Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.
If you have been savvy enough to have squirrelled a little pile of money away, you already understand that there are better places to deposit your loot than in a low-interest savings account or deep inside a Serta Perfect Sleeper. You know you need to start investing, but in what? Should you put it all in a technology stock that you overheard that rich looking dude raving about at the bar? Sure, there’s a chance you could hit the jackpot, but stock picking is not something for the faint of heart—or the uninitiated.
There are no guarantees when it comes to investing. We beg you — don’t dive into the stock market by yourself. Get some professional investment help. “From whom?”, you will ask, (provided you have excellent grammar). You might choose to invest through a traditional investment advisor, or an automated one.
A traditional investment advisor will assess a fee (usually about 1% of your entire managed portfolio annually) to choose investments for you and buy and sell them depending on changes in the market. An automated advisor will likely assess a fraction of a traditional advisor’s fee to help you invest, but rather than responding to the ups and downs of the market, will instead allow sophisticated software to make any trading decisions and periodic rebalancing of your portfolio so that it’s not too heavily weighted in one type of investment. Traditional investment advisors may choose to invest in specific stocks, bonds, or mutual funds (a bundle of stocks or other equities chosen and regularly traded by a mutual fund manager.)
Automated advisors tend to invest mostly or entirely in low fee exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, which are collections of stocks that closely track major indices like the S&P 500. This has the potential to turn your little stack of money into a much bigger pile is through a long-term investment in ETFs using an automated advisor like Wealthsimple. Market-tracking ETFs have been shown to offer sustained, consistent growth while minimizing downside risk. That’s why even a famous stock-picker like Warren Buffett recommends that his heirs invest their inheritance in market-hugging index funds or ETFs.
We’re certainly a little biased, but we think the best way begin investing is to start investing with Wealthsimple. We offer state of the art technology, low fees and the kind of personalized, friendly service you might have not thought imaginable from an automated investing service. Learn more about automated investing here.