Your hard earned cash is no good idling in your bank account
Online denizens aren’t exactly bank friendly. We like to keep our money digital. Therefore, we can make our investments digital as well.
There are three common markets that are both freelancer-friendly and easily accessible. These are:
- Stocks and Indices
- Crypto Currencies
Forex is the foreign exchange of currencies. Dollars to Yen and then back again. Simple.
Stocks are essentially corporate investments. You buy a stock of Apple, Apple has a good month, you sell your stock for a profit.
Cryptos are a bit more complicated. Granted, at this point everyone understands the general concept of Bitcoin and blockchain currencies, but what most people don’t understand is how crypto trading can be profitable, outside of hoarding Bitcoin and hoping for another miracle.
Let’s break these three down in detail:
The foreign currency exchange is the oldest mainstream trading market available online. It’s been all the rage for over a decade now and with good reason. Currencies shift prices constantly, and if you trade them back and forth daily, weekly or even monthly, you can bring in a consistent return.
The trading itself is facilitated by third party brokers, of which there are many. There is no such thing as the best broker, but eToro has the most beginner friendly platform, and I would recommend that you start by using them with a demo account, if you want to learn how brokers work.
Once you know what you’re doing, you can choose your own broker when it comes time to use real money.
Stocks and Indices
These are also available on the same broker platforms that offer Forex, and they function in much the same way. You purchase a part of a stock or an index, hold it for as long as you need to, then sell it back, hopefully at a profit.
Firstly, I need to note that while cryptos do come with the possibility of phenomenal price spikes, they’re several times riskier than any Forex or stock trade. That being said, you can invest in them directly, by simply purchasing Bitcoin and holding it, or you could go through a broker.
Standard Forex brokers offer USD to BTC trading if that’s as far down the rabbit hole as you’d like to go. But, if you’d like to get into cross-crypto trading, you should buy BTC, then use it to open a crypto broker account. Those function the same as Forex accounts but operate with cryptos exclusively.
Before we talk about expert tips on what you should invest in, let’s outline the basic process of preparing your budget first.
Allocating an amount
The first step to a proper investment strategy is deciding exactly how much you are capable of investing. The usual starting point is to see whether you can live off of 90% of what you’re consistently bringing in. Then, you repeat the process, but with 80%. This is simply because the ideal amount of money to invest, given a standard online wage, is around 20% of your net income. Anything more than that would probably disrupt your lifestyle and general expenditures. Anything less would be negligible, but 10% is acceptable if you’re not quite ready, but would like to jump start the process.
Solidifying a process
Once you know how much you’ll be investing, you need to write down some general guidelines for yourself, that you believe you can adhere to. Simply deciding to invest 20% of your net income isn’t enough. You’ll need to discipline yourself down the line, so it’s extremely important that you make a schedule and stick to it. Are you going to invest 20% of your current amount or 20% of your net income every given month? Can that amount rise with time? Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. Then, make an investment schedule for yourself.
Once you’ve partitioned your available funds, you need to decide how you’re going to hedge them. Hedging, in layman’s terms, is the process of investing in different commodities at a time, to minimize risk. A proper hedge distribution should ideally be the result of years of financial education, but you can still create an effective plan for yourself with minimal effort if you’re diligent, and here’s how:
Divide your 20% net into around 5 equal piles, i.e. 4% each. Then, mix and match between the aforementioned markets.
When it comes to deciding what to invest in, there is never a correct answer. Investing is a balancing act that has more to do with discipline than with finance. Don’t get angry when you lose, don’t get excited when you win and you’ll do just fine.
The Expert Tips
Or rather, the methods that have worked for us, include the following:
Holding several different cryptos just in case
This is the least responsible, though arguably not very risky approach. I’d advise that a very small percentage of your budget be allocated to investing in promising cryptocurrencies, and held for years at a time. It’s lottery methodology, but it can work, and it doesn’t cost too much.
Standardized index trading
Pick a few indices that look promising and hold them for a couple of weeks at a time. Study them, drop losers, keep winners, rinse and repeat. It’s a very basic method, but it serves as a decent bread and butter.
They’re boring, but they’re the safest bet. Buy a worthwhile stock and keep it for as long as you’d like. It’s a time tested method.
Weekly Large Forex Pairs
Dollars to Yen, Euros to Dollars, maybe even some New Zealand Dollars thrown in the mix. These are all nice combinations that consistently shift ratios between each other, giving you a ton of potential to trade them back and forth. This is the medium risk approach, where cryptos are unpredictable and stocks are slow – forex fluctuates, but never by a lot.
It’s the standard playing field for active investments.
This is mostly applicable to Forex pairs, but generally applies across the board. Track large financial events, like the Non-Farm Payroll (Which occurs the first Friday of every month). The NFP for instance, shifts the dollar in one of two possible directions, against several currencies, including the Euro. That means that every first Friday of the month at 1:30 p.m. GMT, the dollar spikes up or down against the Euro. You can think of this as a monthly betting opportunity.
Do keep in mind though that most brokers have general policies that discourage event-trading. It’s not forbidden, just frowned upon if it is the only form of investing that you use the platform for.
In closing, it’s pivotal that we note that all of these trading platforms come with a world of technicalities. Forex platforms, for instance, let you invest with leverage, buying, say, $10,000 worth of Euros with an investment of $100. If you’re getting into online broker investment, go through a basic boot camp first. We recommend https://www.babypips.com/learn for that purpose.
Your mileage will vary, and in an ideal world, we’d all be rich. We hope that we started you off on the right path, but must again warn you that neither us nor any other business can conclusively claim to have a foolproof way of investing money without risk of loss. Be careful, do your homework, and don’t be afraid to get second and third opinions.
What matters most, in the end, is that you go out of your way to learn how to better manage your funds, always.
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