We at Female Network are all for building wealth and aiming for that donya life a few years down the line, which means that we're pretty much the first people to do the things that we write about. Investing in mutual funds is one of them. It was, in fact, my first foray in growing my money.
The thing is, it didn't really go as planned. Not that I lost money—I did earn, but not just as much as I hoped, and it definitely was not worth the time it was in the fund. In the end, I pulled out my investment, but not before I learned a few things:
1. Invest money that you can let go of, but as much as possible, don't invest the bare minimum.
The money I put in was just a bit above the bare minimum, and it was because I was scared to invest more. It was definitely a rookie mistake, because what I put in wasn't enough to earn me a reasonable amount annually. This was also partnered by being too prudent, which brings us to the next number...
2. Don't be too afraid to take smart, calculated risks.
When you invest, don't play it too safe. This goes double for when you're young, as you can easily recover from potential losses. That being said, you can't jump into something blindly either. It's important to take just the right amount of risk (wihtout being rash) to make your investment more profitable.
3. Infuse money when you can.
Ask you investment company or bank, but there are those that allow you to infuse or deposit money into your fund annually. I never touched my fund or added to it even if I had the option to do so, which is also one reason why my money didn't grow.
4. Withdraw when you need to
In the end, I took my money out because it wasn't really earning much, and I didn't have time to speak with anyone from the investment company to update my risk appetite because I had a pretty hectic schedule. It was at this point that I realized that mutual funds weren't really for me, and I moved on to other investment options which were more suited to my budget an my lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong: mutual funds are awesome, as long as you get into it the proper way (and not like how I did it). Remember that there are risks in all kinds of financial investments—if you want to grow your money, you have to accept that fact and roll with the punches. The key is being strategic and being patient with yourself. Wrapping your mind around the the amount of monetary risk you may face isn't easy (especially since you've worked hard for your cash), but once you educate yourself to play smart, your gains may just outweigh any possible losses.