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Lesko Financial: Tips for First Time Investors

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Bryanna: The stock market continued its wild ride at the end of February and could frighten first-time investors. Greg Lesko of Lesko Financial has some advice.

Greg: When the market was soaring, many first-time investors jumped in. Now that the ups and downs have returned, those just getting started and those who have only been thinking about wading in may be frightened and keep their money out of stocks. That could be a classic mistake: looking at the short term instead of understanding how the market performs over the long haul. It’s important to view investing from a “big picture” perspective instead.   

Bryanna: What is the “big picture?”     

Greg: Historically, over time, the market goes up, and stocks remain one of the best ways to build wealth. But they’re only one part of investing. Bonds, commodities, real estate, cash all can be part of an investment portfolio. To protect against risk diversity mix it up and spread risk around. Some investments aren’t tied to what the market is doing, and others behave the opposite way stocks do.

Bryanna:  how can a first-timer start?   

Greg: First, set your long-term financial goals and invest only with money you won’t need in the short term. Choose investments that will get you to your goals get help with this if you need it. Factor in investing costs and fees, then, stay the course as you review and balance to stay diversified. Don’t jump in and out based on the panic of the day. The goal isn’t to be up or down at any given time…it’s to be steadily moving towards those long-term goals that you set at the start.