Investing 101: What you need to know to get started

CHICAGO — It can be intimidating. Wall Street experts use a lot of fancy jargon when they're discussing companies, but once you get familiar with the terms and do a little homework, you may realize investing is worth the risk.

So far, 2018 has been a wild ride on Wall Street and that has some people taking a pass on investing.

"I'm severely uneducated about investing my money so, I guess iI put my money away for retirement, and that's about it right now," Kevin Schmidt, a Northwestern University student, said.

"I have the Wall Street Journal on my phone, and I see their charts sometimes, but not really. I'm not into it," Nikola Boskovic, a Northwestern student, said. "I would like to know more, I'm just a little uneducated about it."

But just a little effort can make for a big pay off by getting your money working work for you. Marc Horner founded Fairhaven Wealth Management in 2015, and has nearly 20 years of experience as a financial adviser. He said knowledge is power when it comes to investing, and it's time well spent.

"One major misconception is that the stock market is just another casino," Horner said. "The data is overwhelming. Going back to 1926, the stock market in any given year, you've got a 75 percent chance of making money."

Horner said one of the challenges is the lack of resources to teach people, who may not have majored in finance, the basics. So his company created online videos aimed at explaining investing in simple terms everyone can understand.

So where to begin?

"Written goals are far more likely to be achieved than thinking about, 'I'd like to buy that condo,' and then going out with your friends and never doing anything about it," Horner said.

After writing out your financial goals, think about your interests. Angela Miles hosts "Business First AM." Her own fascination with finance propelled her to learn everything she could about investing.

So, how do you choose a stock?

"I love the Warren Buffett strategy of investing, and that is just to own what you love," she said. "I love the grandparents that go out and buy their grandchild a share of Intel. It just gets the ball rolling for a lot of people."

Intel, of course, is the computer chip company. After all, it's the grandkids who know technology, but you don't need to pick a stock or invest on your own. Financial experts are available, but they don't work for free.

"There are only so many hours in a day, so to have someone who's looking over and so to have somebody who's looking over the assets and liabilities," she said. "Sometimes it's difficult to see how much of a fee you're being charged, but when you're filling out paperwork, it should be there. Morningstar posts it."

Another important lesson is patience. When you hear the Dow dropped 500 points, don't panic.

"We've got a couple of clients who talk about checking their profiles every day. You gotta stop doing that... You will drive yourself crazy," Horner said.

RESOURCES:
Fairhaven Wealth Management
Business First AM
Marc Horner recommends books by Peter Lynch and Howard Marks: