Thursday, April 10, 2008

Investment Confessions

I have a confession to make. Investing, you know in the stock market, scares me. I know a bit about different savings vehicles but have avoided directly investing in the stock market because of this fear. I chose (with an uncle's help) an index fund for my Roth because I didn't want to think about it. Other than that my money lives in savings accounts, largely with ING.

A part of the problem is I haven't found any good reading on the subject that doesn't put me to sleep. I also haven't looked that hard. I get the basics, but how to research then choose a stock, what a good buying price, etc kept me from taking the plunge. I'm also not really a plunge person. I dip my toe, then my foot, think about the water temperature, dip the other foot... you get the point.

Thanks to UpDown I'm going to make my first dip. The site gives you $1,000,000 in play money to invest in the market. The play money takes away the fear of loosing my hard earned money. It also gives me a chance to do a little research and see how well my ideas pay off. As a bonus, if you beat the S&P 500's performance, you get paid. We're not talking major money, just enough to keep things interesting. Wish me luck as I start to creep in.

Are there any books, specific blog posts, or other info you think would be good for me?


spillingbuckets said...

I really enjoyed "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"

Shuchong said...

Good news! Turns out that not thinking about it is probably one of the best things you can do over the long run.

Lots of smart (or at least smart-sounding...) people recommend a portfolio of broadly-diversified index funds. Apparently, they have math to back this up. I'm allergic to math, but the basic idea (low correlation, low costs, owning the market) makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, I've yet to find any page-turners on the subject. I just picked up Straight Talk on Investing by Jack Brennan (CEO of Vanguard). No math so far, so I'm hopeful I'll get through it. For more soundbites, you can also visit the vanguard diehards section on Morningstar's forums. You can't post without a membership, but you can read through specific questions etc.

Good luck!

Foxie said...

I probably don't know much more about the stock market than you, but I found Sharebuilder to be wonderful for beginning investors. It'll walk you through the whole setup, determine your risk tolerance and then pick ETF's that go along with the length of time you want to invest for and your risk tolerance. The questions are very simple and straightforward and it does the rest!

I have my individual investment account there and plan on opening a Roth IRA with Sharebuilder next month, until I have the $3,000 minimum deposit to open a Roth with Vanguard.

The only thing to really do is avoid individual stocks at all costs; you'd be better off at a black jack table.