Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Make Money!

According to my poll, money is a top motivator for many of you. So what if someone told you that “money is just an idea?” I caught up with Omari Worthy of Maven Investment Group and he enlightened me on their philosophy and shared a little bit about my biggest money curiosity: investing.

SJB: What influenced the start of the Maven Investment Group?

OW: After graduation from Georgia Tech, I got a job in the corporate world and although the job supported me financially, I wanted more out of life than what my job offered. It was also painfully evident to me that many of my peers had a serious lack of financial literacy. So together with two business partners that I met in college, we pooled our knowledge of the stock market, venture capitalism and real estate and formed our investment firm. One of our biggest business models is that by helping others become more financially literate and financially independent, we become more financially independent ourselves.

SJB: Okay so what do you mean by “Money is just an idea?” I’ve always been told it makes the world go ‘round.

OW: We've all heard the saying, "It takes money to make money.", and through my own research, I've found that many people have ideas and plans to make money, but many of them don't follow through with their ideas because they believe this adage to be true. Then, I have also polled people and asked them what would they do if they had $100,000 and generally the first
response I get is, "Well, first I need an idea." From everything I've seen, it's our ideas that generate money, it's not the money that generate the ideas.

SJB: How can I get started investing if I don’t even know my way past online banking?

OW: A quick and easy way to start investing is to use a long-term investing approach and dollar cost average in the market. What you will do is to put $50 dollars a month into the market until you retire. If you can afford to put more, that is good, but the goal is to be able to do this every month. To start, you will have to open a brokerage account and I suggest Sharebuilder (, now owned by ING Direct. It is an online brokerage that allows you buy pieces of shares for stocks that may exceed your monthly amount. There is also no account minimum, no inactivity fees and it's services are targeted for the everday investor. This is how I got my start in investing and it takes no more than 30 minutes to set up. Right now you can buy stocks for $4 with their automatic investing services. Once you set it up, it will deduct your amount each month from your bank account and invest it in the stock market for you. It's that simple!

SJB: What stocks should I buy?

OW: All of them! Standard and Poor's, a market research firm, created a basket of 500 stocks that serve as a benchmark for the stock market's performance. Named the S&P 500, this is what mutual fund managers use to gauge whether they are performing better than the overall market. Once you set up your account, you want to invest your $50 dollars each month into the SPY, which is the stock symbol for the S&P 500. The average return for the S&P since 1926 has been a little over 10%! $50 dollars a month would turn $15,000 dollars invested over the next 25 years into a little over $64,000! Not bad for 30 minutes of work! As you get older and start making more money, you can increase the amount you put in. Please note that about 70-80% of mutual fund managers fail to beat the market each year. So by buying the S&P 500 index you will be inline with the market and hence beating most people who manage money for a living!

Given that it's this easy and way less expensive than you thought it would be to get into this lucrative world of investing, I encourage you to at least check it out. After you visit, go see what else you can learn from our money man Omari and his partners at This is just a tiny piece of the knowledge the team is more than willing to share with individuals looking to make the most of their worth, so bookmark their site and prepare to be enlightened! Let's turn this 'idea' into something real in your pockets. Have a profitable Monday!

Follow Omari on Twitter: @TheMoneyMaven

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