What does it mean to “invest?” In essence, it refers to spending money with the expectation of achieving a profit or some other kind of financial gain. As a driver, you might not think you even have enough money to invest, but keep reading and you’ll see why that’s not true.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you some good reasons why you should invest a portion of your earnings, and offer you a way to do it that will surprise and excite you. Here’s how we’ll break it down:
- Why should drivers invest?
- Ways and places to set aside money
- What about the stock market?
- Public: A stock market solution drivers will love
Why should drivers invest?
First of all, who wouldn’t want to be able to put money aside and make a profit on it? The simple idea of being able to watch your account balance grow without having to do much outside of making a few smart decisions should be enough to convince you that investing is a great idea.
If that’s not doing it for you, think about what you could use that “extra” money for. What if something happens to your driving business, and you can’t make money for a few months? You may not be aware that, for independent contractors, worker’s comp and unemployment insurance will not automatically kick in. You’re going to need some backup.
Having money set aside, and watching it grow to make more money, is the kind of security blanket you need to feel financially safe as you happily go about making money with your driving gigs. Also, if you have a goal such as buying a house or taking the vacation you’ve always yearned for, investing your money is a smart way to gather up the kind of cash you’re going to need to bankroll your dreams.
Ways and places to set aside money
There are two avenues that will lead you toward the healthy habit of setting some of your earnings aside, aka, “paying yourself first.” The first is to save on expenses. Is there an extravagance in your life you could really live without? There probably is. Overpriced coffee, buying rounds at the bar, and eating out more often than you actually need to are three expenses you could eliminate right away. Each time you pass on spending for the money-sucking habits in your life, put away the money you would have spent.
You could put it into a special savings account, or even keep it in something as simple as a cookie jar. Once it adds up, you’ll be able to do something meaningful with it.
The other element you’ll need to effectively start saving is discipline. Let’s say you set a goal of putting aside 15 percent of your income every week. You do okay for the first few weeks, and then … something comes up. Friends come in from out of town and want you to party with them at a club after your shift. Or, let’s say you fall madly in love and want to take a romantic and pricey getaway trip together, but you just can’t afford it … unless you stop setting that money aside.
It will be up to you to set your priorities, but if you truly want to have money for a rainy day that will probably come one day, you’ll have to keep working and hustling to earn those extras. You can also be disciplined enough to remind yourself that your goal to save is more important than fleeting pleasures.
If you have trouble disciplining yourself to set the money aside on your own, you can get automatic withdrawals taken from your account. To make it harder to withdraw on impulse, you can start an account you can’t touch without having to pay a penalty. Look into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or 401 (k), which is a retirement account you can open as an independent contractor. An article in MyBankTracker will help you navigate the ins and outs of this option.
Another way to invest money is to purchase real estate or collect high-value items, such as art, coins, or sports memorabilia. This can be risky. If items lose rather than gain value, and these options can also come with a rather high price. You can still start small, though, as long as you’re investing money you might not otherwise need.
What about the stock market?
The stock market is certainly a good way to make money, sometimes quickly, and often over an extended period. Investing in the stock market, if you have the right combination of knowledge, skill, and good fortune can be quite rewarding.
That can be a problem, though. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years getting the education they need to make money in the stock market, so there’s no shortage of overly trained analysts and traders. Still, it’s becoming more possible every day for people with little or no formal training to trade stocks with far less money than you might think.
In many cases, the profits you can make in the stock market are eye-popping. Yet, as with all investments, there are risks involved with buying and selling stocks. You’ll probably find that, as long as you invest money that you can truly afford to set aside, and that you won’t need for life’s essentials, it’s worth taking your chances.
You might be wondering about the other expenses that can be involved in trading stocks. What about the huge brokers’ commissions, and the possibility of being charged to make trades based on your broker’s latest hunch, rather than your own instincts and desires?
There’s no longer a need to feed high-priced traders and brokers just to get a piece of today’s stock market action. A movement that is allowing the stock market to become far less stuffy and way more accessible is definitely afoot now, and is gaining steam.
Just like so many other facets of life, stock trading is becoming something ordinary people can do, and quite easily. All it takes is a little bit of money to invest, a network of people who can give you great tips and ideas, and a platform through which you can make your trades.
Does that sound like a lot to ask for? It’s not. As it turns out, there’s an app that does all that, and more: Public.
Public: A stock market solution drivers will love
Public is a cutting-edge app that lets you get in on the stock trading game in a way that’s not only efficient and inexpensive, but interesting, exciting, and fun. Public is more than just a platform for trading – it’s a social investing experience. It turns investing into a collaborative effort by providing a social network where you can:
- Follow friends and experts on certain subject matters
- Hop onto a messaging system designed to give investors lots to DM about
- Use social sharing to publish your trades to other social platforms
- Browse stocks by curated themes such as entertainment, cannabis, diversity, small businesses, and health and healing.
By joining Public’s community of investors, you’ll get to watch what others are doing, collaborate, and show off your own progress to your friends.
There are many other reasons to love Public as well, such as:
- No commission charge for trades. Instead, there’s an optional tipping system you can use to show your appreciation for the trading service. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, either.
- No minimum amount needed to invest. You can begin trading stocks with literally any amount of money.
- Investing with a swipe. Buy “slices” of stock that are offered by Public, and choose the amount you want to put in.
- Debit card funding. Add money to your account and make deposits with your profits, quickly and with great ease. Security is assured by Public’s partnership with Wells Fargo and Braintree (a PayPal subsidiary).
- Long-term investment capability. Build a portfolio designed to pay off in the long term, automatically reinvest dividends, and get safety labels that inform you about the risk levels of the stocks you choose.
- No day trading. Public plays it safe by banning day trading and other sketchy practices like margin accounts.
- Referral program. Share your referral link with friends, and if they successfully open accounts with Public, you and any referred friends get a free slice of stock!
- Super Security. Insured by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), Public customers are protected for up to $500,000 in securities, and up to $250,000 in cash. Data is secured via AES 128-bit encryption and TLS 1.2. All your transactions are completely protected with state-of-the-art data security technology.
Opening an account with Public is easy, as long as you:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have a valid Social Security number,
- Have a legal U.S. residential address
- Are a U.S. citizen or have permanent residence or a visa