How To Invest in Index Funds
This guide is still under construction.
I flinch when I remember how much money I lost and how long I can procrastinate on a thing.
In 2018, I tried to start investing in index funds. I remember because 2018 was when I watched the anime Fullmetal Alchemist. Unfortunately, the show tore me away from the otherwise riveting differences between traditional and Roth IRAs.
It was in 2020 when I opened my account, picked my index funds, set up my automatic deposits. Two years later.
By procrastinating, I will now have $6600 less—assuming a 7% return—in my account over the thirty year timeframe. That’s $25,600 less over the fifty year timeframe. Old, wrinkled, wanderlusting Rishi will have at least five fewer vacations to Costa Rica.
But here’s the thing. I didn’t lose out just because I didn’t manage my time, but because the task of investing actively resists getting done.
Investing is one of those tasks where it’s unclear what the exact decisions and actions you need to take are. This makes it hard to make progress on.
But this guide changes all that.
OK, I’ll bite. Tell me about this guide.
My pleasure 😃
First, this guide compiles the exact decisions and actions you need to take into this Google Doc worksheet.
The worksheet consists of fill-in-the-blanks like this:
I choose to use a ____________ (roboadvisor / target date fund / three fund portfolio) because ______________________________.
Then, the guide takes you step-by-step through how to fill it out.
It's meant to be comprehensive, and includes lesser known insights that most articles skip over, like:
- Why high earners should consider backdoor Roth IRAs
- What goes on under the hood for target date funds
- What exactly Wealthfront’s advanced features are on about
It does this in six parts:
- Step 0: tl;dr
- Step 1: What Index Funds To Use
- Step 2: What Retirement Accounts To Use
- Step 3: What Investing App To Use
- Step 4: How Much To Invest a Month
- Step 5: How To Set It All Up
If you want to avoid information overload, focus on the tl;dr and the sections marked My Recommendation. In these sections, I forgo nuance and cut through the noise.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are provided as a general source of information only and should not be considered to be personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell securities. Investors considering any investment should consult with their investment advisor to ensure that it is suitable for the investor’s circumstances and risk tolerance before making any investment decisions. The information contained in this blog was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however, I cannot represent that it is accurate or complete.