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Investing Basics

If you're already really good at saving, the next smart step is to put your money somewhere it can really grow. Yep, that means investing. Getting your portfolio on. With Summit Financial Advisors ready to help, you've got this.

And get this

You don't need to have a lot of money or take big risks to get into investing.

You can start small

All it takes to become an investor is a small sum that's not already set aside for other financial obligations – or a little bit off the top of each paycheck.


The only big thing you'll need is a goal. Saving for education, a down payment on a house or for retirement are all good reasons to start investing.


You can choose your risk level

Different investments carry different risks, from losing it all to barely outpacing the average savings account.

Like most investors, your tolerance for risk – and desire for reward – is probably somewhere in the middle.


Summit Financial Advisors can help you determine the investment strategies that fit your life stage, your savings goals and your well-being.

In the meantime, here are some investing basics.

Stocks vs Bonds


Buying stock, or shares, in a company means you own a portion of that company. When it makes money, your shares are worth more. When it loses money, your shares decrease in value. In general, stocks carry greater risk, but with higher reward potential.


With bonds, you're loaning money to a company or government entity, which it pays back with interest. Bonds tend to be a lower-risk investment but also tend to return lower earnings.

Investment tip

Diversifying your portfolio with a mix of stocks and bonds can help dial in the risk-reward you're looking for. Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss.

Investing in mutual funds is one way to do just that.

Mutual Funds


A mutual fund is a professionally managed portfolio of stocks and/or bonds selected for a specific investment strategy, such a low-risk, stable growth or high-risk, high-reward potential. The right combination of mutual funds should put you right in your comfort zone.

Value-based investing

You can even choose mutual funds that align with your values, such as sustainability or social responsibility.

You may be familiar with mutual funds from your employer's 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan.

Did you know mutual funds are an investment option outside of work as well?

Traditional and Roth IRAs

An IRA, or individual retirement account, isn't actually an investment. Think of it as a home for your investments – your mutual funds*, for example.

ira-iconTraditionalRothPay taxes laterPay taxes now

You can open an IRA whenever you're ready. And each has its own advantages, with the Roth option acting as a nice complement to your 401(k) because it's funded with after-tax dollars.

Plus, you're allowed to access your Roth IRA contribution (and sometimes even your earnings) anytime without penalty. Good to know in case something comes up. 

You can see growth over time

It's so satisfying to watch your investments grow. Hooray for compound interest!

The sooner you start investing, even conservatively, the longer your money will have to see growth.

You can begin here and now


Schedule a meeting with a Summit Financial Advisor to get started today!


It's also a good idea to look into higher impact savings options like a Money Market or Certificate to grow your money bigger and faster. Summit can help with that too.


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