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It’s not hard to find articles that claim millennials’ financial health would improve if only they stopped buying cold brewed coffees. The thing is, investing can be confusing when you’re first starting out. Should you buy stocks or bonds? What’s a TFSA? And who has time to figure out what’s happening with the stock market anyway?

Don’t get so overwhelmed by investing that you give up and stick your head in a pile of organic, fair trade, coffee beans. Below we’ve outlined some tips and hacks that millennials – or anyone! – can use to improve their investment game.

Not sure where to start?

The first step to investing is finding a service that fits well with you. A robo-advisor like RBC InvestEase can be a great option for folks who want to invest but don’t know where to start. All you have to do is answer a few online questions to get started. As soon as you’re done answering our questions, our smart technology will recommend a personalized investment portfolio that’s designed for you. Then you can stop thinking about your investments and focus on the things you actually enjoy doing.

Check out this article to learn more about how robo-advisors like RBC InvestEase work.

Confused by terms?

There's no need to get overwhelmed by investment lingo. Here are some basic terms about account types to get you started:

  • RRSP stands for Registered Retirement Savings Plan. An RRSP allows you to make tax-deductible contributions to retirement savings. Investments in an RRSP are not taxed until you withdraw money in retirement. At that point, all withdrawals are taxed as income at your marginal tax rate (which may be lower since you’ve retired). For more information, check out our article on RRSPs.
  • TFSA stands for a Tax-Free Savings Account. Unlike an RRSP, contributions to a TFSA are not tax-deductible, but the gains you make from the investments are tax free (in other words, withdrawals are not taxed). TFSAs are designed to be flexible: you can use them to save for anything (retirement, a new home, a vacation), and you can take money out at any time. For more information, check out our article on TFSAs.
  • What's a non-registered account? Unlike an RRSP or a TFSA, non-registered account have no special tax treatment. Contributions to a non-registered account aren’t tax deductible, and you are taxed on any investment earnings when you withdraw money. A non-registered account can be a good option when you have maxed out the contribution room in both your RRSP and TFSA accounts.

Two Tips for Lifelong Discipline

Here are some simple steps to take today that will literally add up over the course of your investing lifetime. First, start early (today!) since small amounts of money can grow into big investments! Second, pick an amount to save and a frequency to save it – any amount, and any frequency – and stick to it. Once you’ve decided how much you can set aside, set up an auto-deposit to automatically move that amount from your chequing account into your investment account at the frequency you’ve chosen (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). A trick many of us on the InvestEase team use is to set up an auto-deposit transfer on payday. This way the money earmarked for saving will be in an investment account before you even notice it.

With RBC InvestEase there is no minimum to open an account, and your funds will be invested when your account balance reaches $100. Investing isn’t only for the rich!

Short on time?

With day jobs and side hustles, course work and working out, friends to see and family to visit, commuting and dog walking and – hopefully – sleeping, who has time to do laundry, let alone investment research?

Pick an investment service that fits into your busy schedule. With a robo-advisor like RBC InvestEase, once you’ve set up your account, you can leave the rest of the work to us. After answering a few simple questions online, RBC InvestEase will build you a portfolio designed to help you achieve your financial goals. You may want to track how your portfolio is performing – that’s great, you can do that! You may want to completely ignore your portfolio – and that’s great, you can do that too! Either way, rest assured that our team will look after your account, monitor your investments, and keep on top of financial markets so that you don’t have to.

Want to make a difference?

Investing isn’t always just about making money – you might also want your investment dollars to make a difference in the world. If that’s the case, consider a Responsible Investing portfolio. Responsible Investing describes an investment approach that measures how companies or issuers manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks like carbon emissions, water management, and data security. A Responsible Investing portfolio allows you to make a positive impact without necessarily giving up financial performance.

Conclusion

Millennials may be forever associated with avocado toast and the colour pink; we’d love it if they were also associated with investment savvy! But whether you’re a millennial, a baby boomer, or part of Generation X, Y or Z, the key to investing is just getting started. Whatever your age, you can start investing now for your future.

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RBC InvestEase Inc. provides online discretionary investment management services. Other products and services may be offered by one or more separate corporate entities that are affiliated to RBC InvestEase Inc., including without limitation: Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Direct Investing Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company. RBC InvestEase Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and uses the business name RBC InvestEase. In addition, the RBC iShares ETFs in which RBC InvestEase Inc. clients invest are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. RBC Global Asset Management Inc. and BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited have entered into a strategic alliance to bring together their respective ETF products under the RBC iShares ETF brand, and to offer a unified distribution support and service model for RBC iShares ETFs.
 
The services provided by RBC InvestEase are only available in Canada.