Recently, one of you asked if we thought an investment broker was a necessity, or if it would be better to save the commission money and do your own online investing.
Even though my husband and I have been consistent investors for many years, I do not consider myself an expert in any way when it comes to investing. But, I've done a lot of reading about this subject over the years, and every reputable expert encourages having a professional along for your investment ride.
One of my favorite experts, Dave Ramsey, has an excellent article about this subject that I hope you will find helpful. I would encourage you to read this very short article a couple of times. Investing is a complicated venture and not one to rush into, and you should be careful who you trust with your financial future.
You can expect that he/she will talk you through some simple yet important questions:
1. At what age do you want to retire?
2. What amount of money will you need at retirement?
3. How much risk are you comfortable with in your investment strategy?
From here you can discuss your current financial situation (income, savings & debt), the amount of years between now and your retirement, and any personal criteria you might have for your investment options. This person will also have tax advice to share regarding your decisions. Your investment broker should be a valuable asset and a trusted associate through the years.
On a personal note, my husband and I are big believers in not keeping all our eggs in one basket, and so we have two separate people we invest with. Neither one knows about the other. It just makes us more comfortable to split things up a bit (if one of them were to turn into a Bernie Madoff, we wouldn't lose everything). Maybe you'll feel the same way too.
The best advice regarding investing is to START EARLY and BE CONSISTENT. Remember, when it comes to investing, Slow and Steady wins the race.