I made my first investment and the world didn’t end.

How do you start investing when there is non-stop talk of overpriced assets, inflated Sydney property prices, the stock market rallying and the ‘end is nigh’ Homers are dinging their doomsday bells in the street?

imgres.jpg

Making my first investment was absolutely terrifying. Thoughts that ran around my mind like a hamster in a hamster wheel wereWhat if I bought at the peak and the market crashed? What if I lost all my hard earned money?’.

grass_wheel.jpg
Despite what it looks like this guy is not having fun

As a first-time investor I was squirrelling away cash into a e-trade account with my eyes on low cost Vanguard’s Australian Shares Index Fund (a.k.a VAS – indexed on S&P300) as an entry-level first investment.

Months passed and I kept hesitating buying anything due to markets rallying higher and higher, so thought I should wait until a crash to get the best price.

And so last year in the lead up to the US election, the VAS dropped from $70.75 to $65.62 in a month. Did I buy then? No. I knew it was plummeting but thought I’d wait for it to crash further.

 

 

What did I learn here?

  • Emotions get in the way of investing:
    Fear of losing means that you get blinded by greed instead of opportunity. Market crashing but still not buying? You may already be at the bottom of the trough. Market rising? You may not yet be at the top of the peak. Not buying means you miss out of those possible gains.
  • Dollar cost averaging actually works:
    I bought 28 shares in January and another 27 exactly 2 months later in March. While there were fluctuations in profit (brokerage fee already taken into account), the market hasn’t crashed AND I’m still in the green.
  • Brokerage fees counter-act the benefits of timing the market:
    Given my income, I’m only able to afford investing $2000 every couple of months. With brokerage costing $20 a transaction, waiting for the shares to drop 50c barely makes any positive difference given the high transaction fees.
  • The world isn’t going to end:
    Investing an index fund means that your investment is never going to drop to $0 unless the entire share market ceases to exist. Investing in an index like VAS which is indexed on the Australian S&P300 so may fluctuate in value but will never be worthless given the S&P300 is self rejuvenating and re-assesses which companies are part of the top 300 given it’s market cap. If one company goes bankrupt then it’s removed from the list and another company of similar size takes its place.

 

What are your investing tips or worries?

 

xx Miss Piggy

c78be8e3714c47a2d71b3152fe46dfbc.jpg
Lesson learned: Don’t be a worry hamster

 

Cover illustration by Kelly Beeman.

Advertisements

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Miss Piggy says:

    Hi Dailed1n,

    Thanks for the comment and for stopping by my blog! Emotions often get in the way of investing and it’s hard not to be affected when there’s so much information in the news influencing decisions. However, it’s a big learning curve and I’m becoming more comfortable with risk. I’ll check out your post too!

  2. dialed1n says:

    Miss Piggy,

    You’re right, investing can be absolutely terrifying! When I first started investing I would look at my account every hour and if I saw it swing in the negative direction I became a worry wart. I wrote a post “How To Invest In The Stock Market With As Little As $1 Dollar” that covers additional investing fears and how to combat them with the apps at our fingertips. I think the fear of investing is a huge problem as to why less and less people are investing these days.

    Look forward to more of your blog posts!

  3. I meant to write “deposits”….haha

  4. Very true about the brokerage fees. We avoid paying too much by making a quarterly deposit when we are able.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s