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3 Tips to Start Investing in 2022 - Motley Fool

Here's how to get the ball rolling on a successful investing career.

  • Investing the money you're not using is a great way to grow wealth.
  • To get started in the coming year, you'll need to find the right account, determine which investments you want to own, and come up with a plan to make investing an ongoing priority.

Many people shy away from investing because they're not sure how to get started or are intimidated by the idea. And to be clear, if you haven't yet built yourself an emergency fund -- one with at least enough money to cover three months of essential bills -- then you actually shouldn't start investing just yet. Instead, you should focus on building that safety net and then work on investing. But if you're in a good place to begin investing, these moves will help you get started in the new year.

1. Find the right account

When it comes to investing your money, you have a few options. You could invest in an IRA for retirement, or you could invest in a traditional brokerage account.

The upside of investing in an IRA is that you could get some tax breaks along the way, like tax-free contributions (to a traditional IRA, not a Roth). You won't get those with a regular brokerage account. However, an IRA forces you to keep your money locked away until age 59 ½ (or otherwise face steep penalties). A traditional brokerage account won't come with restrictions -- you'll be able to access your money when you want it.

If you decide to go with a traditional brokerage account, it's important to find the right one. Generally, you'll want to avoid accounts that are fee-heavy. It's easy to find a brokerage account that won't charge a commission every time you make a trade or that won't charge you a fee for being inactive. Research some brokerages to find the best place to put your money.

2. Decide what you want to invest in

You have many choices for investing your money. You could play it safe and buy bonds or take on a bit more risk and load up on stocks. You may even have an appetite for cryptocurrency.

Figure out what your risk tolerance looks like. If you're nervous about owning digital currencies, focus on less risky prospects instead.

It'll also help to figure out what your investment window looks like. As a general rule, you shouldn't buy stocks unless you're able to keep that money invested for at least five years. That gives you a good amount of time to ride out market downturns and, ideally, come out ahead financially.

3. Figure out how to keep funding your investment account

You don't need a lot of money to begin investing. Even if you're only sitting on a few hundred dollars, that's enough to load up on some quality stocks or the investment of your choice. But if you want to be successful at investing, then it pays to keep funding your IRA or brokerage account -- so spend some time thinking about how to make that happen.

You may decide to get yourself a side hustle in 2022 to drum up extra cash to invest. Or, a better solution for you may be to cut back on spending a little. Map out a plan so you can keep growing wealth for yourself.

If you haven't begun investing, the start of the new year is a great time to get the ball rolling. The sooner you do, the sooner you can begin reaping the benefits of putting your money to work.