I have always been more of a saver than a spender, so I have a few dollars tucked away in a savings account. I finally came to the conclusion that I'd better do more with said dollars than let them slowly melt away under the hot glare of inflation. I mean, yes, I do earn a paltry point or two of interest in this savings account, but it's not going to be sufficient for me to retire prior to death, which really is my strong preference.
Over the years, I've gone through bouts of enthusiasm during which I research the world of finance. I have read books, websites, and been lectured at length by my step-dad. However, just about the time I was feeling ready to put a toe in the financial waters, BOOM the 2008 crash happened. LOL, nope!
I investigated the possibility of buying real estate. I don't want to flip properties, so I was considering being a landlady. Having heard some tenant-from-hell horror stories, I thought it would be best to do it through a management company. Then, having further investigated and heard some management company horror stories, I gave up on the idea entirely.
In the end what convinced me to proceed with investing was learning that stocks, collectively, and historically, go up an average of 10% per year. Therefore, unless something drastic changes, it makes sense to invest in a well-diversified mutual fund(s) and/or index fund(s) because in the long run they will beat the snot out of even the most generous "high-interest" savings account. The thing is to just be brave, shove the money in there, and not even look at the numbers for 20+ years or so. The daily ups and downs won't matter in the long run.
I am super-proud of myself for figuring out how to set up an online trading account through my bank (not a simple procedure) and starting to use it. I had a lot of help from Investopedia. For example, if you have to figure out what a currency-hedged ETF is, that's the place to start searching.
Not this kind of hedge:
But this kind of hedge.
I completed my first transaction last week. I'm still trying to figure out the well-designed but necessarily super-complicated website. I'm keeping it as simple as I can, for now. I'm pretty sure it's better than spending all my cash on lottery tickets, is all I can say for sure.