National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling explains basic investing concepts all consumers should be aware of.
Boston, MA – March 16, 2018
Many consumers turn to investing to save for retirement and achieve financial goals. Although it may seem obvious to research before investing, many people don’t. To help educate consumers, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) explains the basic principles of investing.
“Investing can be a valuable way to achieve future financial goals, but it’s important that consumers arm themselves with basic tools and knowledge before making any big decisions,” said Steve Trumble President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “Types of investments include retirement, bonds, stocks, annuities and so much more. Knowing your goals, how much time you need to achieve those goals, and the amount of risk you are willing to assume can make choosing the right investments much easier.”
According to a report by The Center of Retirement Research at Boston College, if a consumer waits to start saving for retirement until they are 45, they would need to contribute 44 percent of their earnings versus the minimal 15 percent they would have had to contribute if they had started saving at 25. A survey from Earnest, Amino and Ipsos found that only 31 percent of Millennials are contributing to a retirement account. According to a Harris poll, 80 percent of Millennials aren’t investing in the stock market, which could leave them underprepared for retirement. Forty-one percent of Millennial respondents said they are not investing because they do not have enough money.
ACCC provides basic principles of investing.
- Check finances – Consumers should get a good grasp of their financial situation and figure out their risk tolerance as well as the goals they wish to achieve. It is essential to determine if their financial goals are short or long-term because it will help decide what kind of investment should be made for the best return.
- How much risk are you comfortable with? – Every investment involves some level of risk. When investing in bonds, stocks or mutual funds, it is important to understand that it is possible to lose some or all of your investment. While high-risk investments can achieve higher returns, they can also lead to more significant losses. Low-risk investments usually mean slower earnings, so the chances of losing money overnight are slim.
- Do your homework – Buying and selling investments costs money, so it is important to do all the necessary research. Never purchase an investment from a solicitor or based on an advertisement. Be aware of the investment’s volatility; meaning does it tend to fluctuate dramatically or not.
- Don’t invest in one place – Diversify your investments, spread your money out in different types of investments, and consider both low and higher-risk options.
- Pay off high-interest credit cards – Paying down credit card debt is a guaranteed money return. The faster consumers pay down their credit card debt, the more money they have to invest rather than paying interest to the loan company.
- Employer-sponsored retirement plans – If a consumer’s employer offers employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401(k), it is important to make contributions. With these plans, many employers offer to match some or all of the employee’s contributions. Don’t miss out on ‘free money.’
- Financial planner – The ‘teach yourself’ approach is not ideal for everyone. If you have tried and failed or you don’t feel comfortable, seek out a financial planner to help lead the way.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/