Investing is something that many know they need in order to grow their wealth and retire, but few understand how to get started or where they will find money to actually invest. We tackled investing in your 20s, but today, we’re going to show you how to easily invest in your 30s. Each age bracket requires a different strategy, especially since you have more time for your money to grow as your younger. It’s better to start young, but you can still be successful with investing in your 30s, 40s, and above.
The investment strategy is just a bit different.
Your 30s are arguably the “bridge” decade of your life financially speaking. You are too old to still be the carefree college student yet too young to be in the prime of your career. The 30s is also the last full decade where you can invest in the riskiest strategies and not be considered completely reckless. If you haven’t started investing in your 20s, then your 30s can be a great time to jump in and get on a roll. Still plenty of time to let compound interest help you.
Here are a few tips & tricks to help you easily invest in your 30s.
#1: Invest At Least 15%
Hopefully, you were able to invest at least 10% in your 20s. If so, you have established a good foundation to build from during your remaining working years. During your 30s, you should invest at least 15% of your income. Ideally, you should try to contribute up to 25% to add a little cushion for when a market correction arrives, and, you still have many years to earn compound interest.
If you didn’t invest during your 20s, you should do everything possible to invest at least 20% to “catch up.” The 30s are often considered the “make it or break it” decade to determine if you can afford to retire on time or (even better!) early. By waiting until your 40s to start investing, your will most likely have to contribute at least half of your salary to avoid delaying retirement.
Just remember, it’s still possible to retire with a million dollars by investing in your 30s.
#2: Meet Your Employer 401k Match
Do you like when your boss gives you free money? If your employer offers matching 401k contributions, you get a “free” salary increase each paycheck. All you have to do is contribute the designated percentage to your 401k. If they will match the first 6% of your salary each paycheck, automatically contribute at least 6% to get the match. The total contribution is at least 12% of your salary.
The HR Department factors these contributions into your benefits package, so why leave money on the table? Plus, the employer match can also count toward the 15% investment savings goal.
#3: Invest at least 80% in Stocks
You can still afford to be risky in your 30s. Invest at least 80% of your contributions into stocks and the remaining 20% in bonds. Your primary investment goal in your 30s should be outpacing inflation. Historically, stocks outpace inflation on a long-term basis. In fact, a stock portfolio from 1926 to 2016 grew 10.09% on average each year while inflation grew 2.90% on average.
Investing in mutual funds and ETFs that primarily invest in stocks will provide you a broad amount of diversification at a low cost will allow to earn solid returns and reduce your investment risk at the same time. You can also dedicate a small amount of your portfolio to buy individual company stocks that can potentially earn more than your typical mutual fund or ETF, but, are more volatile.
If you have a strong stomach for risk tolerance, you might even consider investing 100% in stocks. A good way to do this is with a stock index fund that has very low fund expenses and historically high returns.
It’s okay to only invest 80% into stocks if you lose sleep or constantly worry about losing your money. Most brokerages only recommend investing up to 80% in your 30s to diversify your portfolio and limit risk.
#4: Use a Low-Cost Brokerage
While just about any investment will have a higher yield than an interest-bearing bank account, you should choose the brokerage with the lowest fees and cheapest funds.
Thankfully, there are many low-cost brokerages to choose from.
Beginner investors can use “robo-advisor” brokerage like Betterment, Wealthfront, or Motif Investing that allow you to invest in a diversified portfolio of ETFs. They have very low fees (0.25% to 0.35%) and they handle the day-to-day portfolio management for you.
All the brokerages above allow you to trade stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. To help you create an investing plan, they will have you complete a short questionnaire to determine your investment goals and risk tolerance. If you need additional help, you can also pay a small fee to receive help from a professional advisor.
Even if you need to pay the extra money to invest in a managed portfolio, it is still a better option than not investing at all. Once you become more comfortable with investing, you can always switch to a DIY investing account.
#5: Minimize Non-Investment Expenses
Finally, you are most likely officially student loan-free during your 30s and your career is established. The reward of these two achievements is more disposable income. But, you might also be juggling a new family and buying your first home. It can become real easy to shift your spending from one loan to another.
Why You Should Invest in Your 30s
Your 30s are still a very impressionable decade of life as you start a family, start to climb the corporate ladder, and gradually build a financial nest egg. You can still be very aggressive financially whether you are just starting to invest or building on the progress gained in your 20s. Continue to invest at least 80% of your investment budget in stocks and increase your monthly contribution to at least 15% of your income. And, remember to keep your investment and non-investment expenses to a minimum.
Not Sure How to Start Investing?
I opened up my first investment account back in 2012 after paying off a lot of debt. That account was with Betterment. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I love the simplicity and ease of use they provide. I think their system is good for any type of investor. If you want to get into investing, check out Betterment.