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  • The one question we get asked the most is probably, "What should I invest in?”


  • And we're tempted to share hot tips about *#&%&#** and #$@!*

    而我們總想要分享這些關於投資 *#&%&#** 與 #$@!* 的訣竅。

  • Seriously, put your money there and you can't lose.


  • But instead, we usually just say, "It depends.”


  • Investing should always be looked at through your personal context.


  • What might be a sound investment for your bestie might be totally inappropriate for you.


  • So if you're considering dipping your toe into investing and wondering where to start, the first step is to ask yourself 5 important questions before putting any money on the line.


  • When confronted with an investment opportunity, most people wonder how much money they'll make, when the more appropriate question is, "HOW MUCH AM I WILLING TO LOSE?”


  • If you have a thousand dollars to invest, how would you feel if you lost a hundred of that.

    如果你拿 1000 美元 (約台幣 30,500 元) 來投資,賠 100 美元 (約台幣 3,050 元) 你會怎樣?

  • Two hundred?

    賠 200 美元 (約台幣 6,100 元) 呢?

  • Five hundred?

    賠 500 美元 (約台幣 15,250 元) 呢?

  • Now, if the thought of losing money at all makes you sweat a little, you're not alone.


  • "Loss Aversion" is the term psychologists use for our tendency to fear losses more than we enjoy gains.


  • It's why many investors sold off their holdings during the market crash of 2008.

    這也是為什麼許多投資者在 2008 市場金融危機時把所有股份賣掉的原因。

  • They overestimated their risk tolerance when times were good, and ended up selling at a loss when the seas got stormy.


  • Knowing your personal threshold for this loss-pain (even short-term) is a great start to knowing what kind of investment is right for you.

    搞清楚自己對賠錢 (短期投資也是) 的門檻,是找出最好投資的好開始。

  • The second question you should ask yourself is what is the goal or purpose of this investment?


  • Is it for your retirement?


  • For your child's college?


  • A trip around the world?


  • Each of these goals probably has a completely different time-scale.


  • If your goal is far into the future, you could probably handle a more aggressive long-term investment option like the stock market or real estate and take on more risk.


  • That way you can leverage the longer time-line and put yourself in the position to receive the maximum reward while also allowing yourself space to recover from a recession.


  • But if you are just a year or two from your investment goal, a dip in the market might mean you can't afford to pay for that goal. So you're probably better off sticking with something less volatile, like a CD or a bond fund.


  • One of the habits in Stephen Covey's classic "7 Habits of Highly Successful People" is "Begin with the end in mind."

    Stephen Covey 的經典著作《與成功有約:高效能人士的七個習慣》的其中一項就是:以終為始。

  • And nowhere is this more true than in investing.


  • As you consider your goals, you should ultimately make a decision on the circumstances that would lead you to selling the investment.


  • This helps you avoid selling in a panic or hopping from one "greener pasture" to another."


  • For example, you might decide that you plan to own an investment for at least 10 years.


  • Or that you'll get out if the investment loses 10%.

    或當這項投資賠 10% 的時候就退出。

  • Knowing these details in advance will help you both pick an investment with realistic goals, and help you keep your head if the news headlines get hysterical.


  • It's okay to allow your rules to be a little flexible, but having no plan at all can lead to your decisions being driven by emotions like greed, fear, or panic.


  • Many brokers and investment companies are notorious for hiding fees or making them super complicated.


  • So it can be tricky to figure out exactly how much an investment cost.


  • Sometimes there's a simple one-time feelike a stock-trading service that charges per-trade.


  • Mutual funds and index funds, on the other hand, charge you a percentage of the money you invest every year, and perhaps even an extra sales charge in the form of a "front-end-load."


  • An investment advisor will typically add an additional fee-layer for the service.


  • So if you hire one, be sure they're providing plenty of value.


  • Even investment options that appear to be free, like CD's and high-yield savings accounts come with "opportunity costs.”


  • They're re-investing your money into higher-paying investments and pocketing the difference.


  • Free investment apps like Robinhood generate income by earning interest on whatever cash you have in your account that isn't currently in an investment.

    免費投資應用程式 Robinhood 以你帳戶裡任何沒在投資的現金來產生利息,以產生獲利。

  • To be clear, paying a price to invest isn't bad, or even something you can always avoid.


  • Just make sure you know what you're paying so you can decide for yourself if you're getting your money's worth.


  • It would be fine to put all your money on a single roll of the dice if you could be certain of the outcome.


  • But in the real world, there's never a sure thing.


  • Spreading your assets out and avoiding over-concentration can help ensure that your fate isn't in the hands of any single company, sector, or industry.


  • For example, let's say you have most of your savings in the stock of the company you work for.


  • What would happen if your employer suddenly went belly-up?


  • You'd not only be out of a job, but that money you were counting on for retirement could evaporate.


  • A financial advisor might recommend selling off some of that stock and diversifying elsewhere, like buying a home or opening up an IRA.


  • Remember that 2008 crash?

    記得 2008 年金融風暴嗎?

  • Many people had the bulk of their net worth tied up in their homes and couldn't afford to ride out the storm.


  • Balance is key.


  • So whenever you're trying to decide on a new investment, consider how it relates to the rest of your assets.


  • If there were a one-size-fits-all that worked for every person in every situation, it would make our job a lot easier.


  • But picking the right investment doesn't have to be as overwhelming as you might think.


  • Asking yourself a few basic questions can go a long way to simplify which choice is best for you no matter what surprises might be around the corner.


  • And that's our two cents!


  • Thanks to our patrons for keeping Two Cents financially healthy.

    謝謝贊助者們讓 Two Cents 經濟狀況良好。

  • Click the link in the description if you'd like to support us on Patreon.

    若想用 Patreon 小額支持我們,點擊敘述欄的連結。

  • We want to hear from you!


  • Tell us the story of your first investment in the comments.


The one question we get asked the most is probably, "What should I invest in?”


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