I had the pleasure of helping host ATB Financial’s first Edmonton financial literacy workshop this November! The workshop was called “How to Adult: Investing” and was a great primer on what investment is all about and how you can (and should) get started.
The following three investment tips are some key messages I took away from ATB’s Financial Advisor Brendan Shaw, who delivered the ‘Investing 101’ workshop to a packed (sold-out) room of 75 young adults.
How to Adult: 3 Investing Tips
1. Pay Yourself First
The “Golden Rule” of investing is that you should start with paying yourself first! Set up something called Pre-Authorized Contributions (or PACs) that is an automatic transfer of money from your bank account into an investment or savings account. Brendan recommends having these regular contributions coincide with your paycheque (so you don’t notice it all). It’s okay to start with as little as $25 per paycheque.
2. Diversify Investments
Investing requires you to take on some risk in order to meet your goal, but you determine what your risk threshold is (the less risky, the lower returns you’ll see though). You should definitely diversify your investments in order to reduce risk. Putting everything you have into one stock is obviously very risky, especially with market volatility. Dividing up investments by putting your money into a few different buckets is a safer way to reach long-term goals.
3. Sit Down with a Financial Advisor
The nice part of the workshop was that although it was put on by ATB Financial, and Brendan is an ATB Financial Advisor, he said a few different times that the evening wasn’t a brainwashing event meant to get everyone to bank with ATB (it definitely helps though ;)) The key takeaway is that a good way to start investing involves sitting down with any financial advisor, wherever you bank. Do it!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. I partnered with ATB Financial to host and help promote their How to Adult: Investing event, including sharing some investment tips after the event. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post. I think it’s pretty important to learn how to adult… ;)