As a (slightly) young professional, the topic of investing is ringing in my ears as I am in the midst of career exploration and job searching. As college prepares you for many things in the ‘real world’ (unless you take a class that is specifically about the topic) investing is not covered or discussed. Consequently, as many of my sisters are on the cusp of getting their careers started, the topic of investing is often naively discussed, which can be frustrating and embarrassing.
During my master’s program at Ball State University, I was fortunate enough to sit through a presentation about investing. While investing can be very confusing for a new-to-the-conversation-listener, the presentation introduced me to some of the lingo necessary to be successful in regards to investing. The presentation also made me realize that the topic is important as a young professional, but also a seasoned professional.
At 19 years old, I had a friend encourage me to start an IRA. At the time, I blindly took the advice and started investing my money is something I knew nothing about. Now at 25, with more education, I realized how thankful I am to the friend who encouraged me to start that investment. However, just recently I was discussing my very small investment portfolio with a colleague and expressed how I want to do more than just have an IRA. He reminded me that investment is not just having an IRA or investing in stocks, but also choosing to buy or lease a car, or similarly buying or renting a house. I recently paid off my first car and I have added more to my investment portfolio than I previously realized.
As I have invested more time in to the topic, I have realized it is extremely important to continuously educate yourself. This may mean talking with friends or sisters about investment opportunities they have taken advantage of, or finding a class about investing in your local community. As uncomfortable or embarrassing as it may be because you do not know much about investing, take the plunge; it will pay off. As I finish talking about my very little investment experience, I realize that there have been many times that I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge on the topic, but I am confident that I am not alone. However it is only acceptable for so long to be naïve and not educate myself on the topic. You can start by watching the video and reading the article about investing that is featured on the Financial Wellbeing Challenge for April-May! I hope you enjoy participating in the challenge!