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Rule Breaker Mailbag: How Should I Get Started With Investing?

By Motley Fool Staff - Feb 7, 2018 at 11:05PM

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It’s an oldie but a goodie, but David has a few fairly fresh pieces of advice for novice stock buyers.

In pretty much every month's worth of emails, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner finds at least one variation on the question "Where do I begin?"

In this segment from the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, he dishes out four quick ideas that should help beginners as they wade into the market.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Jan. 31, 2018.

David Gardner: Mailbag Item No. 1: This comes from @chris_troupe on Twitter. Chris dropped me this note: @DavidGFool. "I'm 19 and I'm a huge fan of your podcast. I appreciate everything you do for the investment world. I'm opening up a Roth IRA account, and I want to buy stocks Foolishly..." That's with a capital "F" and thank you, Chris. "... and for a low trading fee. Any suggestions. Any advice would help. A Foolish thanks in advance."

This is a classic example of a question that's asked every single mailbag. I will get at least one of the "how I get started investing questions," and I'm going to do my best to get to these from time to time but, ultimately, I think we can do a better job at The Motley Fool providing you the brainlessly obvious resource that you would just know to check anyway, so that I don't answer what will be a recurring question.

By the way, there are a number of these recurring questions. "Things like how many stocks should I have? What's the right number of stocks?" Those are just natural, organic, good questions for you to ask. I love to talk about them here on the podcast, but I also don't want, too often, to repeat myself, so let me just be pretty straight up with this one, Chris. I told you I would feature this on the podcast because I love when I hear from 19-year-olds who are saying I'm getting started investing. Four quick answers.

No. 1. I found a lot of younger people in my life have found an app called Robinhood. You can definitely download it on the App Store. Take a look. It is basically a brokerage-commission-free way to get started investing, which is why it's an increasingly popular resource, especially for people who might be getting started for the first time and maybe with smaller amounts of money, quite naturally. So, take a look. They're not a partner of ours, per se, but one that I hear from our community, frequently, as a resource.

No. 2. We do have a Motley Fool brokers center, so for a lot of people who are looking to get started and want to compare a few different brokers, just google the phrase "Motley Fool broker center" and you'll see those are partners of ours. Advertising partners. Ones that we respect enough to feature in our center, and you can take a look and see which one you might like there.

No. 3. Just google "Motley Fool How to Invest," because beyond your question, Chris, initially about where to open the account with lower commissions, I know for a lot of people, that's just the first step; but the more important steps are often how you do it. What are some of the pitfalls? How do I make the best decisions early on as a new investor?

And by the way, it's also true for older investors. We're going to make mistakes. That's just going to be part of how we learn to ice skate together. We're going to fall on the ice. That resource -- googling "Motley Fool How to Invest" -- will take you to that page on our site which has a lot of good thinking, including our "13 Steps to Investing Foolishly," which we've occasionally had people say, "Yeah, I spent a couple of hours just reading through the 13 steps and I feel like I learned more about money than when I got my MBA degree." We've gotten a lot of plaudits, over the years, for our "13 Steps to Investing Foolishly." Take a look.

No. 4. You may have heard The Motley Fool Investment Guide just came out in its third edition this past fall. We've updated the book for 2018. This is a book that in its previous edition was written more for like the year 2002 or 2003, so it was time to update some of our similes, metaphors, and facts, and we've done that with The Motley Fool Investment Guide.

I would highly recommend that book, a product of our partner Simon & Schuster. We get a couple of bucks. It's really their product. When you're an author it's the publishing house that is making most of the money on those books, but we love that book. I hope you will, too. We put a lot of effort into updating it.

Chris, I hope that's helpful for you, and congratulations on asking such a good question at such a young age. "How do I get started?"

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