So, you have your emergency fund of at least 3, if not 6 months, of expenses. You have been chipping away at those credit cards aggressively and you see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, now what? It is time to put away funds for the long term, and here are just a few tools and ideas for you.
Do you have a 401k at work and do they match?
If you do and they match, at the very least put in up to the company match. So, if you put in 3% of your salary, they might match with their 3%. That’s what I call a 100% return and you have not even broken a sweat. You should talk with your employer and the firm they set up the 401k with to determine where to put those funds. Also, you may want to ask if your employer has a Roth 401k option for your funds. With the Roth 401k you don’t get the tax break today, however, you won’t need to pay taxes when you retire on those funds. See your CPA for more tax related details.
What if you just want to buy some “stocks”?
Yes, you can do this at any brokerage firm and I might suggest a word of caution. Individual stocks can be volatile and don’t add much diversification. You must be willing to keep up to date information on the stock you are going to buy so you can make the buy and sell decisions wisely. You might want to buy these inside a Roth IRA so you can benefit later from the tax treatment.
Try Exchange Traded Funds A.K.A. E.T.F’s.:
Exchange traded funds allows you the flexibility of stock for intra-day trading and allows for some diversification in an asset class. So, if you just wanted to buy the Standard and Poor’s SP 500 Index or the 30 stocks of the Dow Jones, you could do that with one purchase in the index via their exchange traded fund. Feel free to look up details on ETF’s at www.etftrends.com or www.etfscreen.com.
Overall, this is only the VERY TIP of a large subject and we suggest you seek out counsel in this area.
“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.” Proverbs 19:26
“Divide your portion to seven or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on earth.” Ecclesiastes 5:13-15