What is investing?

Investing involves committing money in order to earn a financial return. This essentially means that you invest money to make money and achieve your financial goals. Regardless of where you invest your money, you’re giving your money to a company, government or other entity in the hope they provide you with more money in the future. People invest money with a specific goal in mind; the following are examples: retirement, their children’s education, a house, vacation and so on.

Investing is different from saving. Generally, investing is associated with putting money away for a long period of time, rather than trading stocks on a more regular basis. Investing is riskier than saving money. Savings are sometimes guaranteed, but investments are not. If you were to keep your money under the mattress and not invest — you’d never have more money than what you put away.

MONEY UNDER YOUR MATTRESS VS. SAVINGS VS. INVESTING.

What $20,000 looks like in 30 years depends on where you put it.

$20,000

UNDER THE MATTRESS

$36,337

SAVING
2% INTEREST

$99,113

INVESTING
5.48%
ANNUAL RETURN

That’s why many people choose to invest their money!
There are many things that you can put money into.

Here are just a few of those things…

Types of Investments

Stocks

Bonds

RRSPs

Mutual funds

TFSAS

High Interest Saving

Things to consider before investing

First things first. Before you start investing in anything, you should ask yourself a couple important questions. These questions determine whether you’re in good enough financial shape to start investing right now — here are the basics:

Do you have a lot of credit card debt?

If the answer is yes, you’re probably not in a position to invest quite yet. First, do everything you can do to lower that debt because no investment you’ll find will consistently outperform the 21% APR that you’re likely forking over to a credit card company to service your debt. Set up a budget that is affordable and manageable then follow it. Invest in yourself first and relieve yourself of the debt you have created. You have to decide between needs and wants and eliminate the wants until your spending is under control. At that point you can begin the need-to-save-for-the-future process through investing.

Do you have an emergency fund?

Things happen. Layoffs, natural disasters, sicknesses — let us count the ways in which your life can be turned upside down. A financial advisor will tell you that in order to avoid total ruin, you should have between six months and a year of total living expenses in cash, or in a savings account should the unthinkable happen. That seems unrealistic for many, but it does not take much money invested to start the compounding interest process to start.