Tips For Investing in Middle Age

Investors are not just young, hungry hot shots or older, established pros. While you might think that you’ve missed the boat getting started in investing if you’re in your 40s, 50s or even your 60s, this isn’t the case. Your strategies will probably be different but you can still make money as an investor even if you are getting started a few decades late.

Advantage and Disadvantages

You can be more or less hands on, but there are a couple of considerations you should keep in mind. One is that you do not have as much time for your investments to mature as you would if you were 25. It is generally a good idea to be less risky with your stock choices as you get older, but if you have the money to spend and the appetite for risk, there’s no reason you can’t try for the stocks that promise a big reward. 

You have one advantage over younger investors, which is that if you are 50 or older, the amount you can contribute to retirement accounts increases. Your age could be beneficial in other ways as well. More maturity means you likely already know how to learn more about investing options and might be less likely to react emotionally and impulsively to market volatility.

The Hands-On Approach

You will need to decide whether you want to hand over most of the decision-making to an online broker or a roboadvisor or if you want to learn about the markets and do it all yourself. If you’re going to be a hands-on investor, trading stocks on a regular basis, you will need to start by doing some research. Read a few of the top books about trading and consult some online resources. 

You should begin following the market on a daily basis, checking what’s happening in foreign markets every morning. Don’t be caught short by interruptions like holidays. It may seem like the markets never close, but you can review a guide on 2021 and 2022 stock market holidays so you know when the NYSE, Nasdaq and bond markets won’t be open. You’ll also need to learn how to read company spreadsheets and price charts and perform technical analysis. You can do some virtual trading to practice or even take some classes or attend seminars on investing topics.

The Hands-Off Approach

You can let your broker or roboadvisor largely decide what your investments will be, or you can have some input into that, but there are still a few things you should consider first that will help them make the right choices for you. Your age is still a factor and there’s a big difference in getting started at 41 versus 65. You should also think about what your goals are and assess your appetite for risk. Over the decades, stock portfolios usually increase in value despite short-term volatility, but there could be a lot of fluctuation over a shorter period of time. If you do choose to have someone else manage your portfolio, be sure that you understand what the fees are and whether they are reasonable.

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