Bootstrap for First-Time Investing

Required Reading

Pick a good reason for caring about your wealth

  • Wanting to buy a house/start a family — or other desires to save aggressively for.
  • Financial independence/early retirement (FIRE) — to enable yourself to choose what to do/work on without money as a factor.
  • General future-proofing — even if you don’t know what you want now, to look back and know that you’ve been at least a little wise and pragmatic when in the future you DO want something clearly.
  • Wanting to get rich quickly off the stock market.
  • Because other people are making quick money off of stocks/crypto/whatever (valid reason to be interested, but not enough to actually start investing).

Set aside a rainy day fund

Set aside a play fund

The rest is your savings fund

How to convert cash to stonks

  1. Pick a broker — a trading platform. I use Interactive Brokers (IBKR) for my savings fund, and eToro for my play fund. eToro has many options that are convenient for quick trades (for example, contracts for difference and leverage options) but I’ve found them to be less robust as a platform (outages and downtime). If you use a broker local to your country, there can be some advantages when it comes to tax — I believe they can deduct tax for you automatically which sounds convenient but I haven’t tried.
  2. Deposit your cash via wire transfer.
  3. Buy stonks. Particularly for the savings fund, I’d recommend verifying that you’re buying the actual underlying asset and not just holding a promise (e.g. a contract for difference) from the broker.

Future income and savings contributions

Tracking your wealth

Beyond the bootstrap




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Nihanth Subramanya

Nihanth Subramanya

Your everyday geek, and then some. Feed:

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