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Advice from 11 Financial Gurus

August 23, 2016

Receiving sound financial advice can change a person’s world, and fortunately, there is no shortage of advice from people who have already lived through and learned how to successfully navigate the financial waters. In fact, simply seeking financial advice can be one of the easiest ways to learn how to save money, pay off debts (like student loans) early, save for the future, or generate enough money for fun expenses.

To help you along your financial journey, we have rounded up information from some of the most well-known and well-loved financial gurus on the planet. Please keep in mind that even as well-known authorities in their field, each person’s advice — or simply their delivery style — may not be for everyone. Therefore, even with different, overlapping, or similar financial philosophies (and their delivery methods), it is ultimately up to each reader to decide which style or kind of advice rings true.

In this quick guide, readers will find eleven of the most well-known financial advisors, accompanied by a quick biography, at least one of their most defining, bestselling financial advice books, and possibly some insightful advice.

11 Financial Gurus

(In Alphabetical Order)

  1. Gary Belsky

Gary Belsky is a columnist for Time.com, the author of several books, and a frequent lecturer to business and consumer groups on the psychology of decision-making. Belsky was a regular commentator on CNN’s Your Money and a frequent contributor to various well-known talk shows and radio programs. He is the former editor-in-chief for ESPN The Magazine and ESPNInsider.com, as well as a former writer at Money magazine, and a former reporter for Crain’s New York Business and the St. Louis Business Journal. In 1990, Belsky won the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, administered by The Anderson School at UCLA.

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons From the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics

This book, which Belsky co-authored, explores how informed people might make more rational investment decisions through behavioral economics. Money magazine describes it as: “A terrific introduction to the emerging science of behavioral finance.” Looking for financial advice from Gary Belsky? Look to psychology and behavioral economics.

  1. James M. Dahle, MD

James M. Dahle, MD, is a full-time, emergency medicine physician. After trusting a lot of the wrong people and getting ripped off repeatedly, he started The White Coat Investor, a blog that offers doctors and other high-income professionals advice on personal finance and investing. Since its inception of May 2011, the blog has grown into the most widely-read physician-specific personal finance and investing website in the world, and 95 percent of the advice is actually applicable to anybody.

The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing

Dahle’s book, which followed two years after the blog, responds to the trickiest questions and financial dilemmas shared by thousands of people, especially those in the medical field. His book is considered a high-yield manual that specifically deals with the financial issues facing medical students, residents, physicians, dentists, and similar high-income professionals. The White Coat Investor fills in the gaps and teaches readers what they received little to no training in: business, personal finance, investing, insurance, taxes, estate planning, asset protection, and more. This book is considered great for financial learners of all levels and contains physician-specific tips that cannot be found in other financial books. Extra financial advice from James M. Dahle can be found in this expert interview from Mint.com.

  1. Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D

Wayne W. Dyer is the author of over 40 books — including 21 New York Times bestsellers — related to self-help, finances, development, and spiritual growth. “His main message was that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life,” and each person can reach their deepest desires by consciously honoring their “highest self,” clarifying their goals, and using their gifts. This message was applied to several books, including these related to finances:

 

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

 

Originally published in 1976, this first book acts as a positive and practical guide for breaking free from the trap of negative thinking or self-destructive patterns, and to instead enjoy life to the fullest. The “erroneous zones” are whole facets of a person’s approach to life that act as barriers to success and happiness. These zones are targeted so readers can learn to become self-reliant, as well as change and manage how much they will let difficult times, people, needs vs. wants, self-image, and more affect them.

 

It’s Not What You‘ve Got!: Lessons for Kids on Money and Abundance

 

The concepts presented in this illustrated book include: Money does not define who you are, it doesn’t matter what others have, and abundance comes in many forms. “It’s Not What You’ve Got is not a how-to manual on spending and saving for kids, but rather a positive, spiritual approach to the meaning of money.”

 

Financial Tip From Wayne W. Dyer:

 

“If you want to be financially independent by the time you’re 30 years old, pay yourself first…When you get your paycheck, take a percentage — between 10 percent and 30 percent — and put that away…You’ll be rich enough to be financially independent within a short period of time.”

 

  1. Neale S. Godfrey

Neale S. Godfrey is an acknowledged expert on family and children’s finances and is considered the creator of the topic of “kids and money” in the United States. Her main goal is to help people raise financially responsible children and grandchildren by providing learning opportunities through life circumstances. To help people achieve this, she has written 27 books and created three, free iOS money games, all of which are related to financial education and empowering families and their kids to take financial responsibility. Her work has received numerous literary awards, and she has spoken on numerous well-known talk shows. Neale S. Godfrey opened The First Children’s Bank at FAO Schwarz in 1988 and was also part of the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship in Harlem. Godfrey then created the Green$treets kids cartoon characters in order to entertain and educate kids about money.

 

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children

 

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees is considered the book parents turn to when teaching their children about money, as it offers concrete examples on everything from responsible budgeting to understanding the differences between “wants” and “needs.” The book itself is targeted at children and young adults of all ages, and the newly revised edition has sections that discuss the power of the internet, the tactics of television advertisers, and the world of eBay.

 

  1. George Kinder

George Kinder, a Harvard-trained, certified financial planner and tax advisor, is internationally recognized as the father of the Life Planning movement and is the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning.

 

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life

 

This book is intended to help readers discover a powerful new way to look at their money and their life, including questions surrounding personal attitudes about money and how these factors influence lives. The book attempts to help readers approach financial issues with honesty, and without fear, so that they can gain peace, freedom, and security.

 

Life Planning for You

 

This book is considered an inspiring step-by-step description of “how life planning, either as a self-help phenomenon or as a global movement in financial services, transforms people’s lives.” Along with personal stories, the book allows readers to access the skills necessary to life plan for themselves, as well as find financial advisers they can genuinely trust.

 

Financial Advice from George Kinder:

 

“It’s about the meaning, not the money. If my investing is not really deeply tied to what I think is most important in my life [then] the asset allocation, the estate plan, the retirement plan might as well be thrown out the window.” Furthermore, “hire a registered life planner [a financial planner with additional training in helping clients identify and reach life goals] to help you through this, [as they are] trained in how to elicit from a client what is meaningful and how to keep their eyes on the prize.”

 

  1. Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is an investor, self-help author, educator, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, financial literacy activist, financial commentator, and radio personality. He is best known as the author of the #1 personal finance book of all time (Rich Dad Poor Dad), but is also well-known for his part in the co-creation of the CASHFLOW® board game, founding the financial education-based Rich Dad Company, his appearances on several well-known talk shows, and as the author of various financial books. While Kiyosaki often conveys perspectives on money and investing that contradict conventional wisdom, he has earned a respected reputation for his form of financial straight talk.

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

This #1 personal finance book of all time tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend (“his rich dad”). In the book, both men shape his thoughts about money and investing, proving that a person does not need to earn a high income to be rich. The book also intends to explain the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

 

Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education

 

This book takes a hard look at the factors that impact people from all walks of life as they struggle to change and challenge the confines and preconceptions that impact their financial world. Readers are advised to push aside the belief that they are ‘disadvantaged’ people with limited options, and are instead encouraged to take actionable steps to move beyond what they believe are limited options. Included are actionable steps that any individual can take to move beyond their current financial situation or way of thinking.

 

Financial Advice From Robert Kiyosaki:

 

“My rich dad gave me lots of advice. One of the better ones: There’s good debt and bad debt. Bad debt is debt you have to pay for and makes you poor. If I use credit cards to buy new shoes, it makes me poor. Good debt makes me rich and someone else pays for it.” One example: “I’m closing on a $17 million property and financing $14 million. That $14 million is good debt. It makes me richer every month by putting $20,000 in my pocket.”

 

  1. Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is an author at Small Business Trends (along with an editor and contributing author to several other sites), the President and Founder of GrowBiz Media, and a nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, she was an Editorial Director of Entrepreneur magazine. She has appeared on hundreds of radio and talk shows and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. Along with her six year service to the Small Business Administration’s National Council, Rieva Lesonsky was honored by the Small Business Administration as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate. In 2003, she was inducted into the Business Journalism Hall of Fame.

 

Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need

 

This book, written by Lesonsky and the editors of Entrepreneur magazine, has helped hundreds of thousands of readers start their own businesses. The sixth edition features amended chapters on choosing a business, adding partners, getting funded, managing the business structure and employees, and also provides ways to understand information and legalities related to the latest tax and healthcare reform.

 

Startup 101: Quick Tips for Starting a Business

 

This ebook contains all the insider advice needed to form a startup business, including: secrets, shortcuts, and smart ideas to help get any business up and running—fast!

 

  1. Peter Navarro Ph.D

Peter Navarro holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and has been a professor of economics and public policy at the University of California-Irvine for more than 20 years. He is a distinguished author, keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and has appeared frequently on various well-known financial talk, news, and radio shows. He also often produces investment videos for thestreet.com. His business-related books, among others, are listed here.

 

Financial Advice from Peter Navarro:

 

“Take every piece of advice you get from any investment adviser with a barrel of salt. Most are trying to sell you things you probably don’t need or want. Think for yourself.”

 

  1. Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a nationally recognized, best-selling author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker. His show and writings strongly focus on encouraging people to get out of debt and save money along the way. After rebounding from a financial crash of his own, Dave Ramsey formed Ramsey Solutions in 1992 (to counsel those hurting from the results of financial stress), followed by his first book (Financial Peace) and the local radio show called The Money Game, which is now nationally syndicated as The Dave Ramsey Show. After six bestselling books, the 400+ members of Ramsey Solutions are continuously coming up with ways to help people reach their financial goals.

 

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

 

Dave Ramsey’s seven, organized, and easy-to-follow steps are aimed at leading the reader out of debt and into a total money makeover.

 

Financial Advice From Dave Ramsey:

 

“A friend of mine who is a billionaire told me he reads a book to his grandkids and I should read that book. The book is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare.’ Every time he reads the book, the tortoise wins. Slow and steady wins the race, and consistency matters. Get-rich-quick never wins…If you try to impress other people, you’ll lose the wealth race, as well,” Ramsey says. “It’s a reminder to somebody like me to keep me in check. It has implications for debt, mutual funds, budgets — an overlay for everything.”

 

  1. Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D

Thomas J. Stanley was a highly regarded authority on America’s affluent and wealthy. He wrote over 40 books on the subject, several of which were award winning and New York Times’ bestsellers. Dr. Stanley made appearances on several well-known talk shows, is cited in several well-respected journals and news reports, and served as chairman of the Affluent Market Institute, which develops research-based marketing and selling strategies for identifying, attracting, and retaining wealthy clients.

 

Author: The Millionaire Next Door

 

This bestselling book identifies and chronicles the seven most common traits and patterns that frequently show up among those who have accumulated wealth…and they are not always what others might assume. This newest edition (since 1998) includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley.

 

  1. Suze Orman

Suze Orman is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host for the Suze Orman Show, a New York Times bestselling author, a magazine and online columnist, a writer/producer, a motivational speaker, one of the most well-known experts on personal finance, and the winner of numerous awards. Suze Orman’s philosophy is “People first. Then money. Then things.”

 

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

 

This book was written to address the specific financial realities that young people face today. In essence, it is “Generation Debt” and “Generation Broke’s” cry for help. Those who are part of this “young, fabulous, and broke” generation will find the following contents especially helpful: a personalized action planner, step-by-step instructions to improve financial futures, an interactive online community to share thoughts and questions, ongoing advice from Suze, and free online resources.

 

The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying

 

This personal finance classic changes the way readers think, feel, and act about money by approaching money from both a spiritual and an emotional point of view. Suze Orman’s advice leads readers through nine simple steps to reclaim their power and embrace her philosophy: you are worth more than your money.

 

Financial Advice and Continued Learning

Becoming a financially independent individual may take some time and plenty of research, but it is well worth the effort. The good news is that when you start with sound advice, strategic help, and personal education, the journey towards financial success can be much smoother and shorter. At Education Loan Finance, we hope that you (and your family) are able to find the perfect financial guru for your long-term financial plans.

 

How Much Of Your Income Should Go Toward Rent?

 

Disclaimer: Any information shared on ELFI.com does not constitute financial advice. This blog and website are intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. Readers are advised to discuss specific plans with independent financial advisers and lenders. This website has not been compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise.

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Happy couple admiring their home
2020-10-22
Should I Build Home Equity or Pay Down Student Loans?

Owning a home is a goal for many people. In fact, 40% of young millennials are saving to buy a home. If you already own a home, congratulations on achieving your goal! If you are now faced with a mortgage and student loans, you may wonder which debt you should prioritize. Should you build home equity or pay down your student loans?    Here we will explain what home equity is, how to build it and when it’s better to focus on home equity or paying down student loans.   

What is Home Equity?

When you pay on a mortgage, even if you haven’t yet paid it off completely, you’re building equity in your home. Home equity is the difference between the market value of the house and what you owe. Here’s an example of how to calculate it:  

How to Calculate Home Equity

  You can calculate your home equity by subtracting the balance of your mortgage from the current value of your home. The value of your home is determined by the fair market value of your house or the appraised value. This number is the true value of your asset (your house) since it takes into account the amount you owe on the loan.    Your home equity is calculated in your net worth. You may have heard that home equity can be “tapped into.” This means you can borrow against the equity of your home and use the money in a variety of ways. A home equity loan can cover home renovations or pay off higher-interest debt.    Your home is valued at $375,000 and your mortgage balance is $275,000. You determine the equity by taking the value of $375,000 and subtracting the mortgage balance of $275,000. The equity in your home is $100,000.   

Home Equity and the Housing Market

  Your home’s equity often increases when you make mortgage payments, especially when paying down the principal on your loan. Your home’s equity can also increase when its value rises. Although the value is determined primarily by the housing market, you can raise the value through home improvements.   Just as the value of your home can increase based on the market, however, it can also decrease based on the market. The only sure way to increase your home equity is by paying down your mortgage loan. The more of the loan you pay off, the more your equity increases.  

Building Home Equity vs. Paying Down Student Loans

  If you follow the normal payment schedule, you’ll increase your home equity slowly. If you make extra payments towards your mortgage, you can build equity faster. However, if you also have student loans, should you build home equity or pay down your student loans instead? Let’s take a look at some factors that can help determine the best course of action:   

Interest Rates

If either your mortgage or any student loan has a variable interest rate, you may want to focus on that loan first, because you are at risk that the rate can rise and leave you with a higher payment to make. In addition, if one of your loans has a much higher interest rate than the other, you may choose to focus on it first.  

Security

With student loans, in certain instances, if you are facing financial hardships you can temporarily suspend payments. Mortgages offer less flexibility with payments, therefore missing payments can result in foreclosure and losing your home.  

Loan Balances

If you have student loans with lower balances than your mortgage, you may be able to pay them off more quickly. Then, you can continue to build equity after paying down your student loan debt.   

Tax Implications

You may get a bigger tax break by building equity versus paying off student loans. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Interest paid on student loans is deductible, however, there is a cap on how much. As of 2020 the cap is $2,500. Your income must meet the requirements to be able to deduct this amount.    Interest paid on mortgages is also deductible, but only if you itemize your deductions. The mortgage interest deduction can be much higher than $2,500. To learn more about either of these options, consult with your tax advisor.  

Refinancing Your Student Loans With ELFI

If you don’t want to choose between building equity or paying off your student loans, then consider refinancing your student loans with ELFI. Use our student loan refinance calculator* to see how much you may be able to save.   

The Bottom Line 

Each person’s financial goals and situation are unique, so you have to make the best decision for you. Hopefully, however, knowing more about both options and which is better in certain circumstances will help you make an informed decision.  
  Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no­­­ control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.   *Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.
Man feeling overwhelmed by student loans
2020-10-15
What to do When Your Student Loan Payment is Overwhelming   

Having student loans is not unusual. In fact, 45 million people have them. It’s also incredibly common to feel overwhelmed by your student loan payments.   A survey of student loan borrowers found that almost 65% of respondents said they lose sleep because of the stress caused by their loans. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your monthly student loan payment, there are some options you should consider to lessen the burden.   Before you can explore alternatives, however, you need to know the types of loans you have. Certain options are only available for federal loans as opposed to private loans. Check the Federal Student Aid website to determine any federal loans you may have, and request your free credit report to see any private loans. Once you’re familiar with your loans, you can consider new courses of action.  

Create a Budget

If you don’t already have a budget, create one! This will allow you to see if you can afford your current student loan payment. It will also show you areas where you’re spending unnecessarily. If you find there just isn’t enough income to cover all your necessary expenses, then you can begin working on different ways to reduce your student loan payment.  

Research Different Payment Plans

If your federal student loan payment is overwhelming, consider switching to a different payment plan. When you initially begin repayment, your loans are automatically put on the standard repayment plan. On this plan, your payments are based on a ten-year repayment term.   A Direct Consolidation Loan can help you change your payment plan to help make your payment more affordable. It can also help consolidate multiple federal loans into one loan. (Note: Consolidating your federal loans is different from student loan refinancing, discussed below.)   This will help you qualify for certain longer repayment plans, resulting in a lower monthly payment. One of the drawbacks of extending your payment term is you will end up paying more in interest costs over time.  

Income-Driven Student Loan Repayment

Certain loans are eligible for income-driven repayment plans. They can help make your payments more affordable and are based on your income and family size.  

Graduated Student Loan Repayment

If an income-driven repayment plan does not work for you, you can change to a graduated repayment plan. Your payment will begin low and increase over time for a ten-year term.  

Extended Student Loan Repayment

Another option is an extended repayment plan. To qualify, you must have certain loans over at least $30,000. Your payment may be fixed or may increase over time for a 25-year term.  

Look Into Refinancing

If you have overwhelming private or federal student loan payments, consider student loan refinancing. Refinancing may lower your interest rate and reduce your monthly payment. This is a good option even if your current payment fits your budget.   Refinancing can help lower your monthly payment, and can also save you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Refinancing means obtaining a private loan to pay off your existing student loan or multiple loans.   Student loan refinancing differs from consolidation, which is only for federal student loans and may not necessarily reduce your interest rate. You can refinance private or federal loans, or both, and can also change your student loan repayment term to better fit your needs.   Here is an example of how refinancing can save you money:   If you have $65,000 of student loans with a 6% interest rate and have 10 years remaining on your loans, you will pay approximately $722 per month. If you refinance and qualify for a lower interest of 3.61%, your monthly payment would be reduced to approximately $646 per month. This equals savings $76 per month in savings. You will also save more than $9,000 in interest over the life of the loan.   To see how much you could save, try ELFI’s Student Loan Refinance Calculator.*  

Increase Your Income

Of course, increasing your income is easier said than done. If your student loans payments are becoming overwhelming, however, it may be a necessary step. Increasing your income through overtime hours or a side hustle can make your payments more manageable. A side hustle can be as easy as babysitting or dog walking, or more involved like starting a side business based on a passion.   If you haven’t begun repayment on your loans, but know you will face a significant loan payment after graduation, consider these steps:  

Build a Budget Early

Start a budget before repayment begins that includes your future student loan payment. This will allow you to see if you will be able to comfortably afford your payment. It will also help you build an emergency fund and a strong financial foundation.  

Seek Employer Student Loan Benefits

Look for an employer that offers student loan assistance. The number of companies that are offering student loan benefits is increasing, although the benefit is still rare. Some offer monthly benefits that can help you pay your loans off faster. Others offer a yearly benefit amount for a certain number of years. Either way, extra money from an employer to help pay loans will help you reduce your loan amount faster.  

Work Toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Apply for employment that may qualify for forgiveness. If you have federal loans, certain employment can qualify for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Certain loans and types of employment are required so be sure to pay close attention to the requirements.  

Bottom Line

If you have an overwhelming student loan payment, explore your options to reduce your payment while furthering your debt-free journey.  
  *Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.   Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no­­­ control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.
Millennial woman learning how to invest
2020-10-09
How to Start Investing: A Millennial’s Guide

One of the best things you can do for your finances is start investing. Over time, investing is one of the likeliest ways you’ll build enough wealth to reach your financial goals — and even achieve financial independence.   While investing can seem like a daunting task, the good news is that it’s easier than ever to get started. Here’s what you need to know about how to start investing.  

Decide how much you can invest

Figure out how much you can invest each month. The key to long-term investing success is consistency. Even if it’s a small amount, you can start investing.  
Look at your income and expenses. Review which items can be reduced to create some room for investing. Even if you can only invest a few dollars per week, it will help you get started.  

Paying down debt vs. investing

One of the big issues facing millennials is whether to pay down debt or invest. In the end, it depends on your preference, but having debt doesn’t mean you can’t invest. For example, if you have student loans, you might put 70% of your available money toward paying down those student loans and the other 30% toward investing. However, if you have high-interest debt like credit cards, it might make sense to put 90% toward debt reduction and 10% toward investing.   Depending on your situation, you might want to tweak where you put the money, but you don’t have to let being in debt stop you from investing if you want to start building wealth.  

Know your goals

Next, decide on your goals. What do you want your money to accomplish on your behalf? What you plan to use your money for, as well as your timeline, can determine how you invest your money.
  • Short-term goals: If you want to save for a down payment on a house, a vacation or a similar goal in the next one to three years, consider putting your money in high-yield savings vehicles, or, depending on your situation and risk tolerance, bond investments. Even for short-term goals, in some instances, a mix of stocks and bonds can work.
  • Long-term goals: For longer-term goals like saving for a child’s college education or your retirement, you might decide to invest more heavily in stock funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other higher-yielding assets.
 

Your risk tolerance

As you learn to start investing, make sure you understand risk tolerance. You need to be familiar with how much risk you’re prepared to take on. For example, if you’re relatively young, you have more time to withstand and recover from market downturns, economic problems and investing mistakes.   You should also consider your emotional risk tolerance. Even if, financially, you can handle the ups and downs of the market, you must be able to handle them emotionally, as well. If you struggle with the idea of using a stock index ETF to meet your short-term goals, then look for something that better suits your needs.  

Get help to learn how to start investing

There’s nothing wrong with asking for guidance as you learn a new skill. A number of online investment brokers can offer you professional help as you make your plans. Betterment, Wealthfront and Wealthsimple can help you build a portfolio that matches your risk tolerance and goals. Additionally, it’s possible to get help from human advisors as you create a portfolio.  

Basic tips to help you start investing

Start ASAP

It’s all about compounding returns, so the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Many investing experts talk about “time in the market instead of timing the market.” For many investors, starting early and being consistent about investing, while increasing contributions over time, is most likely to result in long-term success.   You can start investing at any time. If you haven’t started already, begin now. It’s relatively easy to open an account and begin investing.  

It’s fine to start small

You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. In fact, there are a number of apps that allow you to invest using pocket change. Check out our recommendations for the best investing apps here.   It’s true that investing a few dollars each week isn’t likely to fully fund your retirement or other financial goals. However, starting small gets you in the habit of investing and growing your wealth.   As your finances improve, you can increase how much you invest, growing your contributions to meet your goals. But, for now, start with whatever amount you can. The money you do invest in will grow over time, and you can keep adding to your portfolio in the future.  

Consider index mutual funds and ETFs

When trying to decide what to invest in, some people are overwhelmed by the prospect of sifting through individual stocks and trying to pick “winners.” For many beginners, it makes more sense to focus on vehicles that offer “instant diversity.”   Index investments offer exposure to hundreds — or even thousands — of securities at once. Rather than trying to choose individual stocks, you can get access to a wide swath of the market. If you decide later that you want to invest differently, you can change your portfolio makeup. For beginners, however, index investments offer a way to start building wealth while you research other choices.  

Learn the basics

Finally, make sure you learn the basics. Read about how investing works, how different assets perform and when they might be appropriate. While you can start small with index investments, use that time to learn when (or if) it’s time to try other investing strategies.   In the end, no one knows your situation as well as you do. Before investing, carefully consider your own situation and consider requesting help from an investing professional.  
  Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.