I recently shared this in our Un-ruly newsletter, but since all the Gamestop hooplah, I decided to share my experience “retail investing” in a post so it can reach even more people. (Note: if you’d like more of this type of content sign up for our newsletter).
Last year I got a taste of being a rich old white man 👴🏻🤑, and I want as many Black people as possible to hop on the bandwagon. Back in 2019 I started using Stash to invest in the stock market. I had 0 experience investing in stocks, but Stash made it easy. I put in a $5-10 a month, expecting to only make more money than I would in a savings account. A few months in I noticed that some of the shares I bought had doubled in value 👀 🧐. So, I thought, “If I had put in more, I would’ve made more.” So I started investing more.
I especially bought more stocks when the market dipped right at the beginning of the pandemic. The market was panicking but I thought, “wow, everything’s so ‘cheap’ right now” 🤩. You can probably see where this is going… long story short I literally made THOUSANDS of dollars in a relatively short period without breaking a sweat. I mostly made money from investing in Pinterest, which was trading at around $22 when I first started investing in it and is now at around $80 (at the time of this writing), so I’ve more than quadrupled my initial investment 😅.
And that’s when it all really clicked 😲. This is how money makes money and this how having more money to play with gets you even more money. White people have been doing this for decades! This is one of the factors contributing to them having almost 8 times more wealth than we do!This is how money makes money and this how having more money to play with gets you even more money. White people have been doing this for decades! - Antonia Click To Tweet
Stocks are More Accessible Now
I’d always thought investing in the stock market wasn’t something I could do. I thought I’d had to know a lot to do it. I thought I’d have to have a lot of money to do it. It seemed complicated. But apps like Stash have made the whole process more accessible. (I promise you this isn’t a sponsored post; I just love the platform. I will, however, share my referral link though!)
I’ve got my whole family and a couple friends investing now because it’s too much of a missed opportunity not to, even if it’s just a little bit. For example, I put $200 in Roku in July and recently noticed it’s gone up 255%. So, it’s now worth $700. If I sold all my shares now, I’d have an extra $500 dollars I didn’t have back in July. (Note: To minimize risk, I some times take out my investment and leave my gains. So for example, in this case I’d take out the $200 and leave the $500 I’ve earned. That way I’m not risking any of my “original” money.) But you don’t even have to put in that much. I recommend investing any bad habit money. So for example, I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I’ve currently been indulging in my love for donuts. To curb that indulgence, each time (or every other time, let’s be real) I find myself thinking of getting a donut, I’ll put that money in my Stash account instead.
SO, all this to say, if you have as little as $5 to spare each month, the stock market is a great place to put it! I use Stash but there are other apps like it. (I did recently start using Robinhood to buy cryptocurrency 😅 and already I’m seeing that it has a lot more features and information than Stash, but it might be overwhelming if you’re just starting out).
How to Comfortably Invest in the Stock Market as a Beginner
I’m not a licensed stock advisor so don’t take any of this as advice on what to purchase or as an investment strategy. Take it all with a grain of salt. I will, however, share how I approached investing, in case you find it helpful:
- Only invest an amount you’re not afraid to lose. This is probably the most important bit of advice. Doing so will keep the process fun and not stressful. You likely won’t loose money in the longterm, because the market just tends to grow over time (this is a great article on that). Diversify your investments also helps as losses in some stocks may be offset by gains in others (which happened to me with Zoom 😆). Nevertheless, short-term losses happen and only having money you don’t need in the market make them easier to swallow.
- Start out by investing in companies you use and love. Walmart, Amazon and Pinterest were among my early buys. Disney stock is always a popular stock because it’s relatively stable.
- As you get more comfortable branch out.
- As you get more comfortable, learn more. Read articles about the companies you’re investing in. I’ve started tracking my investments using the Yahoo! Finance app and it populates articles about the companies I’m tracking. As you read articles, look up terms you don’t know as you go. Before you know it you’ll be rattling off terms like “market cap” and “trailing P/E” ration haha.
- Most importantly, go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Investing, in general, is all about how much risk you’re comfortable stomaching. There was a moment when I put a little too much money in a particular stock (*cough* Zoom *cough*) and things started getting stressful, at which point I sold some shares in that company. Avoid this by, again, investing amounts you’re comfortable with and going at a pace that suits you.
Ok, so I hope this is helpful! Share it with anyone else that might find it helpful. And if you’d like me to continue to share what I learn as I invest, let me know in the comments!