Is Investing a Good Idea for a Single Person?

It’s not hard to hear about investment opportunities these days. Both on the internet as well as on the streets, you’re probably getting bombarded with offers of this type on a daily basis. And while most tend to associate this activity with companies and investors with serious financial capabilities, the truth is that the market is open to anyone. There are opportunities of all sizes that people can take advantage of, and it’s important to explore them carefully if you have the time to spare.

Investing is definitely not a bad idea even if you’re going at it alone and without any extra financial support. But like anything else that involves your money, you should be careful and always think two steps ahead when planning your next move. When done the wrong way, investing is something that can potentially ruin you financially, and that’s not a prospect to take lightly.

Saving Only Makes Sense Up to a Point

You might think that this is pointless in the first place. After all, why put any effort into investing when you can just keep saving up and watch that nice interest pile up? The reality is that the amount you’re collecting in this way is laughable compared to what you could be earning from the right investment opportunities.

Saving is important, but only with regards to building up some emergency fund that you can fall back on. As a general rule of thumb, you should be looking to have about 6-12 months’ worth of expenses saved up. That way, you can live comfortably in case you find yourself out of a job, and you can meet some unexpected expenses along the way too. But above that, you’re just wasting the potential of your money by keeping it in a savings account.

Know How the Market Works

Start by learning about the current state of the market. It keeps changing actively, and even if you’ve attempted to study it before, the information you have might already be outdated. Thankfully, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can learn all you need to know in order to get started. Don’t just limit yourself to Investopedia and similar sites though. Engage the community actively, and join some discussion boards related to finances and investing.

Don’t be afraid – there’s nothing wrong with being new. As long as you don’t try to hide it, and show that you’ve still done plenty of research on your own side, you should be fine. Most of these communities tend to be pretty accepting of new members. And while they obviously aren’t going to reveal any of their special investing secrets publicly, they can still give you a hand with the basic concepts.

Don’t Rush

Patience is key. You should avoid rushing into a decision just because it looks like an easy grab. That’s the fast track to losing all of your money. Investing requires a lot of calculation and the ability to see a situation from multiple sides. Sure, sometimes you have to react fast. But if you’ve been doing things right until then, you’ll simply have to respond with information that you already have.

To make this happen, you should keep a constant eye on the market, and keep studying it whenever you have free time. Follow what we said above – with a system as dynamic as this, you really can’t afford to idly sit on the information you’ve learned before and consider yourself knowledgeable.

Talk to Experts

Outside of online discussion boards, you should also make it a point to discuss your investing with some “real-life” experts as well. There should be various opportunities for this around you, and even though you’ll have to spend some money for their services, it’s a smart investment in the long run. After all, you want to know if you’re doing something wrong, and you’ll rarely have the kind of experience necessary to understand that yourself. Spending some money to be told what your mistakes are is one of the best things you could do.

Don’t Overinvest

Sometimes you’ll land upon something that simply doesn’t work out. Not every investment scheme out there is a lucrative one, and in many of these cases, it’s simply outside of your control. The worst possible thing you could do in these cases is to continue investing more and more into the same plan. Look up the “sunken cost fallacy” and you’ll find out why.

Many people tend to have an attachment to ideas that they’ve already spent a lot on, hoping that they will eventually work out. But this pushes your activities from investing into gambling. Don’t let that happen, and always maintain an objective overview of your situation. If the data shows that something is not working out, then don’t keep following it. This is one of the areas of your life where “listening to your heart” is the last thing you want to do.

Planning for a Successful, Lucrative Career

If you’re still at a young stage in your life, you should stop and think about your professional development if you still haven’t considered it seriously. This is not something you can just leave to random chance, and you should have a determined, focused approach if you want to maximize how much you’ll earn along the way. Sure, money is not everything – but it’s the main reason for working a job in the first place, and it certainly won’t feel bad to get a little extra cash for your hard contributions.

It’s not that hard to plan ahead, even if it might seem like an overly convoluted ordeal nowadays. Sure, there are many paths you can take. But not all of them will be viable for you personally, and you can quickly weed out the bad candidates as long as you know yourself well enough. There are also some other considerations you should make if your personal finances are your main concern though.

The Market Won’t Always Look the Same Way

The job market is a dynamic thing, and it keeps evolving at a very rapid pace. This is especially true in tech fields and certain other industries. You can’t expect the situation you see today to be indicative of what’s going to happen tomorrow in any way. This means that you should try to develop yourself in a flexible and easily adaptable manner. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who just get tunnel vision when choosing the skills they want to work on, and end up in a rather inflexible situation.

Certain Skills Will Always Be Valuable

That said, there are also certain things that will probably not go out of fashion anytime soon. Medicine is a good example of that – it’s a field that has seen much evolution in recent decades, but at the same time, the underlying knowledge is still the same. Software development – and programming in particular – is also a field that can be expected to remain relatively rigid in the long run. Even as AI starts to take over, it will probably take a long time before it’s reached the point where it can comfortably produce programs from just specifications.

In general, try to pick skills that are less likely to be hit by the upcoming automation wave. Whether you like it or not, that’s happening sooner or later. Many areas are going to be affected, especially those related to manual labour. It’s not a wise idea to start developing a career as a professional driver right now, for example.

Retirement Opportunities

Think about the long-term prospects of the job you’re choosing as well. Not every career is the same in this regard. In some lines of work, you’ll be expected to stick around for much longer and work harder until you’re “allowed” to retire. And in some cases, the retirement itself will be nothing to write home about.

Somewhat surprisingly, this is often tied to jobs with good short-term prospects. In other words, careers that tend to pick up fast and start producing a lot of money early on usually fizzle out too quickly afterwards, and are not sustainable in the long run. Athletes are a good example of that – unless you have the qualifications to get in the top percentages of your corresponding sport by the time you’ve reached 30, you are probably not looking at a very lucrative life after that. When you can’t perform on the field anymore, you’ll have to rely on sponsorships, endorsements, and generally selling your image. And not many people in this line of work have a good enough image to sell when they reach that point.

Money Is Not Everything

Last but not least, contrary to the main point of this article, remember that money is not absolutely everything. There are some career paths out there that have a very strong earning potential, but will absolutely crush you with the amount of work they require – not to mention the mental strain. Some people can take that, but for the most part, you’re probably better off sticking to something more in the middle. It’s not worth feeling burned out when you reach the point of retirement. Sure, you’ll have a nice pile of money saved up. But with no energy to enjoy it, what’s the point?

If this seems like a difficult decision, that’s because it is. Planning your career is something that really falls on you and nobody else. You can’t shift the decision to someone around you, and you can’t expect someone to pick up the workload that you’ve signed up for. The only thing you can do is sit down and think carefully about what you’re truly good at, and whether that’s a marketable skill that you can comfortably see yourself performing for the next few decades or so.