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It’s the question that grates on the nerves of any parent during a long road trip with the family…
… the whiny, pained “Are we there yet?” It’s a question enshrined forever in the Annoying Question Hall of Fame.
In investing, there’s a similar question (at least when asked by some)…
… “how much time will investing take me”?
Now, when asked in a whiny voice by someone who basically just wants to know whether they can make a boatload of money in the market – as quickly as possible – without having to put much time or effort into it (lest it distract them from their video game or latest Netflix binge), this question is annoying AF.
When asked by this kind of person, the answer is “it’s gonna take more time and effort than you’re willing to give it to be successful.” Cuz, sorry to burst your bubble Snuffles, but there ain’t any fast, easy money to be made in investing in the stock market (at least on any kind of consistent, long term basis).
For many others, however, this is a totally legit question. You have a full time job. You have a family. You’ve got other things you’d rather focus on.
You just want to know how much time investing will take you each week/month if you do it on your own instead of hiring a money manager to handle things for you.
If this is you, then the exact answer to the question of how much time investing takes is…
… “It depends.”
And that’s not just a flip, snarky answer. It’s the truth.
Because how much time investing will take you depends on what type of investing you want to do.
If you want to do day trading (which, especially if you’re new to investing, I would not recommend), then you can expect to spend a few hours a day or more on it.
If you want to pick/invest in individual stocks then you can expect to spend a few hours a week researching new companies, keeping track of your portfolio, etc.
If you like the buy and hold strategy and put your money in index funds, then investing might take you a few minutes each month – at the most.
One of the cool things about investing is how much time you put into it is totally up to you.
You can try to make a full time job of it as a day/swing trader (which ain’t easy to pull off, but if you wanna make it work, it’ll take hours of your time each and every day).
Or you can go with the buy and hold index fund strategy and can forget about your portfolio for months (or even years at a time)… and still outperform many investing pros.
Or pick something in between.
So, first, think about how much time you’re willing to put into investing. Then pick a strategy that fits that amount of time as well as your risk tolerance and get crackin’!