I’m in constant discussions about personal finances with a work colleague of mine who swears she can’t and won’t invest in shares, but still has about 15 years to go before retirement.

In essence, buying shares in a listed company means that you now have an army of directors, senior management personnel and regular staff going about their work and pleasing their customers with exemplary levels of loyalty-inducing service (hopefully) … every day.

With a focus by staff on their customers, a focus by management on their staff, and a focus by directors on their shareholders, there should be no reason why an investment in a good business doesn’t provide you with more-than-acceptable levels of returns.

It’s a lovely concept to know that, even with smaller amounts of money, by buying shares, you’re effectively employing staff to work for you for as long as you own shares in the company.

So, what are the excuses for not investing?

I have no spare money

As Noel Whittaker, international bestselling author, finance and investment expert, has constantly argued, you need to pay yourself first. Setting up a direct debit and having money paid to a separate savings account before you even see it, is a first step.

This should ensure you will have spare money (for investment).

I have no need to invest as I already own an investment property

Buying shares means you’re diversifying away from the risk of having all of your investment eggs in one basket (in this case, residential property). If you can slowly and methodically buy shares on a regular basis, you’ll be slowly building a diversified portfolio over time.

Shares are risky (volatile)

True, but isn’t the volatility of share prices merely the function of the number of times you look at the price of your shares?

Here’s a tip, buy shares and look at the share price only when considering a new purchase, perhaps 1-2 times a year.

If you have a smart phone, delete your stock-market app and stop looking at share prices.

An ideal starter position for someone new to investing would include shares in WAM Capital Limited (ASX: WAM) for its sustained good performance. Then Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) for its international diversification, stable earnings history and demographic tailwinds, while Seek Limited (ASX: SEK) offers a capital-light business model and owner-led shareholder-aligned management.

Foolish takeaway

In buying shares, you’re buying fractional ownership of real businesses, and not merely a ticker on a computer screen.

To ensure better financial outcomes than otherwise, buy the above shares today and hold them tenaciously for years ignoring the inevitable ups and downs in the sharemarket.

I’m confident you won’t regret your decision 15 years from now.

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Motley Fool contributor Edward Vesely owns shares of Ramsay Health Care Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.