What’s the Stock Market?

I was watching the news last night, for the first time in probably forever, and they were doing a story about saving money.  You know, it’s a new year, people have these things they call “resolutions” (I don’t know what those are), and so the news likes to take advantage of this and tell us all how to save money, eat healthier, and lose weight.  Because that’s all anyone wants to do when a new calendar year rolls over, save money, eat healthier, and lose weight.  Maybe exercise more too, which basically goes hand in hand with eating healthier and losing weight.

For the record, I want to do none of these things, but the news story I was watching was talking to a young couple who basically saves zero dollars a month (sound familiar?).  They were suggesting that they start using an app called Acorns.  I have now spent the better part of my morning also trying to use this app, because I feel like investing is something that I should be doing.

I know nothing about the stock market.  I have a college degree in mathematics, yes, and work a fantastic job at a great company with a pretty respectable 401K (I’ll give you $50 if you know why it’s called a 401K without Googling it…).  But the stock market?  I would rather poke my eye with a fork than deal with investments. A hot fork.  A hot fork covered in yellow mustard.  I have been doing some reading up on these things though.  This page was pretty helpful, not the Pointers for Parents section, or the Tips for Teens.  It was really the Fun for Kids part that I most related to.  :/

Anyway, the concept behind Acorns is that you would round up your purchases to the next dollar, and that money will be invested for you.  Into what?  I’m not quite sure yet.  Mr. Chick  E said that they buy “ETFs”.    Mr. Chick E is super smart and knows about these things and doesn’t think Acorns is a terrible idea so it must be somewhat OK.  The moral of this blog is that it sounds like a really good way to save money.  If you’re going to spend $21.50, why not just spend $22 and save $.50?  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but think about it…that would add up.  Maybe by the time I’m ready to retire I’ll be worth like $500!  I can retire on that, right?  I won’t care what I look like by then so I won’t need to worry about having money for my hair, clothes, or shoes.

(401K plans, by the way, are named after a section (section 401(k)) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Duh.)

So I’m going to give it a whirl.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Chick A can update you on her struggle to lose weight, and I’ll update you on my struggle to understand investing.  Seriously, who gets this stuff?  I wish I did.  Now I know why financial advisors must make a ton of money.  It’s totally worth paying to have this handled.  It hurts my brain.  (Do financial advisors make a ton of money?  Or am I making that up?)

-Chick E, thriftily saving for retirement, one GD penny at a time.

twinkies

This would be true if it said “Kit Kat Minis” instead of “Twinkies”.

UPDATE:

Acorns seemed a bit sketchy.  After writing this draft, nothing had happened.  No money had been withdrawn from my checking account for my initial deposit, I couldn’t do anything with my account, my new investment account was never set up.  I started to get a tad paranoid (Chick A can confirm, I still pay all of my bills by check.  I literally hate online banking.  It stresses me out so much.).  Finally I emailed these people at “Acorns” to break up with them.  A quick “I’m sorry, it’s you not me” message.  This was my response:

Dear Chick E,

I want to thank you for your interest in Acorns. However, industry regulations state that you must be 18 years or older in order to open an investment account. For this reason, I have withdrawn your application to open an Acorns account.

As soon as you are 18, please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you in opening an account with Acorns! Thanks again, and we look forward to having you as a customer in the future!

Best Regards,

Kim 

I most certainly will Kim, I most certainly will.  (Shakes head no).   Ahhh…feels good to be 16 again.

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