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There’s been an understandable uptick in investing, thanks in part to the gamification of investing (ahem, enter the GameStop millionaires) and plenty of viral personal finance TikToks. According to Fortune, more than 67 percent of women are investing outside of their retirement accounts — a number that has nearly doubled since 2018. While welcome news, there’s still a large population of people who want to invest but don’t know where to start.
If you’re hoping to enter the world of investing or want to diversify your portfolio in 2022, here are the books to read, people to follow, and attitudes to drop to finally get comfortable with money.
When it comes to building financial literacy, picking up (or listening to) a book is one of the best first steps a beginner can take. They can help expand a reader’s vocabulary and demystify otherwise foreign money concepts. And reading about money shouldn’t be tedious or complicated. That’s why we’ve curated a list for the investing beginner who appreciates no-nonsense advice, easy application, and relatability. Bonus: You don’t have to read a book cover-to-cover before getting started with investing. Consider these reads as helpful guides; flip to the pages when you need them, and dog-ear other chapters for future endeavors.
If books aren’t your first choice of learning, or you simply want a daily dose of digestible information, following personal finance influencers is a great option. However, it is the internet, and there are certainly scammers to be wary of. Here are three people worthy of space on your timeline.
If you’re looking for wealth management advice and want to laugh in the process, Amanda Holden needs to be your next follow. The online influencer spent years working in investment management, and now teaches women to invest sans a suit or condescending attitude. She’s a miracle worker for the individual who thinks they’re “not smart enough” or “not rich enough” to handle the topic of investing.
Known for her candor and no-BS communication style, Tori is a personal finance expert specializing in “financial feminism.” She’s taken her expertise to airwaves, hosting the “Financial Feminist” podcast. If you want to make more money this year or become less timid when talking about money, Tori is a great person to follow.
If you’re curious about investing but also crave more wealth management resources such as advice on everyday “necessities,” weekly personal finance challenges, and free guides, Clever Girl Finance must be on your list of accounts to follow. Ran by author Bola Sokunbi, her CGF brand delivers daily articles, encourages conversation, and takes an “everygirl approachability.”
Personal finance and self-care expert Maya Fleming of the Gentler Podcast highlights narratives individuals need to unlearn as they begin to invest. “I think we’ve all [begun to unlearn] the false narrative of Oh, I need to be rich to start investing, but there is still a misconception that investing is a white-collar activity,” Fleming tells Apartment Therapy.
She shares that her current boyfriend works a blue-collar job and recently overcame this common mental block. “Some will wait until they’re at a ‘big girl job’ or an established company before investing. However, most of my career has been in the non-profit space. [From experience], I know there are options for those in differing fields.”
Fleming encourages investing beginners in adopting the belief that while the options can look different, the opportunity to invest is still there. “Even just understanding what your employer offers is a good first step. Many employers will bring in a financial expert once a year to explain company-sponsored investing options and hold space to talk about wealth management.”
Similarly, Tori Dunlap of Her First 100k emphasizes the value of time over money in the world of investing. “I cannot stress this enough: when it comes to investing, time is way more valuable than money,” she says. “Thanks to this really cool thing called compound interest, your money has the ability to significantly increase in value over time, and the sooner you start, the better!”
Fleming points out that many individuals don’t explore investing because of the false belief that you must know everything before doing anything. Beyond this being a self-limiting belief, Fleming shares that some of what is being taught online is cringe-worthy. “Examine the advice you’re getting. For example, I’m not a big fan of the advice to invest in the companies you love. You should be researching where your money is going.” She attributes her own literacy to platforms like The Financial Diet, Broke Millennial, and Your Money BFF.
Bola Sokunbi, author of “Clever Girl Finance,” shares a similar sentiment. She advises beginners to simply get a handle on the basics first. “To become a more confident investor, it’s important that you educate yourself on the basics of how investing works so you can minimize any fears you might have around investing, especially with all the short-term news about investing dips and spikes,” she says. “It’s also important that you truly understand your risk tolerance and that you view any investments you make with a long-term approach.”
To kick off your investing journey, sign up for a virtual workshop or online course. Taking your first step toward a financial glow-up can be intimidating, and a classroom environment might help with that. From self-guided teachings to virtual seminars, there are endless options for beginners. Consider signing up for one of the courses from the can’t-miss list below.
As a parting thought, Dunlap shares, “Finally, remember that investing is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Investing is an extremely valuable resource for preparing for your financial future and building sustainable wealth, but it takes time, consistency, and patience.”