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Guest blog: The 5 best first steps to start investing

James, a management consultant from the UK, specialises in helping clients optimize their business goals through effective data utilisation. Outside of work, James developed a keen interest in financial literacy after reading "The 4-Hour Work Week" in 2020. Since then, he has dived into the world of investing. Given the current economic climate, James believes that investing for the future is not only crucial but also presents one of the best opportunities ever. James is eager to help educate and help others do the same through this blog.

Welcome to my first blog post on The Answers blog. I intend to keep these blogs short, sharp (in true Gen Z infinite scroll fashion), but provide you with some clear actions or insights to take away. 

Investing is an area that continues to grow, thanks to unprecedentedly low barriers to accessing resources and the increasing awareness that investing is now a must do instead of a should do.

Reflecting on my journey, just a few years ago, the concept of investing was foreign to me. Fast forward to today, and I find myself up by an astonishing 58%, showcasing the remarkable potential for growth in a relatively short period and now I’d love to hopefully help some people kick start their own journey.

Investing is a scary thing because as my Mum always tells me “but you can lose money”, which is of course very true. But my mind is very much in the realm of “I can make a lot of money." I’m not sure whether this is because I am generally quite optimistic about everything I do or just have a high-risk tolerance (probably both). The key with investing (and everything else) is to simply take action and do it. The biggest hurdle to overcome with investing is the emotion of losing money, once you can do that and you’re not refreshing your Vanguard account (other investment management companies are available) every 2 seconds, you will start to become a better investor. I am now at a point where I consistently invest money each month and forget it's there - I may look to see how my portfolio is doing once a quarter - but that's it. I roughly know how it’ll be going from news in the markets, and that's all I need to know. 

These are the steps I would take when starting out or even for investors who are looking to reassess their strategy:

  1. Define Your Goals: Clearly articulate what you aim to achieve through investing.

  2. Research Investment Strategies: Familiarise yourself with the diverse avenues available.

  3. Assess Risk Tolerance: Understand your comfort level with risk and align your choices accordingly.

  4. Take Action: Dive into the world of investing, applying the insights gained from your research.

  5. Consistency is Key: Regular and consistent investment practices contribute to long-term success.

I am deeply passionate about financial education, and if this has sparked some interest to embark on or enhance your investing journey, feel free to reach out with any questions

Thanks for reading!

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