Millions of Americans have started investing during the pandemic. And while the market has started to get a bit wobbly lately, stocks are still near all-time highs. So now is actually a really good time for people new to the world of investing to figure out how to get their ducks in a row and their investments set up in a smart way for whatever the future may bring.
Despite news headlines on life-changing investments on one stock item like GameStop, it is too risky to make short-term bets with sizable sums of money on what a stock is going to do next. Instead, some of the most respected investors in the world have long said the best way for everyday investors like you and me to make money is to invest in index funds and hold those investments over long periods of time.
The key to everyday investing is diversification, which means owning different types of investments to spread out the risk. According to investment manager Paula Volent, you definitely want to own stock index funds because stocks over time have always offered the best return. She suggests owning a broad U.S. stock market index fund, a foreign developed markets index fund and an emerging markets index fund.