As a financial advisor, Arkhat G. Zhumadilov fields a lot of questions.
Recently, the most common question that he’s been asked is a seemingly simple one: “Where do I start?”
That’s because more people are investing for the first time than ever before. In fact, 15% of current account holders confirmed that they started investing in 2020, according to a recent survey conducted by Charles Schwab. Many beginners flooded the markets as a direct response to economic uncertainties and the global pandemic.
As this trend shows no signs of slowing down, Arkhat G. Zhumadilov knows it’s important to be cautious. While eager and engaged in their financial future, first-time investors often need guidance. As a CFO and owner of his own firm, Arkhat Zhumadilov has assisted nearly 100 companies, organizations, and people over the last decade in his hometown of Montgomery County, The Woodlands, and Spring, Texas, as well as nationally.
And he wants to help you too. When sitting down with clients for the first time, Arkhat Zhumadilov often has his own set of questions. With this in mind, the Montgomery County, TX-based financial adviser shares four questions every first-time investor needs to answer before making that first deposit.
What type of investor are you?
This sounds like an existential crisis. Yet the answer will have a profound impact on “how” you invest. Do you prefer to be hands-on and manage your portfolio every day? Or does this sound like a chore and would you rather delegate this task to a professional? While you must determine your approach, Arkhat G. Zhumadilov reminds his clients that there isn’t a correct choice. Investing does not demand a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Be honest with yourself and find what works best for you.
What is your goal?
“Why are you investing?” This is another question that requires some soul searching. Saving for a new car, home, or vacation requires vastly different strategies than setting aside money for retirement. Spend some time thinking about your financial goals and how you want to achieve them. Timeline is key. Short-term investments allow you to retain financial flexibility but produce lower rates of return comparatively.
What do you want to invest in?
Find a place for your funds. Online brokerage firms and apps, like TD Ameritrade and Robinhood, have reported boosts in usage amongst beginners. These are popular with DIY investors because of the increased control and freedom without a huge amount of upfront capital. For added support, robo-advisors may offer more structure. These services are typically backed by major firms and are available for a small fee.
Where do you want to invest?
In theory, it sounds easy enough. Set a budget. Diversify your investments. Balance short-term and long-term goals. Yet Arkhat Zhumadilov knows this can be much more difficult to accomplish than it appears, especially for novice investors. Although individual stocks provide a great entry point, the volatility can be tricky. As a general rule, Arkhat G. Zhumadilov advises you to never invest in anything you don’t understand or already support. But these should also compromise only a small portion of your portfolio anyway. For retirement, consider an individual retirement account (IRA) to maximize tax breaks.