An Introduction to Investment for Beginners
There comes a time in life when we start thinking about making a good investment to ensure optimal growth opportunities in the future. Often, beginners in the field of investment are overwhelmed with the available information and cannot decide the right way forward. To overcome this dilemma, one needs to carefully choose the right resources and guidance to grasp the basic principles of investment and make a profitable investment. Needless to say, to make successful investments, one needs to stay focussed, aware and never stop learning and fine-tuning their skills.
Start with an Investment Plan
Understand how much of your available funds can you comfortably contribute towards an investment regularly and the frequency of your contributions. Once you have finalized this, the next step should be to set up automatic fund transfers to your investment account from your savings or other accounts. This will ensure you do not skip or miss out on any contributions.
Track All Your Expenses
Once you embark upon your journey in investment, it is crucial to keep track of each expense incurred towards and during that journey. This includes your expenses in educating yourself about investment. By doing this, you can increase your profits to the maximum by being aware of your tax-deductible expenses.
Invest in an Education in Investment
While it is not possible to learn everything about investment in a day, it is imperative to invest in increasing our knowledge to stay on top of the game. There are multiple books and other resources like periodicals and courses available that one can refer to, in the quest of attaining knowledge of a specific asset class. Be patient and stay at it and it is commonest sure to yield good results in future.
Types of Investment
If you own stocks, you own a small part of a company and the value of that stock will vary depending upon the profits made by the company as well as the overall economic conditions. It is wise to invest in stocks if you are willing to take risks with your investment in order to aim for high returns in the future.
Purchasing a company's bonds means lending money to that company. The company pays your interest on the amount until they can pay it back to you. Bonds are a good and relatively more secure investment for those who seek consistent and predictable returns.
Mutual Funds are the most common way by which people invest in stocks and bonds. If you are new to investments, this is a good investment option that lets you invest in multiple ways without having to manage them.
When buying real estate, one needs to have the experience and knowledge to make the right investment. Investing in REITs or real estate investment trusts works much like mutual funds, allowing the assets to be managed by a manager.
For those looking for low-risk investment, bank deposits are a good choice, however, it offers low returns. Fixed deposits, where one can invest a lump sum for a specific period of time or recurring deposits, where a certain amount needs to be deposited regularly offer better returns but are still very less compared to the returns offered by investing in stocks and mutual funds.
Other low-risk investment options are government schemes like Public Provident Fund(PPF) which is quite popular. Others include National Savings Certificate (NSC) and Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF).
There are various insurance plans that one can invest in. Term insurance, Life insurance are quite popular and are available in various schemes and variations. However, they come with a chargeable fee and one needs to make a careful investment.
Cryptocurrencies and ICOs are of particular interest and continue to tempt investors to invest in these digital assets. However, these are quite complex and are associated with high risk factors.
Must Read Books on Investment
There are plenty of books available on investment which makes it all the more difficult to choose which ones to read. To help you overcome this, we have conducted in-depth research to bring to you a list of highly-rated and most useful books for beginners.
The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham
Benjamin Graham is a world-renowned investor and economist. Known as the father of value investing, he started teaching his new investment approach at Columbia Business School. Graham’s teachings and strategies are highly relevant in today’s economic scenarios and are widely implemented by investors globally.
Although originally published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor is a book that highlights principles that are applicable in our day-to-day life. Detailed explanations with examples provide a better understanding to the readers.
We highly recommend this book to readers who are novices as well as seasoned investors looking to refine their investment strategies in order to gain long-term benefits from their investments by avoiding errors.
A paperback version of this book can be purchased for Rs. 479 from Amazon.
One Up on Wall Street – Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch is one of the most successful investors. Having taken over Magellan Fund at Fidelity in 1977 at 33 years of age, he successfully ran it until his retirement in 1990 at 46 years old. He is known for investing the price-to-earnings-growth ratio to compare and determine the value of stocks. He stresses understanding a company in and out to make a successful long-term investment.
One Up on Wall Street was published in 1989 and is one of his most popular works. The book claims that one only needs the knowledge to make a good investment. The timeless advice offered in the book has made it a bestseller.
This book is a must-read for those who are trying to brush up their fundamentals or gearing up for the stock market in a simple, easy-to-read way.
For Rs. 445, a paperback edition can be purchased here.
How to Avoid Loss and Earn Consistently in the Stock Market – Prasenjit Paul
A software engineer by qualification, Prasenjit Paul started investing at the age of 18. He quit his job at IBM to fully devote his time to the world of investments. Now he is running a successful Equity advisory firm and has clients from all over the world.
‘How to avoid loss and earn consistently in the stock market?’ is the highest-rated book on stock market investment by an Indian author. The book tells how the stock market can earn your wealth by investing at the right place for the right amount of time. Written in an easy-to-read manner, this book presents even complex concepts in a simple way which makes it an ideal read for beginners. Easy narrative and clear concepts explained in a total of 11 chapters, complete with principles and real-life examples, the book has much to offer to beginners.
Get your own copy for Rs. 170 from here.
Andrew Tobias’ “The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need”
Andrew Tobias is an American writer, who penned ‘The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need’ and several other books on investment despite never having held an investment-related job.
This book was written in 1970 and stayed a favourite for over 25 years and has now been fully revised to still be highly relevant with modern times. It offers valuable tips on growing wealth, preparing for a comfortable future and strategies to help save over time. This concise yet witty and easily understandable book is filled with great advice for small investors.
You can buy a paperback edition for Rs. 1,111 here.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, by John Bogle
An American investor, John Bogle founded The Vanguard Group and is known for creating his first index fund. He considered low-cost index funds held over a duration earning and reinvesting dividends as an ideal investment.
In his book, Bogle empathizes on how common sense plays a vital role in making successful investments. He explains index investment and how to use this strategy in one’s portfolio towards achieving financial goals. The book offers solid guidance into how index investing lets one sit and relax as the market works for us.
This book will serve as a good resource for anyone who wants to invest in cost-effective index funds.
It is available for Rs. 899 on Amazon.
The Warren Buffet Way- Robert G. Hagstrom
Robert G. Hagstrom has over 30 years of investment experience. He serves as chair of the Investment Management Committee for Stifel Asset Management.
In his book, The Warren Buffett Way, he gives in-depth knowledge into the strategies incorporated by Warren Buffett, the most famous investor of all times. He shows how to overcome obstacles in the path of investment by following Warren Buffett’s footsteps. Hagstrom explains the best way forth in order to emulate the principles and behaviours that lead Warren Buffett to become such a successful investor.
Get a paperback edition for Rs. 130 here.
Bulls, Bears and Other Beasts – Santosh Nair
Santosh Nair is Editor, CNBCTV18.com with over 20 years of experience in writing about financial markets. He has been markets editor at Economic Times and also worked at Business Standard, myiris and CRISIL Marketwire.
Bulls, Bears and Other Beasts is a semi-fictional book offering insight on the history of Indian stock market. In this book, Lalchand Gupta takes us on an interesting journey as he encounters tech booms, tax evasions, scams and even money laundering. This detailed account of his trip through Dalaal Street explains what one must be careful of while investing.
Anyone interested in the country’s financial state of affairs and trying to understand the basics on investment must grab a copy.
A paperback edition is available for Rs 327 here.
Rule #1 by Phil Town
Phil Town received some sound advice at a time when he wasn’t very well off and he decided to invest in self-education to understand the rules that truly work. He is a hedge fund manager and his passion in educating others has helped countless people gain confidence into making an investment and securing a comfortable post-retirement life for themselves.
Rule#1 is a step-by-step guide that combines Warren’s stock market investment strategies with modern-day tools. The book is a must-read for anyone hoping to secure their future and gives an insight into stock market investments that can save one from an uncomfortable retirement.
Buy a paperback edition for Rs. 386 here.
Stocks to Riches – Parag Parikh
Parag Parikh started a PMS firm in 1996 and turned it into a mutual fund house in 2003. Founder and chairman of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services Limited (PPFAS) in Mumbai, Parikh authored Stocks to Riches in his attempt to help elevate the middle class by empowering them to invest their wealth.
Stocks to Riches explains concepts and situations that investors have to deal with. Having all the fundamentals and success tips in a single book make it extremely helpful for those setting foot into investment for the first time. The book is an easy read and is filled with stories to help explain the concepts.
The book will be helpful not only for beginners but also for experienced investors or for those who are trying to grow their money the ethical way.
At Rs. 334, this book will make a good initial investment. Get it here.
Investing in India – Rahul Saraogi
Rahul Sarogi brings along his 14 years of experience solely focussed on Indian markets.
Born in India, he moved to the US to pursue his studies and it was there that he started becoming interested in Indian Market that both Indians and Foreigners seemed to have problems in understanding.
He compiled all his experience and knowledge into his book, Investing in India that he wrote in 2014. He believes that there is no lack of opportunities in the Indian Market and he tries to explain the same in the book by giving an overview of the Indian economy as well as the country’s government, policies and practices. The book focuses on banking systems and financial infra, real estate and value investments.
The text is accompanied with several explanatory charts and serves as a valuable resource for anyone looking to invest in the untapped sections of the Indian market. Apart from the book, the website also offers insights that will be helpful for investors.
Kindle edition of the book can be purchased for Rs. 268 here.
Importance of Investment
Contrary to popular belief, investment can be done by anyone, not just by the rich. With the plethora of investment options available today, even a beginner can get into investments with their small savings. Investments should be started as early as possible as it makes it possible to afford commodities in the future when your money gets compounded. Reinvesting returns from investments yields more returns. To start early, we will stress again the importance of investing in education in investment. Our Indian schooling system does not offer much in terms of finance management which is why one must turn to self-study. We highly recommend reading from the above list to get started with your investments as soon as possible.
Having the intent to invest is a great thing, but it loses its purpose if the investment tool is not clear. So even before you start investing, try to find out these few things – why you are investing, for how long you want to invest, your risk tolerance etc. These steps will help you achieve your investment goals seamlessly.