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I'm in a very odd position in my life. The vast majority of my friends do not make much money. In fact, most don't earn $10,000 a year—even though they want to. Of those who do earn a typical living, they don't really invest what they make.
I, on the other hand, earn a decent salary and am always looking for low-risk investments with great returns. Though I know this is a good way to prepare for the future, this isn't really as fun as it could be. I want to have friends that I can talk about investing with, you know?
Lately, I've started to slowly learn how to get my friends interested in making money and investing. Speaking as someone who's gotten people into it, this is how to get your friends into investing without it being boring.
The first thing that you need to do is lead by example.
There's absolutely no point in trying to get your friends into investing if you, yourself, aren't a good example of the perks of this practice. If you haven't already, start investing in the stock market and start looking at the best apps for micro-investing.
If you aren't showing them that you're doing it on your own, they won't try it either. You'll either look like a hypocrite or a person who just likes to talk the talk. When they see you doing it, they'll realize it's possible for them to do it too.
Tell your friends about how much fun it is and gauge their reaction.
A lot of people want to invest in the stock market, but don't know whether they have the intelligence to do so. Many also tend to believe that investing is boring, which it can be if you're not excited about the money you're going to make.
By telling your friends about how much you enjoy investing, you pique their interest and start up the dialogue you should want them to have. Once they ask you how you do it, don't be afraid to offer them guidance.
Refer them to tools that make investing easy.
The fastest way to get your friends into investing is to show them that they don't have to be a rocket scientist or a millionaire to invest. Micro-investing apps are amazing for illustrating this point, simply because they make investing both affordable and easy to understand.
If you want to get your friends started, offer them Stash as an app to download. Stash allows you to give your friends $5 when the sign up and start investing. The app allows you to start with as little as $100, gives you educational reads geared towards newbies, and also lets you compare your returns with friends.
If they've been known to struggle, have a frank talk about personal finance.
The reason my friends decided to start investing and listen to me was because I straight up asked them why they were eating ramen every day and unable to buy a phone. They told me they were up to their necks in credit card debt, had a horrible credit score, and really didn't know how to manage money at all.
Well, I decided to talk to them about how to better their situation. Many of them started to ask questions about investing, and sooner rather than later, they started to follow my lead.
Try to match them with app that tends to work like they do.
Different investment strategies work for different people. Some people will take to Stash like a duck to water. Others will want a more "set and forget" app like Acorns. Even more might just be better off with alternative investments like the ones offered by Masterworks.
If you want to get your friends excited about investing, you have to think about the types of investments that would make them happy, and guide them towards that. Work with an investment strategy they'd want to use, and they will want to invest alongside you.
Encourage your friends to check out your own portfolio.
Once again, when it comes to getting your friends into investing, results matter. People want to see proof, and want to see that you actually know what you're talking about.
If you want to keep them interested in investing, talk to them occasionally about it. Even something as simple as, "Check this out, I just earned dividends on my Stash. How's yours working out?" will get a good result.
You'll be surprised at how quickly people will work to meet their financial goals when they realize it's doable!
Though you should gently push the subject, don't hound them.
You can't get your friends into investing if you start acting like their mom about it. No one likes a nag, and if you nag your friends about stocks, they will lose any fledgling interest that they may have had originally.
Think of it this way—do you really want to have a bossy friend who tells you what to do all the time? Nope. Especially when it's something they tend to act better about than you.
A better way to handle it would be to engage in some retail therapy with the investment returns you've gotten from your stocks. If they see you reaping the rewards, they'll want some too!
If they ask you for help getting started, personally show them how.
There's a huge difference between telling someone to do something and showing it. Telling them how to do something might help them learn, but it won't always get them to actually do it.
When you show them the ropes or actually help them as they put money into their first investment, they will very likely continue to do it. This is because it establishes a precedent, and shows them that it's easy enough to do on their own.
Consider joining or creating an investment club as a way to bond over investing.
If you want to get your friends into investing, make it a social thing. A good way to turn investing into a night out is to create your own investing club.
Investing clubs are meant to help newbies learn the ropes, compare investing portfolios, and also just hang out with other people who want to increase their net worth. By getting friends to attend events, you're creating positive peer pressure.
Finally, explain to them both the perks and pitfalls.
While it's noble that you're trying to get your friends into investing in the stock market, it's important to be realistic about it. You're going to have to tell them that there's a risk of losing money if they do invest, but that it's guaranteed to happen if they don't.
By being honest about the perks and pitfalls, you're making sure that you don't appear like the person who promises on what they can't deliver—and that's absolutely crucial if you want to keep your friends!