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Millennials and Their Money: 3 Tips for Overcoming Investing Fears

| December 01, 2014

When it comes to Millennials and their money, most Americans ages 18 to 29 would rather sit on a boat load of cash. They have a sinking feeling that investing in the stock market is like boarding the Titanic. According to a recent study cited by a recent The Street article, younger people prefer cash. Of course, cash is a low-yielding investment that’s better reserved for retirees who just want don’t want any risk. How does a young person get over his or her aversion to the stock market?

Investing instead of trading

One way a young investor can get over their fear of losing money in the stock market is by taking a long-term approach. Trading stocks is not the same as investing in the market. Most of the horror stories of people who lost fortunes occurred because they “bet” money on a penny stock instead of “dollar cost averaging” into a particular stock position. Smart investors contribute a certain amount of money on a regular basis so that they build up shares in a mutual fund or individual stock over time.

Getting an immediate reward

A lot of younger people are used to experience immediate gratification because of our highly technical world and consumer-driven society. By investing in stocks or mutual funds that pay dividends, young investors can feel rewarded. Most companies that pay dividends or share the profits with their shareholders of record, pay the dividends every quarter. Some pay sporadically or as they earn profits.

Diversifying from the start

When trying to figure out how to invest their money, some young people are lost. Their default option is a savings account or possibly certificate of deposits. Other investments include bonds, real estate, commodities, futures, options, precious metals such as gold and private businesses. One way to have a diversified portfolio is by choosing a mutual fund that already includes a variety of different investments. You can hold dividend-paying mutual funds within a 401(k), Roth IRA or many other retirement or regular investment accounts.

Sitting on cash is the equivalent of putting gold under the mattress or burying it in your backyard. Millennials are too smart not to find better ways to invest their money.