How to Start Investing

You’ve got some cash in a savings account. The stock market is confusing and/or scary. How do you start? What’s the best way to “put your money in” without needing to learn all the jargon and stuff? Here’s my recipe.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. I’m just telling you what’s worked best for me.

1) Open a Brokerage account with Fidelity or Schwab.

Either one is fine. Flip a coin if you have to.

2) Transfer your money in.

Best to setup the transfer from your existing bank, and do an “ACH” transfer. The first time will take a while, but then you’ll have a connection from Checking/Savings -> Brokerage. That’ll make it easier when you’ve got a bit more cash saved up that you want to send over.

ACH transfers usually take 3-5 days. Your bank may offer you a faster transfer for a fee, but ignore it. Keep the money.

3) Buy these: QQQ, SPY, VTI, MIPTX

Let’s say you’ve got $10,000 to put in, to make the math easy.

  • Buy $2000 of QQQ
  • Buy $2000 of SPY
  • Buy $2000 of VTI
  • Buy $2000 of MIPTX

Those first 4? You don’t touch those EVER except to buy more. Those are the absolute core of your “nest egg”.
Buy ’em and sit on ’em.
Set it and forget it.
No touchy!

4) The last 20% is Play money.

The last 2k is to do whatever else you want to do. GameStop, Crypto, whatever. You can buy & sell stuff at leisure.

I personally keep my play money in a completely separate account, specifically so it’s easy to stop myself from dipping into the nest egg and gambling it away.

5) You’re done!

It really can be that simple. Only do shenanigans with the play money. The rest of it, set it and forget it.