For the longest time, the term “investing” and the concept of putting my money to work, beyond just a savings account, was very much on the fringe of my focus. Investing felt abstract, confusing, and not necessarily “for me”, a small town entrepreneur who was just getting started. Investing was for men in suits with a high-net worth and an advanced understanding of the stock market.
Shinobu Hindert wants you to know that investing isn’t just for men — in fact, more and more women are investing in the stock market as a tool to create the lifestyle they’ve always wanted… But getting started and surviving the fatigue that comes with learning something new is the hardest part of the whole process. She is a Certified Financial Planner, an author, and now, the first ever Goal Digger guest to give us the Investing 101 lesson that could quite possibly change our lives.
Where to start, essential strategies, setting goals — we’re talking all things investing so you can get started with confidence.
Investing is More Accessible Than Ever
When Shinobu first got into the personal finance and investing space, it was a lot harder for the average person to navigate, both from a knowledge perspective and also from the actual financial access perspective. She began, “When I first started, there were so many barriers in place in terms of high fees, there were high account minimums that you needed to have, and a lot of that has gone away.”
Then there are the internal barriers, the ones we place on ourselves, like saying we’ll invest when we have money, or we can’t invest because we’re not good with numbers. But now, companies are making it easier for everyone to access the information they need to invest at any income level. That’s exactly what Shinobu does with her company, too.
“I think as a collective, we’ve been really loud and asking for alignment within the financial industry, that’s really closer to our beliefs, our value system, and it’s working, the industry is listening,” Shinobu explained. “So you have these large companies that are now offering, no account minimums, no trading fees, you can trade on your phone, you can just roll over in bed and start trading. So it has become really accessible and obviously there’s good and bad with that, but yes, at least anybody can invest now.”
“Anyone can start investing at any income level,” Shinobu encouraged. The key though is to ensure you’re starting from a strong financial foundation. She explained, “Things like an emergency fund or having consistent income, because if the point of investing is to leverage what you have and grow your money, you need to give your investment space to do that.”
“You don’t need to become an expert to be a savvy investor,” Shinobu began. The industry is filled with so much jargon, and it can be intimidating to get started. But even if you don’t know all the terms, you can still make informed decisions with your investments. Shinobu laid out a few key terms that will be helpful as you get started.
“I definitely want to differentiate between a stock versus a bond and a mutual fund,” she started. When you own a stock, it’s just shares of ownership in a publicly traded company and what’s nice is when that company share price goes up, you’re making money.
She explained that people really don’t talk about bonds because they’re typically “boring”, but the bond market is actually much bigger than the stock market. When you buy a bond, you’re essentially loaning money to a company that’s going to pay you interest for a set period of time.
Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are these vehicles that they created made up of a basket of stocks and bonds or some kind of financial security inside of them. These are great options because they typically have really low maintenance costs and you’re getting some risk management because it’s a combination of a few different stocks or bonds, not just owning one and they’re really readily accessible.
Shinobu also walks through diversification and brokerage accounts. Press play for an easy to follow explanation of the foundational terms to get you started with investing.
Beyond Savings Accounts
If you have money in your savings account and you’re ready to put your money somewhere it will grow beyond the meager interest rates, where should you begin? Shinobu recommends starting with your financial goals before you pick where it goes.
Just like when you have a new business idea, she explained, “you essentially reverse engineer it and create the steps to make that happen.”
Then ask yourself these three questions: What’s your timeframe? What’s your tolerance for risk? What’s your overall financial situation?
The answers to those three questions can help guide you to the type of investment that’s best for your goals. Shinobu teaches this more in-depth in her course and book.
More from Shinobu Hindert
Do you have the investing bug? Want to learn more about how to invest your money on your own, and begin wherever you are right now? Press play on the episode above and follow along with Shinbou’s helpful personal finance and investment advice on Instagram @empowered_planning, online, and with her new book, “Investing is Your Super Power”.