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July Financial Checklist + Calendar

Money & Relationships The Financial Realities of College Life ::

Investing in stocks can be a great way to grow your money. However, only a little over half of Americans currently invest in the stock market. Learning how to buy and invest in stocks requires a bit of research and plenty of strategy. In this month’s financial checklist, we’re going to focus on tasks that will help you begin investing in stocks. 

 July Financial Checklist: Investing Your Money

  • Do your investing homework
  • Decide how you want to invest
  • Open a brokerage account
  • Determine how much you want to spend
  • Monitor your stock investments
  1. Do your homework

Before jumping feet-first into the stock market, do your research. Before you can start investing, you need to understand the basics of how stocks and the stock market work. This includes:

  • Basic terminology
  • Personal factors you need to consider before investing in stocks
  • When and how to sell your stocks
  • Common stock investment mistakes and how to avoid them

  1. Decide how you’re going to invest

Do you want to be in charge of your investment strategy, or pay for the advice of a professional? There are two main ways to go about investing in hte stock market.

  • DIY Stock Investing: Select stocks and invest yourself. This is typically done through an online brokerage account.
  • Hands-Off Stock Investing: Specify your investment goals, but take a backseat when it comes to stock selection. Typically, a robo-advisor will handle the investing process.

  1. Open a brokerage account.

To begin investing, you’ll need to open an account through which to make your transactions. 

  • Online Brokerage: If you’re investing in stocks on your own, you’ll want to open an online brokerage account. 
  • Robo-Advisor Account: If you’d prefer a hands-off investing approach, you’ll need to open an investment account through a robo-advisor.


4. Determine how much you want to invest

When setting your budget for investing in stocks, you need to calculate:

  • How much you need to get started. Make sure to include:
    • The cost of opening your brokerage account or robo-advisor 
    • The cost of the shares you’re interested in
      • A single share may range from a couple of dollars to thousands of dollars
  • How much you’ll regularly invest in stocks
    • Decide how much of your income or savings you’d like to invest
    • Consider what you’re able to invest based on your current budget

  1. Monitor your stock investments

Once you’ve invested in stocks, check in on performance occasionally. Check your free portfolio tracker – most brokerage accounts will provide this in your online profile. Keep an eye on the businesses you hold stocks in. Check in on quarterly earnings calls and read their annual reports to learn what’s in store for the coming year.

Key Takeaways

Stay on track with our investment calendar and create an editable copy in three easy steps: 

  1. Open our Calendar Template in Google Sheets
  2. Select “File”, then “Make a Copy”
  3. Save in your own Google Drive to make edits

Give your finances an overhaul in 2020. Check out our previous posts, and look forward to upcoming financial checklists.


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