You’ve just received an inheritance of 80 000 euros. In other words the inheritance distribution has been solved fairly without disputes, just as it should be. 80 000 euros is a very common inheritance sum in Finland, at least according to a 2018 survey by TNS Kantar. Most people receiving an inheritance would also be willing to invest at least a part of it. So when is the best time to start investing?
How do you start investing?
Many investors start in this very way after inheriting wealth. Another way is to do enough salary work to gather resources for investing. A third option is profits from business or selling a company, which also enables investing. Even lottery wins can be counted in the list, since it’s very common that money needed for investing is regarded as a game of chance.
After gathering enough money it’s time to invest. Monthly savings in for example a fund is a bit different, since this does not require any deeper market view. Therefore this article will not focus on monthly savings, but rather on independent investing.
Common ways to think of stating investing
The aforementioned ways are very common among investor mindsets. All of them are based on earning enough extra and only then beginning to invest. However, this line of thought includes many uncertain factors we cannot affect:
1. An inheritance will come if it comes, but the date may be today or in thirty years
2. A salary raise may come, but the income flow may suddenly be disrupted due to a bad market situation
3. Business may be profitable now, but profit margins may become thinner
4. That lottery win will surely come some day… or maybe not
And on top of this we have a bunch of other unexpected elements, such as health problems and family disputes making investing impossible at the moment. Many are just waiting for miracles that never come. But could this be approached a bit differently? In the next chapter we will do so.
Will you only invest after acquiring enough wealth?
Practically these aforementioned ways to think of investing share a common problem – and that is only investing after acquiring enough money. This means that knowledge, skill and necessary experience is not underlined. This kind of thinking is dangerous since the amount of money does not indicate any expertise on the investment markets. Knowledge and skill is what counts in the long run. These in turn are based on both theoretical and practical skill rather than the size of one’s bank account. The sums will grow in time with proper experience, but first one should focus on gaining that experience to realize one’s own plans.
In other words waiting is not worthwhile, since the markets do not wait for you. The markets couldn’t care less about your economic situation, and they do not wait for you to get in at the right moment. Sometimes it may happen, but it’s a big mistake to confuse skill with luck. Why wait for a miracle if a miracle is unlikely?
The investment markets also pay no regard to when you acquire your inheritance. Even if it is said that markets in the long run are profitable, it doesn’t mean your profits will be equal to your neighbors. The markets do not magically turn upwards right after you get a raise either, unless the timing coincides by chance.
If you have managed to acquire profits with business, it does not mean you can profit from investing. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming these skills are combined. Investing is more art than science, and art is often poorly understood by entrepreneurs. Lottery in turn cannot be compared to investing, since investing in the long run is not a game of chance. So what should we do instead of waiting?
Theory and practice on the markets: When to start investing
Instead of just waiting for what’s coming you should:
1. Learn investment theory
2. Learn investing in practice
The first rule applies especially to theoretically thinking investors. Investment knowledge can be acquired through literature as well as academic and practical market studies. Having a mentor of your own would be nice, but if not you can always read books and search information on the Internet.
The most important thing to begin with is learning the terminology of the investment sector in order to understand its basic language. When you know what interest, value, volatility, volume or for instance market arbitrage means you’ve already advanced far. It can also be worthwhile to briefly acquaint yourself with underlying economic ideologies, such as Keynesianism, Monetarism and Austrian School.
Once the sector’s terms and ideologies begin to feel familiar it can be good to learn different market figures. In case of bitcoin these figures are for example the profit of mining and transaction fees paid to miners. Knowing the industry is also useful, which in bitcoin’s case is the question what kind of market the cryptocurrency industry really is.
Theory forms a firm ground upon which one can build further learning. But only practice can make a learned theory succeed, which we address next.
Practice: when to start investing?
Theory is nothing without practice. In theory investing can be easy, but practice can be more challenging. A theoretical genius can be an idiot in practice, so it’s good to make investing more than just philosophical pondering. Investing with smaller sums can help make the processes familiar for later bigger investments. With bitcoin, these processes are for instance opening a wallet, creating accounts on different exchanges as well as technical security solutions to store the funds.
At the same time legal matters such as investment taxation and the operation of banks in relation to investments become familiar. Investments can also be supported by learning technical analysis. Coinmotion’s blog publishes market analyses written by Toni Kosonen.
When you open your own bitcoin wallet you should carefully study how the wallet and money transfers work. Once you’ve practiced transferring bitcoins from one wallet to another you already know more than many of your acquaintances. If you additionally compose an investing learning plan you are even further. Profits will come in due time – they are not worth worrying about in the beginning.
When you practice investing in small portions like this, the probability for profits in the future will grow. Learners learn not to repeat amateur mistakes or be mauled by market forces. Market forces in this instance means different rumors that drive mainstream investors to greedily buy more or sell while fearing the worst. When both theory and practice are in good order you can start investing bigger sums.
Have you already done a learning plan?
The lack of a learning plan leads to a risk of not really developing as an investor. A learning plan should be pragmatic and consist of the following:
1. Learn investment theory
2. Learn investing in practice
3. Fist invest smaller and then larger sums
This way you can avoid amateur mistakes, meaning just waiting for a big money load in form of an inheritance, raise or lottery win. Instead of waiting you start taking action. Over time you become a seasoned investor through theory and practice, since you learn what investing is and how the markets work. All of this, however, proceeds at everyone’s own pace. Since waiting for miracles is not worthwhile on the markets, you should prepare for your own moment. Then you are much more ready if that moment comes and know how to act without panicking.
So if you do happen to get that 80 000 euro inheritance, you should at that point already know investment market terms, basic strategies and other key elements. You’ve also already practiced investing with smaller sums, so you can handle those 80 000 euros better. This way your investment is on a good ground already in the beginning, whereby you avoid mistakes. Instead of waiting you take action right away. You know when to start investing.
Will you start studying today, or are you still waiting for a miracle?
This article does not present any investment recommendations nor should it be interpreted as such. Gaining profits on the markets often requires deep-rooted knowledge and several years of experience.
Hopefully these tips were helpful in pursuing better profits!
The writer is a board member of cryptocurrency organization Konsensus Ry and has years of experience in different investment fields, including cryptocurrencies.
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