become a financially savvy gardener.

 

When you decide to invest your money, just remember:

  • Investing isn't magic. Risks are involved, and the value of your investments can go up or down, but with time and smart choices, the odds of a thriving harvest are in your favor.

  • Diversify your investments across different types to spread the risk and create a balanced financial garden.

  • It's okay to begin with a few dollars and gradually increase your investment as you gain confidence and knowledge. Remember, even the mighty oak started as an acorn!

  • Investing is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, stay disciplined, and focus on long-term growth.

 

Investing can be an exciting journey filled with learning, growth, and the potential for a brighter financial future. So, embrace your inner gardener! Nurture your financial seeds with knowledge and good choices, and watch your garden of wealth bloom as you grow into a financially responsible and secure adult. The harvest you reap tomorrow starts with the seeds you plant today!

Bonus Tip: Check out online resources like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Junior Achievement for investment tutorials and resources. 

 

References & further reading
Bonds: A Beginner's Guide to Investing in Fixed Income Securities - Surgaonline.com. https://surgaonline.com/bonds-a-beginner-s-guide-to-investing-in-fixed-income-securities/

 

ELSS OF MUTUAL FUNDS- SMART OPTION TO SAVE TAX & CREATE WEALTH – Secura Finvest. https://securafinvest.com/15349-2/

Soft skills refer to a set of personal attributes, behaviors, and social attitudes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others in a workplace or social environment. These skills are essential for building healthy relationships, communicating effectively, solving problems, and collaborating with others.

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