6 Saving & Investing Tips To Grow Your Profit
Use These Essential Finance Tips To Grow Your Money
We get it: Dipping your toes into the world of finance can be SO intimidating. From ROTH IRAs to compounded interest to investing, it can be hard to figure out which method of growth is best for you and your hard-earned dollars. Luckily, Ulta Beauty Head of Education & Creative Anna Manukyan (@amanukyan) is here to answer all of your saving and investing questions.
1. Create a strong financial foundation with these four essentials.
Think of it this way: A tree can’t grow unless it is properly planted. Likewise, your money can’t grow unless it has a well-built foundation.
Here are Anna’s four essential building blocks for financial growth:
- Understand and have proper protection. It’s essential to not only have insurance, but to understand what kind you have or need. For example: Disability insurance, long-term care or housing. Ask yourself: Are my assets (estate planning, trust and will, etc.) protected in case of an emergency?
- Constantly work toward debt reduction and management. Have a plan for paying off any outstanding bills, loans, etc.
- Establish a saved emergency fund. If you are a single-income household, the recommended emergency fund should cover 12 months of expenses.
- Make investments. Investments grow your money but in order for them to work, the first three steps listed above need to be in place. Otherwise, your investments will deplete faster than they can grow.
Want more business education? Enroll in Anna’s BTC University-exclusive class to learn how to secure your financial future.
2. Active vs. passive investing: What’s the difference?
Do you plan on investing for short-term goals like a new car, a vacation or opening your own salon? Or, are you planning on investing for long-term goals like retirement? Depending on what your plans are, you’ll want to be either a passive or active investor.
Passive or active—which one works best for your financial blueprint?
- Passive investing is for stylists who are working towards a long-term need—like a retirement account, for example. When you practice passive investing, time is money; instead of buying or selling assets or investing in new stock, you stick to a predetermined index for a longer period of time.
- Active investing offers more flexibility when you think you can find a diamond in the rough—like investing in Apple before it became Apple! You can drop, trade and buy stocks as frequently as you like for a quicker profit. Active investing is typically good for short-term needs, like quickly replenishing your emergency fund.
Here’s Anna’s full explanation:
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3. Investing vs. investing accounts: Here’s what to know.
Did you know that your 401ks and IRAs are not technically investments? Rather, they are investment accounts. One of the top mistakes people make when they are investing is opening an account, but not actually investing the funds.
Anna breaks it down like this: Consider investment accounts to act as a “vehicle” for your actual investments. Shares, ETFs and index funds are actual investments—a.k.a. what’s inside the investment accounts/vehicle. Without the actual investment, your investing accounts are just parked cars with nothing to take from Point A to Point B.
4. Yes, your investing account is taxed. Here’s why.
Depending on the type of investment account you have, you’ll pay certain taxes on it. The two terms Anna wants you to know are tax deferred and tax advantage.
- Tax deferred is usually applied to 401ks, traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs and any accounts that you aren’t paying income taxes on. Instead of paying taxes on them now, you will pay taxes on them when you use it in the future.
- Tax advantage means that taxes on your ROTH 401ks, ROTH IRAs and 529 accounts are paid on your income statement for the year, meaning you won’t need to pay taxes on your investments in the future because you’ve already been paying them. This means the harvest your money grows is all yours to keep when you use it.
Investments are also taxed based on how long you have held them. Here’s the difference between short-term and long-term gains:
- Short-term gains is any investment that you’ve had less than 12 months that you’ve made a profit on, like stocks or real estate, that you will pay a short-term gains tax on.
- Long-term gains is any investment that you’ve had more than 12 months that you’ve made a profit on. This type of gain gets more preferential tax treatment, making buying and holding almost always a better option.
5. Investment types: ETFs vs. CDs vs. mutual funds
There are three major types of investments: Mutual funds, ETFs and CDs. Here’s how to know the difference:
- Consist of a company that manages money from many investors
- Placed in stocks, bonds and short-term debt
ETFs (a.k.a. Exchange Traded Fund):
- Are a must-know for investing online
- Are very similar to mutual funds, though they mostly take form as stock and cryptocurrency
- Allow for assets of different categories within each fund, meaning you have the ability to invest across the board
CDs (or Certificate of Deposit):
- Investment instruments provided by your bank or an online financial institution
- Typically have a fixed rate
- Have varied returns based on how much money you leave inside and for how long (For example, if you deposit $5,000 into a CD for short-term goal, you’ll be guaranteed a compounded return at a fixed rate the longer you leave it in)
- Are FDIC insured
Pro tip: Nervous about investing? The bank protects your money through FDIC (a.k.a. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), which ensures that up to $250,000 of your assets per depositor per institution per ownership category are protected. Brokerage accounts—where you would keep your investments and securities—are covered up to $500,000.
Learn the difference between ETFs and mutual funds with Anna:
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6. Efficiently grow your money with a high-yield savings account.
If your goal is building up an emergency fund or saving for vacation, opening a high-yield savings account might be more your speed. While these accounts are not made for long-term investments, like your retirement fund, they’re a great short-term way to take advantage of money growing for you.
To find a high-yield savings account that works for you, Anna recommends using resources like NerdWallet to find the best option per geographic location and state.
Here a few options for high-yield savings accounts:
- SoFi Checking and Savings: 4.2% return, no minimum balance required
- CIT Bank Platinum Savings: 4.58% return, minimum of at least $5,000 required
- Citizens Online Savings Account: 4.50% return
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