I have a buy and hold strategy when it comes to investing. Not because I’m highly educated in matters of the stock market and believe this to be the best method. Instead, I know that we need to be investing our money, I know that we’re investing for the long term, and I’m woefully uneducated about the nuances of detailed investing. Since I know that I don’t know much, I tend to keep my paws off our investments once I make them. I guess you could call it a buy and hold and hope strategy. Since the stock market does tend to rise over time, my investment values also rise. But could we be doing better?
I bought my first ETF about a year ago. I bought $500 worth of shares, and it’s worth $451 right now. So I wouldn’t call myself a wizard at picking funds. I don’t buy individual stocks, since that would require far more research and knowledge than I have. Instead I stick with ETFs, no load mutual funds, and index funds. But I feel like I could use some help in figuring out which ones to buy.
We just put $1000 into my husband’s IRA last week. It was languishing in the money market section of his account, and we just used it to buy an ETF. I spent about 45 minutes online researching the fund before we bought. It’s an international fund, and I did research on the country’s economy, the morningstar rating of the fund, and the fund’s history. I feel good about our purchase, but at the same time I feel that we only understand a fraction of what we need to in order to be picking ETFs and mutual funds for our retirement accounts.
I’m also perplexed as to where to go about getting good information. The library and internet are swarming with investing advice, but how does one decipher the good from the bad and the ugly? How do you determine what advice is unbiased and sound? Everyone seems to have a different strategy. I do know that we’re on the right track just by spending less than we earn and investing a good chunk of our savings each month. But then what?