5 Investment Strategies for Millennials (Without Breaking Bank)

On more than one occasion since my early 20s I’ve been told “You’re almost 30, it’s time to grow up.” This was never echoed more than when I got into the investment world. I realised, a long time ago, that investing saved money is more important than saving it – otherwise, that saved money put into a savings account will earn a pitiful 0.010-1.00% in a year’s time. Yet, “put your money in a savings account” is exactly what many of my archaic family and friends said.

Savers are losers. You need to invest. The following are 5 investment strategies you can use to set up a comfortable retirement for yourself.

Investment strategies

1. Get Started If You Haven’t Yet

How many times have you and I been told that we are lazy no-getters who constantly drag our feet? Isn’t it sickening? Sadly, there’s truth to those statements. In June 2016, Bank rate had a Money Pulse survey and discovered that many millennials don’t know enough about stocks – and definitely don’t know the difference between stocks and bonds. (Which doesn’t make sense, considering this is the information age and we’re “the techie generation”.)

Compared to our parents and grandparents, only a third of millennials regularly invest – opposed to 51% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who continually invest. Investing doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Motif accounts need as little as $300 (minimum).

There is no reason not to get started now, while you’re in your 20s or 30s. The plain hard fact is this: The later you start, the less money you’ll make when you’re older. Not starting now is your own fault, and you cannot in good conscious blame anyone else but yourself.

2. Learn, As Much As Possible

I cannot tell you how many times I went to bed biting my fingernails to the bone – waking up the next morning and looking at my investment portfolio was terrifying. At first. Learning how to invest is like gambling in Vegas for the first time – it scares the bejesus out of you, until you eventually learn what to do the more you do it. The more you do it, the more efficient you become. Luckily, there are a few resources readily available – written by savvy people who have walked the walk.

NerdWallet is a sensationally-helpful resource for “getting your feet wet”. NerdWallet, if you don’t know by now, is one of the easiest-to-understand “how to” resources regarding finances. Morningstar is also another option. They can help you make better wise investing decisions “whether you’re a novice, an experienced investor, or someplace in-between.”

3. Day Trading

Day trading is the process of buying low stocks selling them high in the same day (hence the name). Quite simple to understand; however, day trading is one of the riskiest things for anyone to do – much less millennials. (However, remember the old adage that goes “the risk is in the reward.”)

Some people advise against day trading, as even professionals/disciplined traders who are experts in the market have a difficult time. Before buying a stock, risks must be measured such as profitability, competition, growth, market cap, P/E ratio, etcetera. It’s wise to keep in mind that day trading professionals can afford to lose the money, whenever they do lose it. In order to receive the highest reward from day trading, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars must be invested in stocks.

As you can tell, it’s important to remain up-to-date and always have the most accurate information possible. Staying up to date means subscribing to regular news sites that cover national and international events – as these events affect the stock market. Programs and stock scanning software make scanning stocks less time-consuming. Having a calendar marked with major data releases would be a wise idea, too, as prices move faster than usual during these times.

Investing strategy

4. Be Consistent

When you consciously do the same thing over again (such as putting 20% of your income into your savings), over a period of time this repetition becomes a habit. Make yourself consistent by regularly investing money into your portfolio. Legendary author Charles Duhigg, in his phenomenal book “Power of Habit”, has this to say: “The framework for building a habit is to identify the routine, experiment with rewards, isolate the cue, have a plan.”

However, gaining traction in your portfolio requires a lot more than investing a hundred dollars a few times a year. What will give you traction so you can “snowball” your way to capitalise on bigger investments, is to pounce on compound interest. We already know by now that compound interest is a beautiful thing. Pick a specific amount that you want to invest on a regular basis, and invest that amount on a regular basis.

The “golden key” here is to regularly make those investments. Turning that specific amount into a “habit of investment” will make compound interest do a lot of the legwork for you. Without that discipline, you’re setting yourself up to get a lot less money for retirement.

5. Diversify Your Money

One of the most reasonable ways to diversify your money is to allocate your long-term savings into low-cost index and exchange-traded funds. An index tracks the performance of a small amount of the stock market, and not the whole portion. (This makes it easier to know what you’re getting into.) For example, if you want to know what 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. are, simply follow the S&P 500.

These two options pool investor money together, allowing you to buy various investments at once. Luckily, diversification is easy: Buy an exchange-traded fund which holds the stock of U.S. companies, one that holds international companies, and one that holds start-up companies in emerging markets.


Millennials have gotten a bad rap as being lazy, skeptics, or financially handicapped. Don’t be someone who fuels the flames of stereotypes, and find investment strategies that work for you. Please keep in mind that you can never “master” investment strategies, as strategies change over time. Do your diligence and conduct more investment strategy research to find out other ways you can make big money to enjoy at the end of your life.