Posted by
Member since Nov 2005
5504 posts

re: Looking for advice
You can also set up an account on Bogleheads website, explain your exact situation and financial nerds will give you detailed feedback on what to do. That’s what I did but I was 30 freaking 8 not 19.

Member since Dec 2012
31524 posts

re: Looking for advice
If you started a year earlier, you would be up almost 30%, just unfortunate timing, but 40 years from now, one year won’t matter.

Member since Dec 2020
30 posts

re: Looking for advice
As you know at this point, youre headed down the right path..
Dont stop, dont get discouraged, keep at it...
It may not look like much now but the dollar cost averaging will kick in along with compound interest over-time & the snowball effect will start....
I see so many young people start down this path / mindset & eventually stop or cash-in as they feel it wont go anywhere.
DONT be that guy!

Heres a story.
My father always yelled at me to save my money when he saw me blow my cash on "making my car cool"
I thought my oldman didnt know what he was talking about...
My parents werent investors, lived day to day, my dad was def a hard worker though...
When I started my first & only career as a car mechanic at a ford dealership here in san diego a few old-timer pulled me aside & said, you have to invest your money, nobody will take care of you when youre old, there will be no social security or it wont be enough....
Well, at 20 years old lets say 1994 I listed to these strangers...
started with going down to the vanguard office & putting $3k on an ira in vanguard index trust fund 500.
Then I met a local financial adviser / broker that was doing taxes for alot of the folks at work.
I started investing with him into a roth ira, $250 a month got pulled out of my checking acct every month.
At work I was an apprentice for 5 years so wasnt making the big bucks but didnt let that stop me, started contributing to works 401k at 5% & slowly increased over time. As I started seeing the snowball grow I increased, 5%, 6%, 10%, 15%, 25% last 8 years....
I also started investing on my own recently as really motivated as at 49 years old the finish line for me is really close.
All the youtube information along with online research was readily availble back in the day like it is today.
You have time, lots of people say advisers dont do anything but at the time it gave me peace of mind.
Today alot of people say all you need is 1 fund, Invest in Vanguard either VTSAX the mutual fund or the more tax efficient etf version of the same fund VTI & be done with it. Set it & forget it.
These funds can be in a roth ira investment vehicle also....
They say its very hard to beat the market & a safe vehicle like the index funds work!
I also contribute to vtsax on my own & it has out performed me trying to chase stocks, my speculative "to the moon" investment gamble plays, along with just buying dollar cost averaging individual stocks at this point.
Not bragging but trying to give you an understanding of what time & dedication will do for you if you commit & live well below your means.
At 49 I have almost $2mil invested in the market,
Nothing was handed to me, just time, hard work, commitment & stay the coarse.
Ive turned into my fathers son, save your money!!!
This post was edited on 1/15 at 12:06 am

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Arkansas State Fan
Member since Nov 2020
617 posts

re: Looking for advice
Lots of great advice in the responses here so far.

You have one thing going for you now that most, including myself, would kill for. Time. No one is promised tomorrow, of course, but you know what I mean.

Also.....diversify! Do your DD (due diligence) by learning everything you can about each security (stocks, bonds, OTCs, ETFs, etc) that YOU are genuinely interested in.

Take a look at all the common sectors and see what piques your curiosity. Like lithium, copper, magnesium, etc? That's "Basic Materials".

Maybe Coke, Tesla, General Motors? That's usually something like "Consumer Cyclicals" and "Consumer Non-Cyclicals". Etc.

I think it's important to pick things in the beginning that stimulate you in a way that you REALLY want to learn. Once you get the bug you will start to become interested and curious about things that really didn't catch your eye in the beginning.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, just walk away for a day. Maybe two. Recharge your batteries. But, as said above, books, videos, YouTube, etc. can be incredibly valuable resources.

Also, I wouldn't be afraid to use more than 1 online brokerage. I have a Roth and individual brokerage accounts with E*Trade. Just like the app and overall format fairly well and have had a great experience with customer service so far.

On the other hand I use Fidelity to invest in OTCs because that brokerage offers no fees on those trades. I'm coming around to their app, but reeeeally love NOT paying fees.

Anyway, do NOT get discouraged! You're already ahead of the game. Don't dwell on one bad day or even one bad month. The market is ALWAYS going to go up AND down.

If you do honest DD....BELIEVE in a company, the product/service, and their into weakness and sell into strength.

I am not your financial advisor. All of my comments are from the perspective of someone just finishing up my first year in the market. So, I truly remember what you're going thru. I learn something every single day.

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Twenty 49
Member since Jun 2014
15563 posts

re: Looking for advice
Stick with it. Don’t even look at the balance except maybe once a year.

I put $5,000 in a Fidelity Blue Chip Growth fund in the mid 1990s and let it ride. It was up, then down, then up/down again. Bounced between $12k and $20k for a while, then took off. It’s now $79,433. Was in the mid 80s for a bit but dipped.

Now imagine if I had put another few K in it each year and it was in a Roth where the gains were tax free. Wow. That’s the opportunity you have at your age.

I have other accounts, including Roths, but that one I enjoy leaving alone just to see how the market produces over time.

By the time I need it, it could be $50k or $200k. Who knows? But it’s fun to watch and a good example of how long term investments can pay off.

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Member since Dec 2020
32 posts

re: Looking for advice
The S&P 500 is a good way to start. I would not use the Bogleheads 3 fund plan because it has 20% Bonds. At your age you need to be in 100% stocks in your qualified retirement plans. Check out for non biased advice.
Good luck. You are on the right path

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Member since Oct 2014
597 posts

re: Looking for advice
Good job on your early start. Warren Buffet recommends a 90/10 portfolio. 90% broad market index fund from somewhere like Vanguard that tracks the S&P 500 and 10% in a US government bond index. The Bogleheads 3 fund portfolio is split 60/20/20 between S&P 500 index, Total International stock Index, and US bonds. Sometimes the US market outperforms the international and vice versa so this helps smooth out your growth. Since you’re young you may want to reduce the bond allocation on that. If you’re not sure how to adjust it yet, don’t worry. Just get started and you can always reallocate later. Time in the market is the most important thing.

I wouldn’t recommend hiring a financial advisor. The fees you pay them would be better invested in the market than for an hour or 2 of advice that you’ll never earn a return on. Self learning through podcasts, books, websites, etc will really pay off in the long run. The Bogleheads Guide to Investing is a good place to start. You can listen to it on audiobook while making your deliveries. Their website and forum is pretty good too.

You might also want to look into the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. Mr Money Mustache is a good place to start.

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