{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m a 28F who is barely getting into investing. It’s frustrating that it took this long but as a first gen college grad, my parents didn’t know anything about this stuff until very recently, so naturally I was never taught about it. It’s crazy to see people younger than me with all this knowledge on saving and investing. How did you learn so much at such a young age? Any advice for someone like me who is starting out so late in the game?", "post_id": "60e71a62b7165000202f39c4", "reply_count": 144, "vote_count": 68, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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I’m a 28F who is barely getting into investing. It’s frustrating that it took this long but as a first gen college grad, my parents didn’t know anything about this stuff until very recently, so naturally I was never taught about it. It’s crazy to see people younger than me with all this knowledge on saving and investing. How did you learn so much at such a young age? Any advice for someone like me who is starting out so late in the game?

likehelpful
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I would recommend browsing the FAQ section of the r/financialindependence subreddit. Good for getting the basics down on how much is needed for retirement. There’s also some great book recommendations there. I also like “The Money Guys” YouTube channel for beginners.

You really aren’t starting that late, but still you will need to save a higher % of income (at least 20%) while also reducing costs (such as housing, food) given you didn’t start upon graduation.

Roughly, your order of operations should be:
1. Save for an emergency fund in a HYSA
2. Pay off consumer debt (such as credit cards)
3. Pay off any high interest student loans (~5+%)
4. Contribute to 401k up to employer match
5. Max a Roth IRA if you are within the income limit
6. Max an HSA if you have one
7. Max out the 401k
8. If you have more money after all that, invest in a taxable brokerage

helpfullike

Thank you for this! I appreciate you breaking it down in order of importance.

I want to make it my life’s mission to share knowledge of long term index investing with everyone. My parents starting working on Wall Street and had an education fund for me when I was young. They put a way a few thousand dollars into the S&P 500 for me a decade and a half ago. I am very fortunate.

I empathize and try to understand where OP is coming from. The market is scary and it has an image problem. When people think of the market they think of GameStop and Bitcoin which IMO are speculative assets. If you invest in the S&P 500 you’ll earn on avg 10% returns per year and your risk will be diversified.

This is why I support the baby bond initiative. I think every child born should receive $5000 from Uncle Sam in a brokerage account that opens up when they’re 18. It sets the foundation for building knowledge about the markets.

likeuplifting

Don’t do anything. Studies show staying in the market beats timing the market.

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You can really learn anything on the internet. I’ve been investing for quite some time and my parents didn’t teach me anything. It’s all about your own motivation and dedication to learning. I try not to blame my upbringing.

likehelpfulupliftingfunny

Start with Betterment as a service. They’ll automate your investing for you. While they’re doing that, you can learn about Stock and Bond ETFs and mutual funds. Start talking to friends and family that have insights. Back up with casual research. The knowledge will accumulate.

helpful

My parents never taught me but I took the initiative a few years ago and read a bunch of books, podcasts, researched, etc. there is a TON of stuff out there. Don’t feel bad it took so long- you are still ahead of a lot of other people.

likeuplifting

I read Bogleheads Guide to Investing (still one of the best. Easy to understand and still relevant), Rich Dad Poor Dad (didnt like as much as other people do but still some great lessons. Just a couple bad lessons too IMO), Millionaire Next Door (enjoyed this one), I Will Teach You to Be Rich (liked this one a lot because it gives you actionable steps with everything and goes over all aspects of wealth outside of just investing too), Think and Grow Rich and finally a Random Walk Down Wallstreet. All basics recommended by most and there’s a lot of common themes but I read them all. For podcasts, I listen to ones from rich people and entrepreneurs. Youtube I search everything I don’t understand and then go down a rabbit hole on the suggested videos and stuff

likehelpful

28 is not starting out late in the game . Read simple path to wealth . Great book for starters

likesmarthelpful

^ started with this book last year and have invested over $100k! 28 as well - never too late to start

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My advice is to focus on learning how about and setting up and taking advantage of tax advantaged accounts (401k, HSA, IRAs etc) and less about investing in the stock market and picking winners. The big secret is to trade less not more.

likehelpfulsmart

FSA is very different than HSA, you lose unspent FSA while HSA money is yours into retirement. FSA is not a retirement fund.

like

28 is not late at all! Plenty of time. The best time to learn and invest is today. I learned a lot of what I know within the last few months. Try looking up bogleheads or 3 fund portfolio.

Understand tax advantaged accounts. For example, if you invest the exact same way in a 401k and a taxable brokerage account, the first one will always make more (because as mentioned, it's tax advantaged).

Even without a 401k match, you should be contributing to your 401k anyways before you start to consider taxable brokerage accounts like Robinhood.

Try following the below. Happy to help if you want to DM. A lot of people in this bowl have helped me out. I didn't even open an IRA until this year, and now I feel like I'm so much more informed.

Post Photo
likehelpfulsmart

D1- like others, I’m hoping you can share a higher res copy!

Also, look at Bogleheads. That’s probably one of your best one stop shops

likesmarthelpful

Rest in power, Jack Bogle.

like

If it makes you feel better, I got into investing at 29(F, too and I’m only 30 now), and it was only after I inherited some money and needed a smarter way of managing it. I was also never taught about investing growing up, just the good old “put money into saving.” It’s better late than never. I personally hired a more full-service financial advisor and he’s been a tremendous help in getting me on track. No shame in admitting you’re starting fresh and getting someone to hell you out at first.

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I agree! Definitely makes me feel better. And hopefully other people like us can use the suggestions given here. I didn’t expect so many people wanting to help out and offer advice, it was really nice to see.

like

The fact that you're here and asking this question puts you ahead of great section of the population! The best day to start investing was when you started earning; the next best day is today!

I didn't get around to any sort of real investing till I was about 28, and a little more than a decade I'm close to retiring. The bull run we've been in certainly helped but diligently investing a couple of thousands dollars, or more, in to the markets (regular stock market, no crypto or meme stocks) every month was the main driving point.

If you want to keep investing simple while learning how the markets work, read all the posts under this stock series. Or get the book "A simple path to wealth" which is the book form of the online articles.
https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

likeupliftinghelpful

Thank you D2! I appreciate the advice and uplifting words.

like

PwC2 - is this judgy tone of yours really adding value here? Are you saying it to make yourself feel good about your research on the internet?

Good on you OP for handling this with the highest class. PwC2 - you should take pointers from the OP.

likeuplifting

Thank you M1. I commend PwC2 for following what rich people do and learning all of this him/herself. Hopefully he/she shares their knowledge with other beginners to make it easier for them to learn the ropes of investing. That’s what I want to do once I become more familiar with it. I’m just glad so many people provided recommendations and support. Choosing to focus on that :)

like

“If You Can” is a really short and simple read that you can google. Helped me start to understand the bigger picture

likehelpful

Reading this now. Thank you!

like

I come from a similar background—grew up poor and didn’t really start investing until my late 20s. Read Morgan Housel’s book The Psychology of Money to start. The quicker you learn to think long-term and to stop chasing returns that aren’t achievable, the better investor you will be. Best approach is to dollar cost average into tax advantaged accounts (e.g. your 401k, IRA, and HSA) and allocate to low cost index funds. Outside of retirement, only invest funds that you won’t need for five or more years. Have a look at compounding charts—they are quite powerful and demonstrate the power of long-term investments that compound over many years. If you have any specific questions feel free to DM me—happy to help get you started down the right path!

likeuplifting

Just DMed you. Thanks!

Agree with reading “a simple path to wealth” first. Investing doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming

like

I’m also first gen! My mom was amazing at being frugal and saving money, but not making it grow. Investing was “gambling.” I stumbled across Ramit Sethi online one day when I was 23, and now I’m 38 with net worth of over $800k by myself. A lot of the info here is overwhelming and way too detailed for a newb. Just buy the book I Will Teach You to Be Rich and follow the steps he says. Then you’ll be 90% there. Good luck!

likeuplifting

Not at 6 figures yet but close to it! I anticipate I’ll get there in the next 2 years. Thanks again!

My dad made me open a roth when i was 18 with 1,000 of my summer job money. Thought it was silly then but very grateful now

likesmart

Nice. I opened a Roth IRA for my child when they were 8, funded by earned income from jobs such as mowing the neighbors's yard.

likesmart

Me too here, no awareness until now when I am turning 29 now. Feeling very behind, and upset given that I work in the Finance industry myself. Also FOMO on missing the boat on housing and stock markets, with regrets on spending my first 6 years of fulltime on just work while neglecting personal finance planning. But, we learnt it the hard way, now we can only look forward and plan ahead. We will begin now and also make sure to pass this knowledge on to the next generations, also passing this knowledge to my siblings. Let's do this!

likeuplifting

True a lot of us are so focused on work that we forget that wealth is different from earning a salary

28 is not late! Think of investing, similar to your career, as a 40 year game (generally you get to invest income earned over a 40year career). You’re essentially 6 years into the game and have 34 years ahead of you..

likeuplifting

Precisely because I grew up extremely poor, I constantly strived to look for ways to improve my finances once I started university. That led to much research, and my friends consider me as their go-to person for personal finance! In some ways, growing up in a disadvantaged background can actually be a great impetus

likesmart

This is a good way to look at it. My background is exactly why I pushed myself through school. I want to make it a lot easier for my kids to understand this stuff and be prepared because my parents couldn’t do that for me.

like

First of all - I'm first gen college grad as well and got no coaching from my parents. Investing 101 is totally learnable by you if you want to do the work. Second - you're 28. You're anything but too late. Third - start close to the vest, feel confident about your personal finances, then start leaning about investment options.

like

This is incredibly helpful, thank you!

like

Don’t look back and feel bad about not doing it - start now and feel proud that you are starting now. Educate yourself bit by bit and you’ll do great, don’t dwell in what didn’t happen.

likeuplifting

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