I live and work in México. Monthly, I have the half of my salary untouchable. I'm thinking on what is a good idea to invest with the surpluses. Is there anything that is recommended for this cases?
Here's a decent rule of thumb for extra money. This list is in order, so start at #1, and work your way down.
- Setup emergency fund. This is money set aside for emergencies like house or car repairs, etc. In the USA it's about $1000 or so, but figure 1/2 - 1 month's income as a nice solid amount.
- Pay off all consumer debt: credit cards, car loans, merchant accounts, etc.
- Start saving money in a retirement account. I don't know if Mexico has any tax-sheltered retirement accounts like the USA's IRA or 401K, but if so, use that. Regardless of if you have a tax-sheltered account available to you or not, figure on saving 10% of your income for retirement. What you want to look into as investments are conservative and moderate-allocation mutual funds (which invest in a conservative/moderate mix of stocks and bonds), and target retirement date mutual funds (which start investing in a riskier mix of stocks and bonds, and then gets more conservative as you get closer to the target date.
- Turn your emergency fund into an independence fund. This is where you expand the emergency fund to 6-12 months worth of income. Very nice to have if you get laid off, as I know from personal experience. It takes the pressure of having to find another job right away, and so you can look for something really good. Or use it to float your expenses while you start a business.
- At this point, you can either invest or pay off a mortgage, or both. Either one will build your wealth.
- Read a lot and educate yourself financially.
- Start investing in "secure" investments such as short-term bonds.
- Once you have enough capital and experience, start investing in more "risky" investments such as stocks.
Whatever you do, don't ignore the first step. Investing without educating yourself first is like jumping to a deep pool without knowing how to swim.