4 Investing Moves to Make in 2024 – The Motley Fool

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Published on Jan. 6, 2024
By: Christy Bieber
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Investing is one of the best ways to get richer, but you need to be smart about how you do it.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to become a great investor who ends up with a big nest egg. In fact, making just four simple investing moves in 2024 could help to set you on the path to future success. Here’s what they are.

The more money you invest, the more returns you can potentially make and the more you benefit from compound growth when you reinvest those returns. Compound growth happens when you earn interest on returns, as you’re earning extra money on the funds your investments already generated.

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Increasing your investments by a small amount can make a big difference in the size of your nest egg over time. Consider what would happen if you invested an extra $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 annually each year for 30 years and earned a 10% average rate of return.
It is well worth trying to increase how much you’re investing — especially if doing so could leave you with almost $1 million more. See if you can cancel a few streaming services or other memberships and redirect that money to investing, or if you’re getting a salary bump, put your raise directly into your brokerage account.
Investing fees can leave you with a lot less money, because even small fees add up to huge sums over time.
Say, for example, you had $25,000 invested and earned 10% average annual returns. Here’s how much you’d end up with after 20 years if you picked an investment that charged either a 2.5% fee or one that charged a 0.12% fee (which is the asset-weighted expense ratio for passive ETFs or those tracking a financial index).
Actively managed investments (professionals pick stocks for you) tend to charge much higher fees than passively managed ones, with an asset-weighted average expense ratio of around 0.62% and some charging much more. And often the return on investment for actively managed investments is the same or lower than for investments that just track financial indexes. So, find a low cost ETF with an expense ratio below 0.12% to end up with more money in the end.
There are lots of different ways to invest. For most people, investing in ETFs using dollar-cost averaging and holding them for the long haul is the best approach. This means picking a fund — like one tracking the performance of the market — and buying the same dollar value worth of shares at a set interval, such as buying $500 in shares a month.
If you use this technique and choose a safe, reliable investment, you don’t have to try to time your purchase to the market. Since you’re always buying the same dollar value, you end up buying more shares when the cost is lower anyway. Then, if you leave your money alone, you should be able to recover from any downturns that might happen and earn a good return over the long term.
Now, there are other investing strategies that can work too — but the important thing is to research your options carefully, know the risks, and make an informed choice.
Finally, you should aim to automate the investing process so you will reliably contribute money. Sign up for a workplace 401(k) or have money transferred out of your bank account to your brokerage account each month so you don’t miss a contribution. This takes the guesswork out of investing, and will ensure you don’t forget to move the money over.
By making these four moves, ideally you will see great investing success in 2024 and beyond.

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Christy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer with 15 years of experience. She has a JD from UCLA and is a former college instructor.
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