Investing in stocks is a great way to become more financially independent while you're young and here are five reasons why!
1. You can make your own, grown-up financial decisions.
It's not always easy to make "adult" money decisions if you're lucky to have parents who are financially supportive. Even if you are financially independent, purchasing stocks is a mature, financial adventure. Choosing to invest in stock is a great way to take financial responsibility for yourself, even if you only buy one share. Whether you save your monthly allowance or collect the coins between couch cushions, finding the money to buy a few shares will be steps in the direction of being financially independent, even if it's a baby step.
2. You need to research and read intelligent articles and reports
Buying stocks isn't like playing “pin the tail on the donkey." You don't blindly place your money on the first stock that sounds good. You need to do your homework and actually read! That's right, you need to read something other than your Facebook and Twitter feed or Buzzfeed articles! Sometimes it takes a few months of researching the market, the highs and lows, when to buy and when to sell, to even gain a basic understanding. Even calling a financial advisor helps! There are many angles to buying stock and it often requires a few months of semi-intellectual browsing. Even checking if stocks are in the red or green on your iPhone counts.
3. You make good and bad decisions that teach you life lessons.
Some stocks you buy will make you some money but other purchases might be a loss in the long run. No matter the success of your investments, you will learn lessons and stocks will teach you more about finances and how to manage your money. You learn that effort is required to gain financial knowledge and it takes time. Some of the biggest investors have taken huge losses buying stock, but that's part of the adventure. Being optimistic with stocks is a great attitude to have; you win some you lose some!
4. Your friends will think you gained IQ points.
I am absolutely horrible at math, I don't know a thing about the “Big Four" accounting firms, I couldn't tell you much about science or engineering, but I can confidently talk about investing in stocks. Can you say the same? Think about it. You will feel so confident and smart if you can throw out some investing knowledge and maybe your friends will be inspired to take a look at buying stock themselves!
5. You can make money to save for a car or your future child's college fund.
Ideally your stocks will make you money. The money you earn over time can be saved toward buying your first car, paying for that study abroad trip you've always wanted to do, or whatever else you'd like to do in the short term. Investment money is especially great for your future because your earnings can be put toward adult spending such as buying your first house when you get married, paying college tuition for your children and having financial knowledge to share with your significant other. Or you could be just be lucky and make boatloads of money to swim in and basically be Jordan Belfort (minus the major fraud) but that's a little shallow.