Wall Street and the stock market always seem to get a bad rap from the media and certain elements of society. For instance, the whole Occupy Wall Street movement tried to convince you that financial institutions are bad and are the cause of the recession, unemployment, low wages, and any other type of economic woes we have in this country. Many people are under the impression that only the rich own stocks but that just isn’t true!
Owners Of A 401K Have Money In The Stock Market
Many people in America work for companies that offer a 401K plan. Chances are that at least some of that money and often all of it is invested in stock mutual funds. Most 401K’s give you an option on how you want to invest your money and the choices are usually between different types of funds such as growth, small caps, large caps, mixed asset, foreign equity, and others. All of those fund types invest money in the stock market and that means if you have a 401K (or an IRA), you probably already have money in stocks, even if you don’t know it.
All told, tens of millions of people across the United States have 401K’s totaling trillions of dollars. These are mostly regular, working, middle class people who contribute a small percentage of their paycheck every month. They are not the “rich” and they are counting on the stock market to grow their savings so that they will have something additional to rely on in retirement other than just Social Security.
You Don’t Need A Lot To Start Buying Stocks
The fact is, you don’t need thousands of dollars saved up before you can buy your first stock. That means almost anyone can (and should) get involved by opening their own portfolio. I use and recommend TD Ameritrade where there is no minimum to open an account. You can get the ball rolling for $100 or even $50 if that is all you have right now to put in. With that little you probably won’t be able to buy many shares of most stocks but the important thing is to just get started.
The act of opening your first online broker account will inspire you to save money and put more in your account. If you do that you will have a growing amount to invest and a higher desire to learn as much as you can. Adding to your broker account and watching it go up over the years is fun and rewarding! It just feels good to be buying stocks and participating in long term investing that will make a positive impact on your life and finances.