11 Most Popular Investment Strategies for New Investors

Investing is one major key to achieving your financial goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, so it’s important to choose the right one for yourself. 

The best investment plan fits your goals, lifestyle, how much time you’re willing to invest, and your risk tolerance. 

Whether you’re starting fresh or already have some experience investing, following these straightforward steps can significantly boost your investment success. 


New to IWT?

  • Watch founder Ramit Sethi on Netflix
  • Get the NYT-Bestselling book
  • Check out the hit podcast

And join over 800,000 readers getting our Rich Life Insiders newsletter:

Top 11 Investment Strategies for Beginners

For beginners, choosing the right investment strategy is everything for financial growth. Here, we explore 11 strategies in hopes to guide your investment decisions.


Table of Contents

1. Retirement Account

Investing in a retirement account like an IRA or 401(k) is a savvy move for anyone looking to secure their financial future, especially if you’re just starting out. These accounts aren’t just about saving for the golden years; they’re packed with tax perks and a variety of investment choices to boost your returns. While it’s true that 401(k)s might limit your options a bit, IRAs swing the door wide open, offering a broader investment playground. So, picking the right account can be a game-changer in how you grow your nest egg.

2. Buy and Hold

The buy and hold strategy centers on long-term investment, buying assets to keep indefinitely, betting they’ll appreciate over time. It steers clear of active trading, which can erode returns. This method demands patience and resilience, especially during market downturns, challenging investors to hold steady rather than sell in panic.

3. Buy Index Funds

Opting for index funds, especially those tied to big names like the S&P 500 or Nasdaq Composite, is a straightforward yet effective investment move. It’s like putting your money on the entire team rather than betting on a single player, aiming for solid long-term growth and enjoying the safety net of diversification. Sure, you’ll ride the market’s waves, and yes, you might not catch the astronomical rise of a breakout stock. But the steadiness and potential for reliable returns make index funds a smart play for those looking to grow their investment without the daily drama of stock picking.

4. Index and a Few

“Index and a Few” strikes a balance between the broad, steady approach of index fund investing and the more adventurous path of picking individual stocks. It’s perfect for those dipping their toes into investing, combining the security of indexes like the S&P 500 with the excitement of choosing a few stocks that catch your eye. This method offers the best of both worlds: the diversification and lower risk of index funds, alongside the potential thrill and higher rewards of individual stock investments. It’s an approach that lets new investors stay grounded while experimenting with personal choices in the stock market.

5. Active Investing

Active investing is a hands-on approach that involves frequent trading to leverage market movements. It requires a keen eye for trends and a readiness to act on events like mergers or bankruptcies. Unlike the passive buy-and-hold strategy, active investing demands constant engagement and analysis to identify and exploit short-term profit opportunities. This method suits investors who are committed to monitoring the markets closely and making timely decisions to maximize returns.

6. Dollar-Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging simplifies investing by regularly allocating a fixed amount to stocks or funds, regardless of market conditions. This strategy averages out the investment cost over time, lessening the impact of market volatility. It promotes discipline, as it avoids the pitfalls of market timing, and can lead to a more favorable average purchase price by spreading out investments. Suitable for investors seeking a straightforward approach to building their portfolio, it offers a methodical path to potentially reduce risk and enhance returns.

7. Income Investing

Income investing focuses on generating steady cash flow through investments like dividend-paying stocks and bonds. It’s about picking assets that not only fit well within your portfolio but also offer regular payouts. When scouting for these income-generating investments, savvy investors weigh the yield, scrutinize past performance, and evaluate prospects for growth and earnings stability. This strategy is tailored for those who prefer seeing tangible returns on their investments periodically, making it an appealing approach for building a reliable stream of income. It’s a smart play for investors looking to balance their portfolios with assets that work to provide consistent financial benefits.

8. Growth Investing

Growth investing targets stocks expected to outperform, focusing on companies with the potential for major value increases. Investors prioritize long-term growth over immediate dividends, seeking out businesses destined for future success. This approach demands patience and a keen eye for identifying firms with promising growth trajectories, making it suitable for those willing to invest in the future potential of their portfolio.

9. Value Investing

Value investing, a strategy made famous by Warren Buffett, is about snagging undervalued stocks that have the muscle to grow in the long run. It’s like finding hidden gems in the market—companies priced lower than their true worth but poised for substantial growth. This method isn’t about quick wins; it’s a game of patience and sharp market analysis, waiting for these under-the-radar picks to mature and rise in value. For those willing to dive deep and keep a keen eye on market fluctuations, value investing offers a path to potentially high returns by betting on stocks ready to make a comeback.

The world wants you to be vanilla...

…but you don’t have to take the same path as everyone else. How would it look if you designed a Rich Life on your own terms? Take our quiz and find out:

10. Momentum Investing

Momentum investing involves buying assets that have performed well over the past three to twelve months and selling those that haven’t. This strategy seeks to capitalize on trends, aiming for short-term gains based on continuing performance. However, it’s risky due to reliance on swift market changes. Effective risk management is crucial when employing momentum strategies, as quick gains can also mean rapid losses. It suits investors who are attentive and can act quickly to market shifts.

11. Sustainable Investing

Sustainable investing (or socially responsible) is about choosing investments that make a positive social impact, focusing on companies that support social justice and environmental sustainability while avoiding those tied to harmful industries. It allows investors to align their portfolios with their values, offering a way to contribute to a better world without compromising on financial returns. This strategy is for those who believe in the power of their investments to drive change.


How to Choose the Right Investment Strategy?

Selecting the right investment strategy depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal finances. The following section will help you choose a strategy that fits your needs.

Set Your Financial Goals

Start by clarifying your financial goals before you go into investing. Ask yourself questions like: What am I investing for? Is it for retirement, buying a home, children’s education, or wealth creation?

Assess Your Risk Tolerance

You need to understand how much risk you’re able to take at this point in your life that you are in. High-risk investments can bring greater returns but can cause severe losses. On the other hand, you can lose less but gain less with low-risk investments. The rule of thumb is to find the balance between the two.

Time Horizon

Your time horizon dictates how long you plan to hold an investment before using the funds, impacting your investment choices. Long-term investments, like saving for retirement, can tolerate more risk for higher returns, whereas short-term goals, such as buying a house, require a more conservative approach to safeguard your capital.

Understand Diversification

Diversification is a smart idea for new investors, spreading your investments across various assets to reduce risk and enhance success chances. It’s like not putting all your eggs in one basket; if one investment dips, others can offset the loss.

Final Thoughts on Investment Strategies

And there you have it— 11 popular investment strategies that you can choose from! Whether you’re all about the steady pace of buy-and-hold, thrive on the excitement of active investing, or prefer a mix, the best strategy is the one that aligns most with your personal goals.

If you liked this guide, you’ll LOVE my Insider’s Newsletter​

Join over 800,000 readers getting content that’s not available on the blog, free: