“Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.” — Roy T. Bennett
A 2019 study found that 70 percent of American investors have experienced some form of regret when it came to their investing strategy . From that same study, 35 percent of investors also stated that they wished they had invested more.
So that you don't have any regrets later on like these investors, you'll set up all the best investing accounts you'll need on this page.
Think of investment accounts like checking or savings accounts. They are not investments that you own, but instead a type of account that you can put investments in. And like checking and savings accounts, there are choices of where to open your investment accounts. To save you some future heartache, this guide walks you through the best ones the U.S. has to offer.
The last sentence should have clued you in. If you're not an American resident or under 18, you might not be able to follow along with all the steps going forward.
Step 12. Set up M1 Finance
If you already have a preferred brokerage (TD Ameritrade, Schwab, Fidelity, etc), you can continue to use it with the drawback that you won't be able to completely automate your investments.
As a reminder, this guide is not affiliated with M1 Finance and doesn't make any money from any recommended product. We recommend the best products we find so that our readers get the most out of them, not to make money. We get that from our very wise and intelligent patron's.
After setting up your investment strategy on the next page, M1 Finance automatically balances your investment accounts for you as you provide it more and more money.
As for the options you pick while you set up M1 Finance, don't worry too much about it. The stocks you choose for your pie, your age, and everything else doesn't affect the steps you will take to automatically become a millionaire.
If you have questions on how to set up your M1 Finance account, check out the
Step 13: Set up your IRA
IRA's allow you to start investing while minimizing your tax-related losses. Everyone should have one because they are one of the best places to store your retirement money.
Before you open an IRA, it's important to understand which type of IRA account to open up. There a several types of IRA accounts, but we'll focus on the two most common ones for now:
In general, you want to create a Roth IRA if your yearly income—and therefore tax bracket—is currently low. If you currently make a lot of money, make a Traditional IRA since you'll probably be taxed less in retirement.
Since John is is young and his current yearly income is abysmal (ergo he isn't in a high tax bracket), so he chose to open a Roth IRA on M1 Finance.
He (and you) can directly open an IRA account on M1 Finance if you're currently logged in by clicking here.
If you want to open your IRA account manually, go the home page of your M1 Finance account and then hover over the tab that looks like this:
Your tab on the far right corner will not say "The Guide's Investing St...", but click it anyways to see these options:
As you can see, John has already opened his "Roth IRA" from the previous step and now needs to add another account. He—and you—can open another investment account by clicking the "Add account" option to then see this:
Click the account option you want to set up and then keep clicking "Continue" until you get to this page:
Click "Confirm" and you're all set!
Step 14: If you can, set up your 401(k)
Just like IRA investment accounts, there are multiple options for 401(k) accounts. But, we'll only focus on the two most common ones for now:
This looks similar to the IRA options above, right? That's because the differences between Roth and Traditional are the same across retirement investment accounts.
Like with an IRA account, you want to create a Roth 401(k) if your income—and therefore tax bracket—is currently low. If on the other hand you currently make a lot of money, open a Traditional 401(k) since you'll probably be taxed less in retirement.
John, in order to keep things simple, chose to open a Roth 401(k) because he is not in a high tax bracket and will save more money using a Roth 401(k) rather than a Traditional 401(k).
John (and you) can directly open a 401(k) account on M1 Finance by clicking here if you're currently logged into M1 Finance. If you'd like to do open your 401(k) account manually, you can follow the steps/pictures on step 13 again.
Optional Step: Open more investment accounts
Besides your IRA and 401(k) accounts, you can also open many more investment accounts. Whether or not you open them up as well will depend on your needs, but make sure that you open up an IRA—and 401(k) if you can—before deciding to open these.
Remember, you can always open additional investment accounts and not invest in them! All the different accounts M1 Finance offers don't cost money to maintain. To learn about your options, head over to the
Step 15: How much to add to your accounts
John first checks his average monthly income from the
He has already started automatically paying for his education loan ($250/month), his minimum mortgage loan (example amount), and his emergency fund ($63/month) which leaves him with $1231 a month to work with:
The math John did was left per month after automatic payments . We were originally going to embed a calculator here to do the calculations for you, but uh, no?
John's average monthly spending—also found on the
The math John did to get this number was . The $1231 is how much money he had leftover after automatically paying for his debts and emergency fund, while his $801 is his average monthly spending. By doing the same math, you can also find out how much you can invest per month!
Now for the fun part: Learning how to make money while you sleep. Or in other words, let's get into how to make your money compound for you!