By Robert Bacarella | October 16, 2020
Building wealth is similar to rolling a snowball down a mountain slope: the higher you are on the slope, the more time it has to grow. You’ll never be higher on the slope than you are right now! Here’s how to start.
First: Open a checking or savings account if you don’t have one already. Then, open an investment account.
You can open two basic types of investment accounts. The first is directly with a mutual fund company. You download an application from the company’s website, fill it out, sign it, attach a check and mail it to the fund company. Easy and simple.
The second basic type is a brokerage account—E*Trade, for example. This account can be opened online. Once it’s established, you can either wire transfer or send a check from your bank account to the E*Trade account. Also, easy and simple. The advantage of a brokerage account is that it gives you more flexibility to trade many other types of investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
Second: Decide how much to get started with and create an automatic investment plan.
Many accounts can be started with a minimum investment of just $100. For example, an investment in the Monetta Core Growth Fund (ticker symbol MYIFX) requires only $100 to get started if you also establish a monthly automatic investment plan (AIP) amount of $25 or more.
The AIP can be set up as part of the mutual fund application or established when you invest through your brokerage account. Each month, on a date you select, funds will automatically be taken out of your checking/savings account.
An automatic investment plan will automatically add snow to your rolling snowball as it moves down the slope. Imagine how much bigger your snowball could be if you constantly add to it as it rolls down the slope.
Third: Build a solid foundation with your first investment.
Your first investment should be in a diversified portfolio that seeks to track market performance.
You could consider an S&P 500 index or a fund similar to the Monetta Core Growth Fund, which is half invested in the S&P 500 index and half in large, high-quality companies that are growing.
This investment should be the foundation or core of your investment portfolio, as a “set and forget” investment choice that you consistently add to, in both good and bad markets. No market timing. No panic selling. No withdrawals. Let this investment (snowball) roll down the slope unencumbered… hopefully, over the long-term, creating an avalanche of worth.
The combination of starting early, adding to it regularly and thinking long-term will quickly gather momentum. But your snowball can’t get rolling if you don’t start. All you need is a few snowflakes to get started.