Young people often think they don’t know enough about the market to jump in and start investing. But fear of the unknown and the misguided belief that retirement planning can wait can cost you big in the long run. There are numerous advantages to getting into investing while you’re young, but the single biggest advantage is time.
When you start investing in your 20s, you get way more returns for you money. With compounding interest, your money grows significantly over time, and a little more time can make a big difference. Additionally, the more time you have to invest before retirement, the more ability you will have to recover from any market losses.
Here are some essential points for young people to remember when they start investing:
Start now no matter how much money you have to invest.
You don’t need a large sum of money to start investing in the market. There are 180 mutual funds that have minimum investments of $250 or less, according to Morningstar. Mutual funds are ideal for young investors because they allow you to own a bunch of company stocks without putting up a bunch of money. The earlier you start investing, the less you will have to put in the market to meet your goals. For example, if you wanted to have $1,000,000 saved for retirement at 65 years old and assumed a 10% rate of return, you would only have to contribute $179 per month if you started investing at 25 years old. That’s a total of $85,920 over 40 years. If, however, you waited 20 years to start contributing at 45 years old, you would have to put out $1,381 per month. That’s a total of $331,440 over 20 years. It will have cost you $245,520 by waiting to invest.