One of the cool things about being a super awesome finance blogger is that I get heaps of awesome reader emails. I love chatting with you all and hearing your stories.
I noticed that the same kinds of questions keep cropping up – clearly some hot topics for Y’all. So I thought I’d compile all my most common questions and answers into one easy to reference article. Enjoy
Ryan, I have no idea what I should invest my money in! HELP?
Hi, person who needs an MFYK crash-course, I can absolutely help you figure out what to do with your money!
It can be pretty overwhelming to get started, especially with all the (often conflicting) information out there.
Wouldn’t it be great if some money nerd guy had written about an easy way to decide what to invest in?
Check it out – I’ve written a foundational series called Investing for Non-Millionaires (Parts 1 and 2). I’ve also written a Beginner’s Guide to Investing which you receive when signing up to my mailing list. This should really help you learn more about the exciting world of investing.
Ryan, do you trust XYX investment provider, what happens if they go bust?
I’m not a magical finance wizard – neither I, nor anyone else can guarantee that any specific company won’t go bust in the future. We live in an uncertain world.
However, to set your mind at rest, most providers really stress the fact that their client’s money is kept away from the business, usually in a trust.
This means that, in the event of the investment provider going bust for any reason, client funds cannot be used to pay off any outstanding debts the investment provider might have. Your money will be safe, even if the company goes the way of Blockbuster; once the ultimate late night video store hangout for cool kids, now sad relics of the past.
If in doubt, be sure to check the investment providers policy.
Hi Ryan, I’m thinking of putting 33% of my money into the InvestNow Vanguard fund, 25% in a Simplicity growth fund, 20% in the FNZ ETF via Sharesies, or maybe that should be 37% in the US500 via Smartshares, 10% in each of Simplicity’s three funds … [plus many more paragraphs of good but indecisive thinking]
Woah! Slow down a minute there. I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet, but I am confident enough to diagnose you with a serious case of ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.
- Too many options rendering the victim completely unable to make decisions
- A relentless desire to aggressively question strangers on the street about their options
- Eventually yelling “I give up!” and tossing your laptop across the room in frustration.
Analysis paralysis affects many would-be investors. There’s just too much information and too many options out there to know where to start successfully.
What I often say here is that your best option is just to start.
You don’t need to have a perfectly balanced optimum investing portfolio right from the outset. Especially if you’re starting off by only investing small amounts. You can tinker with it and improve it as you go. You pretty much can’t go wrong (after getting the basics right of course)
Remember, while you’re fretting over tiny percentages of portfolios, more decisive people are out there making the mad stacks. Just do it!
Ryan, I know you say it’s better to simply buy and hold for the long run, but wouldn’t it better to sell at the top of the market and buy at the bottom?
Absolutely, that would be a much better idea. There’s only one problem; VIRTUALLY NO-ONE CAN DO THIS SUCCESSFULLY. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Studies show that people that regularly try to time the market, make a far lower rate of return than people who just buy regularly and hold for the long term. It’s easier and you’re optimizing your returns.
What do you think about ____coin, the brand new crypto-currency that’s sweeping the globe?
I’m still learning about bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” as they’re known. At the moment, I’m not sold on the idea that they are worth a significant amount of my investing money. I’m investing for the long-term, in companies and funds that I know will stand the test of time. I’m just not sure Bitcoin and the like will do the same.
Yes, like everyone’s saying, if you’d invested $0.01 in Bitcoin a few years ago you’d likely be a kajillionaire now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that rate of growth will continue.
For all the successful Bitcoins out there, there are heaps of other coins that have crashed and burned.
If you’re itching to purchase some crypto-currencies, by all means, scratch that itch, but personally, I’m not comfortable with a large % of money in it until I understand it better.
Ryan, how do I sell my shares/ETFs when it comes time to?
My friend Ruth over at TheHappySaver has a fantastic article on this very topic. Check it out! It should answer all your questions.
Ryan, I know you’re big on the whole “passive investing thing” but check out this managed fund/KiwiSaver fund that’s consistently beat the market for the past few years.
“When it comes to investing it’s best to look through the front mirror rather than the rear”
What’s going to happen in the future is more important than what has happened in the past and past results do not predict the future.
In any population, there will be outliers (take my freakishly tall 2.04m self, for example, and my 1.51m girlfriend). There will definitely be some active managers that manage to excel and beat their benchmarks, but good luck picking them beforehand.
This is why I was happy to switch to Simplicity straight away; despite no proven track record, the fact that they charge far lower fees than other providers virtually guarantees that they will outperform the majority of other providers in the long run. It just makes sense.
It’s definitely tempting to see something doing incredibly well and want to jump ship to it ASAP, but it is generally much better for your wealth in the long term to just stay your course.
I’m not exactly a young Kiwi anymore – does your site still apply to me?
Yes! I know my website is called “Money for Young Kiwis” (because I want to be hip for the kids ya know) but almost everything I write about is applicable for any stage of life. People in their 20’s can be just as clued-up or clueless as people in their 50’s – it’s never too late to get smart about your money!
Ryan, are you independent? Do you take money from any of the financial providers you talk about?
Yes, I am independent, my opinions are all my own. They come from my own research.
I do not currently take any money to promote any of the products or services I talk about on my website. Rest assured that if I do in the future, you will know about it.
Hi Ryan, I run [Scammy options trading website] I would like to advertise on your website
*Marks as spam*