Investing is a way to set aside money while you are busy with life and have that money work for you so that you can fully reap the rewards of your labor in the future. Investing is a means to a happier ending. Legendary investor Warren Buffett defines investing as "the process of laying out money now to receive more money in the future." The goal of investing is to put your money to work in one or more types of investment vehicles in the hopes of growing your money over time.
Let’s say that you have $1,000 set aside, and you’re ready to enter the world of investing. Or maybe you only have $10 extra a week, and you’d like to get into investing. In this article, we’ll walk you through getting started as an investor and show you how to maximize your returns while minimizing your costs.
Before you commit your money, you need to answer the question: What kind of investor am I? When opening a brokerage account, an online broker like Charles Schwab or Fidelity will ask you about your investment goals and what level of risk you’re willing to take.
Some investors want to take an active hand in managing their money’s growth, and some prefer to “set it and forget it.” More “traditional” online brokers, like the two mentioned above, allow you to invest in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), index funds, and mutual funds.
Brokers are either full-service or discount. Full-service brokers, as the name implies, give the full range of traditional brokerage services, including financial advice for retirement, healthcare, and everything related to money. They usually only deal with higher-net-worth clients, and they can charge substantial fees, including a percentage of your transactions, a percentage of your assets they manage, and sometimes, a yearly membership fee. It's common to see minimum account sizes of $25,000 and up at full-service brokerages. Still, traditional brokers justify their high fees by giving advice detailed to your needs.
Discount brokers used to be the exception, but now they’re the norm. Discount online brokers give you tools to select and place your own transactions, and many of them also offer a set-it-and-forget-it robo-advisory service too. As the space of financial services has progressed in the 21st century, online brokers have added more features, including educational materials on their sites and mobile apps.
In addition, although there are a number of discount brokers with no (or very low) minimum deposit restrictions, you may be faced with other restrictions, and certain fees are charged to accounts that don't have a minimum deposit. This is something an investor should take into account if they want to invest in stocks.
After the 2008 financial crisis, a new breed of investment advisor was born: the robo-advisor. Jon Stein and Eli Broverman of Betterment are often credited as the first in the space. Their mission was to use technology to lower costs for investors and streamline investment advice.
Since Betterment launched, other robo-first companies have been founded, and even established online brokers like Charles Schwab have added robo-like advisory services. According to a report by Charles Schwab, 58% of Americans say they will use some sort of robo-advice by 2025. If you want an algorithm to make investment decisions for you, including tax-loss harvesting and rebalancing, a robo-advisor may be for you. And as the success of index investing has shown, if your goal is long-term wealth building, you might do better with a robo-advisor.
If you’re on a tight budget, try to invest just 1% of your salary into the retirement plan available to you at work. The truth is, you probably won't even miss a contribution that small.
Work-based retirement plans deduct your contributions from your paycheck before taxes are calculated, which will make the contribution even less painful. When you're comfortable with a 1% contribution, maybe you can increase it as you get annual raises. You're unlikely to miss the additional contributions. If you have a 401(k) retirement account at work, you may already be investing in your future with allocations to mutual funds and even your own company's stock.
Many financial institutions have minimum deposit requirements. In other words, they won't accept your account application unless you deposit a certain amount of money. Some firms won't even allow you to open an account with a sum as small as $1,000.
It pays to shop around some and check out our broker reviews before deciding where you want to open an account. We list minimum deposits at the top of each review. Some firms do not require minimum deposits. Others may often lower costs, like trading fees and account management fees, if you have a balance above a certain threshold. Still, others may offer a certain number of commission-free trades for opening an account.
As economists like to say, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Though recently many brokers have been racing to lower or eliminate commissions on trades, and ETFs offer index investing to everyone who can trade with a bare-bones brokerage account, all brokers have to make money from their customers one way or another.
In most cases, your broker will charge a commission every time you trade stock, either through buying or selling. Trading fees range from the low end of $2 per trade but can be as high as $10 for some discount brokers. Some brokers charge no trade commissions at all, but they make up for it in other ways. There are no charitable organizations running brokerage services.
Depending on how often you trade, these fees can add up and affect your profitability. Investing in stocks can be very costly if you hop into and out of positions frequently, especially with a small amount of money available to invest.
Remember, a trade is an order to purchase or sell shares in one company. If you want to purchase five different stocks at the same time, this is seen as five separate trades, and you will be charged for each one.
Now, imagine that you decide to buy the stocks of those five companies with your $1,000. To do this, you will incur $50 in trading costs—assuming the fee is $10—which is equivalent to 5% of your $1,000. If you were to fully invest the $1,000, your account would be reduced to $950 after trading costs. This represents a 5% loss before your investments even have a chance to earn.
Should you sell these five stocks, you would once again incur the costs of the trades, which would be another $50. To make the round trip (buying and selling) on these five stocks would cost you $100, or 10% of your initial deposit amount of $1,000. If your investments do not earn enough to cover this, you have lost money just by entering and exiting positions.
If you plan to trade frequently, check out our list of brokers for cost-conscious traders.
Besides the trading fee to purchase a mutual fund, there are other costs associated with this type of investment. Mutual funds are professionally managed pools of investor funds that invest in a focused manner, such as large-cap U.S. stocks.
There are many fees an investor will incur when investing in mutual funds. One of the most important fees to consider is the management expense ratio (MER), which is charged by the management team each year based on the number of assets in the fund. The MER ranges from 0.05% to 0.7% annually and varies depending on the type of fund. But the higher the MER, the more it impacts the fund's overall returns.
You may see a number of sales charges called loads when you buy mutual funds. Some are front-end loads, but you will also see no-load and back-end load funds. Be sure you understand whether a fund you are considering carries a sales load prior to buying it. Check out your broker’s list of no-load funds and no-transaction-fee funds if you want to avoid these extra charges.
For the beginning investor, mutual fund fees are actually an advantage compared to the commissions on stocks. The reason for this is that the fees are the same regardless of the amount you invest. Therefore, as long as you meet the minimum requirement to open an account, you can invest as little as $50 or $100 per month in a mutual fund. The term for this is called dollar-cost averaging (DCA), and it can be a great way to start investing.
Diversification is considered to be the only free lunch in investing. In a nutshell, by investing in a range of assets, you reduce the risk of one investment's performance severely hurting the return of your overall investment. You could think of it as financial jargon for "don't put all of your eggs in one basket."
In terms of diversification, the greatest amount of difficulty in doing this will come from investments in stocks. As mentioned earlier, the costs of investing in a large number of stocks could be detrimental to the portfolio. With a $1,000 deposit, it is nearly impossible to have a well-diversified portfolio, so be aware that you may need to invest in one or two companies (at the most) in the first place. This will increase your risk.
This is where the major benefit of mutual funds or ETFs comes into focus. Both types of securities tend to have a large number of stocks and other investments within their funds, which makes them more diversified than a single stock.
It is possible to invest if you are just starting out with a small amount of money. It's more complicated than just selecting the right investment (a feat that is difficult enough in itself), and you have to be aware of the restrictions that you face as a new investor.
You'll have to do your homework to find the minimum deposit requirements and then compare the commissions to other brokers. Chances are you won't be able to cost-effectively buy individual stocks and still diversify with a small amount of money. You will also need to choose the broker with which you would like to open an account.
Forbes. "Warren Buffett: Why Stocks Beat Gold and Bonds." Accessed July 9, 2021.
The Wall Street Journal. "$10 Billion Robo-Adviser Betterment Flourishes as Chief Learns to Let Go." Accessed July 9, 2021.
Charles Schwab. "The Rise of Robo: Americans’ Perspectives and Predictions on the use of Digital Advice," Page 3. Accessed July 9, 2021.
Hayes, A. S. (2019). The active construction of passive investors: roboadvisors and algorithmic ‘low-finance’. Socio-Economic Review.
Do you know how to earn money on YouTube? Make online videos pay – HT Tech
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Being a content creator on YouTube is no easy task, as many have discovered over the years. In fact, to earn money online, the going can be tough. money Merely owning a camera and a high-speed internet connection is not enough to earn money on YouTube and there is no way to know if your content will perform well on YouTube. However, for those with perseverance and enough patience, having a channel with regular content can help you earn money on YouTube. Here is how to earn money on YouTube.
YouTube Partner Program
If you want your YouTube videos to make money on the platform, you must apply to the YouTube Partner Program. However, not all users who apply are accepted – they must fulfil certain requirements before they are accepted. For example, you must live in a valid region where the program is available, have a linked AdSense account, and no active Community Guidelines strikes against your channel. You must also have over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 valid public watch hours over the last 12 months at the time of applying to be in the YouTube Partner Program.
Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.
YouTube Premium revenue
While the YouTube Partner Program can net you a decent amount of revenue assuming you have enough views on your videos, content creators can also make their videos available on YouTube Premium. This will allow users who have subscribed to the Premium version of YouTube to access your content without ads and you can earn a small portion of the membership fees depending on how many views you get.
Thanks to the Merch shelf feature, content creators can lock some content behind a paywall of sorts that allows for members-only access to badges, emoji and other goods on the platform. These memberships can only be enabled if you have a Community tab, you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program, and your channel is not marked as Made for Kids or has similar ineligible videos.
Eligible creators on YouTube can showcase their own branded merchandise that can be sold by a retailer. According to Google, the shelf shows up on the main videos tab, and shows up to 12 products to viewers. You will need to have over 10,000 subscribers to set up a merch self on the platform, which is not something every YouTube creator will find easy to reach.
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How to share a Google Doc privately – The Verge
Make sure you know whom you’re sharing it with
Recently, I got Slacked by a colleague who was really annoyed and had to let off a bit of steam. It seems that a writer had shared a new Google Docs article with them (a usual way of submitting a freelance piece), and when my colleague opened the article, they found another, unknown person was already reading it — somebody who was definitely not on our staff.
What had happened? The writer, probably in too much of a hurry to share the document with specific people, had simply made it public so that anybody could have access to it. This not only made the article available to anyone before it had been properly edited and published — something no publication wants — but opened it up to all sorts of mischief.
Mischief like what happened in June 2021, when another editor accidentally tweeted the link to an editable document to their followers. (The Verge’s site was temporarily down, and it seemed like a good idea to publish news to Google Docs in the meantime.) Merriment ensued.
So obviously, allowing anyone to view, comment on, or edit a Google Doc can lead to problems, especially if the link to that document is passed around. Interestingly, when you first create a Google Doc, the software’s default is that this is a private document, only to be shared if you explicitly request it. (There can be exceptions; if this is a business account, the administrator may have changed the default so that it is automatically shared by others in your company.) So usually, you have to consciously make the document completely public.
So here’s how you can share your Google Docs document — carefully.
First, go into the document you want to share and click on the large Share button in the upper right corner.
You’ll get a pop-up window headed “Share with people and groups.”
Begin typing the person or groups’ name into the field just below that. If that person is in your contact list, their name will appear; if not, you can type in their full email address. You can type in more than one name; however, this means that all those you’ve added will be given the same type of access to the document. (We’ll talk about access in a sec.)
When you’ve added at least one name, you’ll see a box to the right that says “Editor.” Click on that for a drop-down menu that lets you select the type of access that the people / group can have to your document. These include:
It’s usually a good idea to select the most restrictive type that’s practical enough for your use case. For example, if you’re writing a document together with several others, you’ll want to give them editor status; but if you don’t want them to make any changes without your approval, then commenter status is better.
(Expert tip: if the people you’ve shared with have changed the document but didn’t tell you what they changed, go to “File” > “Version history” > “See version history.” You’ll see a color-coded rundown on the right showing when the document was edited and by whom; click on the date, and the changes will be visible in the document, together with the color associated with the different users.)
You can also tweak the amount of access that editors, commenters, and viewers have to your document by selecting the settings icon (a cog wheel) in the upper right corner of that pop-up box. By unchecking the boxes in the settings pop-up, you can prevent editors from being able to change your permissions or share the document, and you can prevent editors and commenters from being able to download, print, and copy the document.
Once you’ve finished adding the people you want to share with, make sure the “Notify people” box is checked if you want to send them an email letting them know about the document; a field below that lets you type in a personal message that will be added to Google’s canned email.
But wait, there’s more.
There is a “Get Link” section below the “Share with People and Groups” section that lets you copy the link to your document (for example, if you’d rather text the link to one of your permitted sharers). The default is called “Restricted,” which means the only people who can see the document are those you’ve shared it with. But you can also use the “Get Link” section to make the link more accessible to more people.
To do that, click on “Restricted” and change it to “Anyone with the link.” That means anyone who has the link — whether you’ve sent it, or a friend has sent it, or it’s been posted to Twitter — can access the document. (Even here, however, you can adjust access so that people have either Viewer, Commenter, or Editor rights.)
Sharing a document is also possible — if slightly more awkward — on a mobile device.
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Stripe Helps Creators Boost 'Internet GDP' With Help of Platforms, Payments and Subscriptions – pymnts.com
The platform economy, combined with the creator economy, is primed to help artists, musicians and podcasters, among others, turn their talents into money.
As Lily Q. Jolly, product lead for Stripe Express, told PYMNTS in an interview, making it easy to pay creators — in the way they want to be paid, and through subscriptions — will add significantly to the “GDP of the Internet.”
To that end, Spotify said this week that it is broadening its podcast subscription offerings, underpinned by Stripe’s payment infrastructure, to include paid monthly content. Podcast Subscriptions, now tied to Stripe Connect, supports currencies and payments across 34 countries, from Austria to the U.S.
Read Also: Stripe Teams With Spotify to Drive Subscription Monetization for Creators
Jolly stated that the creator economy, though relatively nascent, has seen creators across dozens of platforms (in partnership with Stripe) earn about $10 billion in revenue, and enabling more individuals to earn “livable wages” (in the U.S., that’s at least $69,000 annually).
As Jolly noted, the creator space is a slice of the economy that barely existed a few years ago. Until recently, the creators themselves spread their offerings across a slew of platforms, navigating different payment systems and currencies.
“They are trying every which way to make a living out of this,” she said.
The pact with Spotify follows linkups where Stripe has powered tipping on TikTok and Twitter on its Super Follows paid subscriptions.
Read Also: TikTok to Allow Users to Tip Favorite Creators
In terms of the mechanics, cross-border payments can be sent and received in different currencies, while other Stripe offerings such as invoicing and Stripe Billing help bill for the subscriptions.
Monetizing the Content
With the pact, she said, “Spotify has leaned in really hard when it comes to enabling their creators to monetize what they do.”
Streamlining payments and pivoting toward subscriptions can make it easier for creators to experiment while making money online. Recurring revenues from subscriptions can be a lifeline. The Subscription Podcast with Spotify enables creators to make money in a predictable way. As she noted, “we all enjoy being able to have a sense of how much money we are going to make.”
“The goal is to be as broad as we can,” she said, with presence in countries with less-developed banking and payments infrastructure.
With the subscription model, she said, creators can offer and monetize content that their followers love, routinely, versus having to nudge their audience every single time a new podcast comes out.
NEW PYMNTS DATA: AUTHENTICATING IDENTITIES IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY – DECEMBER 2021
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