The Lazy Guide to Investing

Let’s be real: You and I probably aren’t going to be the next Warren Buffet.

Investing on his (and other professionals) level takes entire teams of individuals. Not all investments return a profit. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dabble in investing once we understand the pros and cons — and factor in our finances.

Investing doesn’t have to be you at a computer endlessly monitoring stocks, reading reports, following trends, and holding a degree in finance. There’s a lazy way to do it all — something we all can do — if we’re willing to move our money toward these opportunities instead of frivolous spending.

How does one go about investing in a lazy sense? I’m glad you asked…

It Starts with Freeing Up the Capital

The lazy way to begin building capital to make investments can be done through cutting out your daily costs. These are the products and services you’re likely overpaying for.

It’s like being frugal but with the goal of making money. You’re taking a proactive approach which earns more than stuffing it under the mattress.

These actions which free up capital to be used for investments include:

  • Reducing Entertainment Costs – Entertainment can take a large chunk of your take-home earnings if you’re readily going to events, dates, and food adventures. Reducing these activities by 25% will allow you to have fun but frees up money for investments. Right off the bat, you could make a switch with your entertainment sources like ditching the cable and find DirectTV in your area, staying home to do crafts, or learning to cook and dine in!
  • Negotiating – Customer retention is where you’ll free up a good deal of money. Companies spend big bucks to make you a recurring customer so they’re willing to bend if you’re thinking of switching. All that’s needed is a quick phone call telling them you’re looking at other options and you’ll often find yourself now paying lower rates for your phone, insurance, and other regular expenses.
  • Snowballing – The Snowball Effect, popularized by Dave Ramsey, is the process of paying debt on the “quick wins” and then using that freed capital toward the larger ones. You’ll knock out these smaller debts, get a boost in confidence, free up money for larger debts, and eventually find yourself without having to owe. Imagine the investing you could do once you’re not paying on that student loan or medical bills!

These are the laziest ways to create capital for your investment goals often taken just a few minutes of your time to do a call or make a switch.

Then It goes to the Investments

Now that you’ve freed the capital — where should you invest it?

I would recommend starting with a paper account.

A paper account is one where you follow the market, make imaginary investments, and track the results in a spreadsheet to test your knowledge and judgment. It’s like a fantasy league for your favorite sport but with money-making versus winning a championship.

From there I would recommend:

  • Contributing to your 401k
  • Maxing out a Roth IRA
  • Investing in micro-loans (like Kiva)
  • Using investment apps (like Robinhood)

The 401k and IRA are going to be the major money-makers if you’re patient. The others (micro-loans and investment apps) let you play with the stock market without a heavy investment. The combination of these our will keep you educated and excited for your prospects.

The goal is diversity.

Like the old saying goes: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

These are the types of investments which you could consider lazy. They only require you to contribute …

And then Comes the Relaxation

Investing in the stock market has an average return of 7% but only so if you’re not fickle and pull money at the slightest stir. All you need to do is sit back and relax — you will make a return on your investment if you’re patient. The sooner you can invest the better!

You may not be a Warren Buffet. Yet, you can be an investor.

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