{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about Investing for Beginners

Long after the Cataclysm, when the Reavers stalked the Land and life in the Before Times was but a distant memory, there were those who sought to understand the past. They sifted through the rubble of long-forgotten cities, searching for clues to the life of prosperity and ease their ancestors had enjoyed.

Ticker tape was found, and a dusty DVD of The Wolf of Wall Street. These artifacts were carefully preserved and venerated, mystics and scholars studying them to unravel the Deep Mysteries. There was a ritual known as “investing,” which took place in a temple called “the stock market” and bestowed upon the masses “dividends.” Could this be the key to the prosperity and opulence of their ancestors?

Only time would tell.

But there were some who remembered the Wysdom of Thee Bitches. You could hear these cultists crying out in the darkness, amidst their nightly rituals, “It’s about time IN the market! Not timING the market!” as they cackled and danced.

It’s been said you can’t save your way to financial independence—you have to invest your way there. But investing in the stock market seems like a complicated, daunting practice reserved for rich people and the bebuttsticked class. In the articles below, we attempt to demystify investing into something everyone can—and should—do.

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How to Painlessly Run the Gauntlet of a 401k Rollover

If we’ve taught you nothing else here at Bitches Get Riches, it’s that you should:

  1. sign up for your employer’s retirement plan and
  2. job hop your way to a nice fat salary.

Yet these two bits of career advice might seem to conflict with one another. After all, if you’re job-hopping your way up the salary food-chain, you might be leaving a trail of old retirement plans behind you to languish. What do you do with your old 401k when you move on to a new employer, or even embrace self-employment?

Enter the 401k rollover: the most hateful, obnoxious, and needlessly complicated bureaucratic process known to man.

Today we’re not only going to demystify the process of how to roll over an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401k—we’re going to make it beautifully, sinfully painless. It’s going to be so much fun you guys!!!!!

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Investing Deathmatch: Timing the Market vs. Time IN the Market

Investing Deathmatch: Timing the Market vs. Time IN the Market

Bitch Nation, things around here have been far too peaceful for far too long. No cage matches, no Fury Road-style races to the death. We haven’t even had an inter-Bitch argument in ages.*

So you know what that means…

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER INSTALLMENT OF INVESTING DEATHMATCH!

In this recurring series, we pit two investing strategies against each other, examine the merits of each, and determine which is best for you, the investor. Along the way we hope you learn a little about the stock market, but really… we know you’re just here for the gifs.

Two investing strategies enter! Only one will survive! Who will win this most neurotic and numbers-based fight to the death??? Only time (and minute examination of historical stock market trends) will tell!

Let’s meet our contenders.

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Do NOT Make This Disastrous Beginner Mistake With Your Retirement Funds

It has come to my attention that there may be a particularly disastrous beginner retirement funds mistake we’ve failed to warn our readers against. As they say in the extremely dramatic anime I’m currently watching: moushiwake arimasen!

Worse, it’s exactly the kind of mistake we proudly specialize in addressing: a mistake that makes you feel so freaking inept and self-conscious that you act like it didn’t happen, never speak of it again, and quietly add to the self-critical monologue that plays inside your head on nights when you cannot sleep.

No? Just us? Humph! Very well.

This mistake has to do with your retirement funds. I can’t sugar-coat this one: it’s a horrible mistake to make because there isn’t really a way to fix it. It’s like burning your popcorn: what’s done is done, there’s no way to un-burn it. But the faster you yank that stanky shit out of your microwave, the sooner you can chuck it and move on with with your life. And a fresh batch of popcorn. Make it kettle corn. Invite me!

For those of you who don’t have retirement funds yet, read on anyway. Trust me! This is something you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind for whenever you finally do.

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Dafuq Is a Retirement Plan and Why Do You Need One?

For young’uns like us, old age and retirement couldn’t seem farther away. And yet the thing about retirement is it goes way smoother if you prep for it in advance. Which is why all of us—yes, even you fresh-faced recent graduates—need a retirement plan.

The term “retirement plan” itself is a bit misleading. It suggests there’s a singular, one-size-fits-all tool for preparing to live out your sunset years in the lap of luxury. In reality, not only is there no one single retirement savings tool that works for everyone. But most people use multiple “retirement plans.”

Join me, dear readers, as I guide you through an entirely-too-detailed tour of the most common forms of retirement plans. Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times and please don’t feed the wildlife.

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Procrastinating on opening a retirement account? Here's 3 ways that'll fuck you over.

Procrastinating on Opening a Retirement Account? Here’s 3 Ways That’ll Fuck You Over.

If I had to rank all the things I love to do in my precious free time, where would opening a retirement account fall? Let me see, hmm… Above a root canal, but below politely accepting a religious tract from a door-knocking missionary. What can I say? Some of them have pretty nice artwork!

Have you been procrastinating on opening your retirement account? Feeling lazy? Avoidant? Afraid of the paperwork? Feel like you’d rather use that money on stuff right now? Obviously I feel you.

But buck up, son! I’m about to tell you why you can’t afford not to open a retirement account.

To recap: Americans have access to two main kinds of retirement accounts.

First, a 401(k)—or 403(b), if you work for a nonprofit—is a retirement fund facilitated by your employer. You set it up so they can take money directly out of your paycheck and squirrel it safely away for you to use when you’re terrorizing orderlies in the nursing home. That way you can focus on maintaining your record as Wheelchair Drag Race Champion of Shady Hills Retirement Community and not get distracted by petty financial concerns.

Pictured here: retirement goals.

Second, there’s IRAs (individual retirement accounts). IRAs are very similar to 401(k)s, but they’re attached to you directly instead of your employer. There are other differences, but meh, they’re pretty minor. You can get acquainted with the finer points later.

Retirement accounts are powerful tools for growing wealth and stability for your future self. The trick is you have to opt into your retirement account. If you’re self-employed, or you work for a company that doesn’t offer 401(k)s, you need to go out and open your own IRA. And if you work for a company that offers 401(k)s, you need to sign up and voluntarily tell someone to NOT give you part of your paycheck every month.

As broke as you are right now, ignoring a perfectly good retirement fund is a terrible idea. Because if you do that, you’ll lose money in three different ways.

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