Investment adivce for a 39 y/o clueless guy!
July 28, 2010 9:10 AM Subscribe
Financial moron w/kids and no investments needs to think about the future. Help needed, I don't know where to start! (mess described inside).
posted by Ponderance to Work & Money (18 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Hello all! I am soon to be 39 years old, am an underemployed lawyer, married, two young kids under 3, familial income of appx $100k and a HUGE mortgage/ property tax liability (3K+ a month). Money is tight, but I really want to put something aside for retirement/college for kids/rainy day. We have limited cash reserves and as I am temping I want to keep our limited cash (10K) liquid in case I end up out-of-work. I live in fear of being unable to keep a roof over our heads.
All that fun stuff aside, outside of out mortgage and my student loans (both at fairly low rates) we have no unsecured debt. No CC debt, no car payment, no nothing.
I want to rustle up a couple thousand through selling odds and ends (yes I am bankrolling this plan through ebay) to start investing in some capacity, if for no other reason than to get into the habit and practice of thinking in that mode.
We have one investment currently and that is our house, which, while not appreciating a whole lot (bought at the top of the market) is in a nice enough neighborhood and near good schools so we are not under water at least and it had "increased in value" nominally, most probably at a rate below the rate of inflation, but considering the housing market in metro Chicago, that isn't too shabby. I have no intention of selling anytime soon if I can help it.
I know you are not my financial advisor, lawyer, my rich dad/poor dad, or anything else that could get you sued in any way shape or form by way of offering me friendly adivce.
So my question is, where does the clueless, but not entirely stupid, person go to start? I met with a Chase financial advisor in better times, but he was 20 and was reading from a script and trying to upsell me on my checking account package which did not inspire confidence.
I fear I am REALLY late off the mark, but something is better than nothing. Ideally I want to put my money into something somewhat participatory so I can have a hand in what happens to it, but I do not have the time or inclination to "day trade" and make my fortune in 5 minute swings in the market (if that is even anything other than a myth).
I am looking longer term, and am fairly risk averse, but as this is a small sum to start I'm not totally opposed to taking some chances.
I have been reading about various companies that sound interesting, but I feel like I am too uniformed to make a grounded decision based on some article I read on CNN.com about some neat tech company that may be interesting in 5 years. I am open to reading a few book/websites/periodicals but time is very very short so I can't do a ton of research.
Please point me in the right direction for the first step and let me know if I am totally misguided in my thinking.