The Good Grad 2.0 feature

Invest like a superhero – or villain *Image source: Shutterstock, Inc Image Credit: © Lasse Behnke - lassedesignen.deInvest like a superhero – or villain *Image source: Shutterstock, Inc Image Credit: © Lasse Behnke -

It is never too early to start investing towards the future - many a successful investor as a matter of fact, regret wasting their money on trivial things rather than investing earlier.

The great news nowadays is that you don’t even have to be a stock market whizz or portfolio management guru to do so successfully.

Investing today does not have to be limited to into large portfolios like in property, major shares or a mutual fund – although if you are Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor, or just a real-life Elon Musk you’d tend to dabble in all and constantly look for new ways to invest.

For the average non-superhero or ‘non-trust fund baby’ looking to start out a career, or about to use some hard-earned savings to do a gap year before delving into the working world, it might pay off a little to make some of that money work for you. has a few tips on how.

There are ways to get ahead and pave the way for future success and financial security even with high risk instruments like shares and the likes. Now before we get into these it is important to take into consideration that like any other bit of advice, it is imperative to seek professional guidance before starting.  There is no such thing as a free lunch - if that was the case we would all be living our dreams of flying around with high-end gadgets that propel at breakneck speeds and fighting justice and…ok, we digress. You must pay attention minimum costs of setting up an account but also the taxes (capital gains) that you would incur – especially when you start making some serious cash.

We also need to bash some buzz words and clear up some jargon. Such jargon has made investment bankers and stock brokers sound a lot smarter than they really are – this is often portrayed in Hollywood feature films such as Boiler Room, Wall Street etc. It is imperative nevertheless that you understand how the market works before you start. For more on the basic terms associated with the stock markets have a look online financial dictionary Investopedia. They have a great way of explaining terms associated with share trading in layman’s terms and even offer a mock trading portfolio which is tonnes of fun.

Basically every economy or country has a domestic stock market where company shares/stocks, forex (for currencies), and financial instruments are traded daily. In the US, there are several but the main ones are the New York stock Exchange (NYSE), in South Africa the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Japan has the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the UK houses the London Stock Exchange, in Germany the equivalent is Deutsche Börse and for Europe the most notable exchange is the Euronext.

The Deutsche Börse is home to some of the most stable stocks – which reflects the Germany economy and monitors the DAX 30 (index of the top 30 companies in the country).

For the new investor, we advise a mix of low-cap shares and some penny stocks. Penny stocks very cheap though high volumes required but you can either hit or miss with them. These are usually from new start-up tech companies, pharmaceuticals or even small mining and exploration companies that you can buy shares in for a few cents. Bitcoin started out as a penny stock and the rest is beyond every investors dream!

A great example for beginners comes via South Africa's JSE which has been running for a number of years the JSE Investment Challenge for both schools and universities. It has become a stepping stone for the next generation of investors from the country.

When it comes to where to do your trading we could go into details of all the investment platforms and means but as we now live in the age of apps – we have decided to focus on the most easily accessible and fun apps that you can use to get started right away and free to use. They come with protective gimmicks like negative balance protection, stop loss, trailing limit and instant notifications – all to protect you from losing everything.

Here are some free (FCA regulated) apps to consider:

Trading 212 – we like this one as it is zero percent commission and starts you on an unlimited trial with a virtual 10 000 EUR(equivalent).

Plus500 –popular in Europe with no deposit and a starting bonus and access to crypto-currencies.

Robinhood – one of the most widespread international trading platforms but you need a 10 dollar-flat deposit and monthly fees. – for more exposure to penny stocks.

There are of course the online trading platforms offered by banks and trading houses – but those tend to incur more brokerage fees and require more liquidity to run.

For more on trading and careers in the bustling world of equities have a look at: