8 Investing Myths You Must Stop Believing Right Now

For far too long, Black women have been intimidated about the concept of investing and it’s time to shake that fear. We get it. For generations, we’ve faced countless barriers as it relates to racial equality, gender equality, and economic equity that have prevented us from tapping into investing the way other groups have done. These myths paint a picture of investing being time-consuming, complicated, and scary, which makes women shy away from even trying. But BWI exists to shake up the norm, and we’re on a mission to help 1 million Black women become stronger investors. And that begins with changing your mindset about investing. Black women can invest. Black women do invest. Let’s debunk the myths keeping you from starting so you can, too.

Myth #1: “I’m Too Late to Start Investing”

Again, sis: the time is now. It’s never too late to begin your investment journey. The earlier you start, the more time your money has to compound. For example, if you’re nearing retirement, you can get into real estate investing by renting out a room in your home. Or, you can purchase real estate abroad, which is a great way to diversify your assets and generate cash flow.

Myth #2: “I Can’t Invest Because I Have Debt”

We understand your concern here, but it’s possible to invest while managing debt responsibly. Because investing and paying off debt are both essential financial goals, it will require examining your budget and creating a plan to determine how you can balance both priorities and potentially eliminate your debt more quickly because of it. Even investing a little, like $20 a month, while paying off debt can feel rewarding, and motivate you to keep investing.

Myth #3: “Investing is Only for the Wealthy”

Immediately no. Investing is for everyone, regardless of income. And with diverse investment options and platforms, you can start small and grow your portfolio over time. Fractional shares allow you to invest in certain stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single share with as little as $1.

Myth #4: “Stock Market is Too Complex”

Starting out, the stock market may seem daunting and complex. Be willing to pace yourself and build your knowledge gradually. It takes 1-5 years for the average person to understand the stock market and the concept of investing. By being open and remaining committed to the process, you will reap the benefits of investing over time.

Myth #5: “I Need to Be an Expert to Start Investing”

You don’t need to be an expert at investing in order to invest for yourself. Anyone can open up an IRA and start investing, or invest through their employer-sponsored account (and yes—even that makes you an investor). All you need is the knowledge to understand what you’re picking. Also, anyone can invest in real estate—you don’t need to be an agent to rent a room. Lastly, anyone can invest in bonds and other assets. There’s a common misconception that you need a financial advisor, and while it’s always recommended to see a financial professional, it’s not 100% needed in order to get started. You don’t need a finance degree to invest. Basic financial literacy, coupled with a willingness to learn, is all you need.

Myth #6: “Investing is a Man’s Game”

Girl, let’s bust this myth right now because, no. We’re not playing small in 2024 and certainly not during Women’s History Month. Women make excellent investors—studies show that women get better investing returns than men by nearly 1%. Investing takes patience, discipline, and the ability to anticipate long-term outcomes—all qualities that women often possess.

Myth #7: “It’s Too Risky for Me”

Listen, the real tea is that all investments carry some risk, but there are ways to manage and mitigate it. You can make informed decisions by doing your research to better understand risk tolerance, which is the amount of loss you’re prepared to handle when investing, and diversification, which helps manage risk and minimize your losses during economic uncertainty by spreading your investments across different asset classes.

Myth #8: “I Should Wait for the Perfect Time to Invest”

Waiting for the right time to invest is like waiting for the perfect time to wear that new dress. The time is now. It’s impossible to time the market because “many different investors are using their own strategies and trading on their own time” (Investopedia). So instead of waiting for the ideal moment, start investing consistently. Time in the market often matters more than trying to time market fluctuations, as long-term investors have historically earned an almost 10% average annual return. Remember, the only limits that exist are the ones we place on ourselves. Building wealth through investing is an exciting journey so don’t let old mindsets hold you back. View our programs to begin your investment journey today Happy investing, queens!

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