Before you download any sort of investing app, figure out what your motivation is, Falcone suggests. Are you doing this to make some quick cash? Because you have Reddit-induced FOMO? Or because you want to put your money to work responsibly, and are prepared to think about long-term strategies?
“That should help you put blinders on to what you might be seeing on social media or hearing from your friends,” Falcone says. “If [certain] types of stock don’t fit into your strategy, then you should immediately know to ignore those suggestions.”
If you’re approaching this through a financial planning lens, make sure you’ve already paid off all your credit card and high-rate consumer debt. You should also be contributing enough to your employer-sponsored plan to maximize any potential match benefit — that’s an immediate, guaranteed return on your investment that you can’t expect from the stock market.