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How To Live a Rich Life Without Lots of Money

How To Live a Rich Life Without Lots of Money

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” ― Dorothy Parker

Do you regret not earning truckloads of money that could buy you the luxury life you’ve always wanted? I’ve seen people become depressed because of their poor finances. Many teenagers miss out early in life just because their parents cannot afford the latest gadgets their rich friends can afford.

However, money is not everything. Money might buy you things that make you feel happy, but happiness from within is what money can’t afford.

I have a lot of friends who have very little money to spare, yet live a rich life. Their lifestyle, their personal satisfaction, and their acceptance of themselves are what makes them seem rich. Non-monetary things can also make you happy – and believe me, they will be your biggest asset in the long run.

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Here are a few ways you can live a rich life without lots of money.

1. Learn to accept yourself

It can be hard for you to understand that money should be not a top priority. You can become rich in an instant and then lose it all the next day. You need to replace your personal desires with acceptance and learn to stay happy with what you have right now.

Seek inner peace and learn to control the uncontrollable in life. If you find yourself obsessing over things you want but don’t have, take a paper and write down that it’s okay to not have those things.

2. Become creative

You need to become creative to manage your personal finances and remain happy even if you don’t have much. If you are rich, you buy. If you are not rich, you create. Yes, not having much money can help you be creative.

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Learn to find happiness in small things. Draw a picture, take a photo, and invent something that keeps you at peace. Happiness is within you.

3. Stay authentic

You need to stay true to yourself in order to live a rich life. When you find inner peace and do things you love, you are reflecting your inner-self. There is no greater wealth than understanding what you are meant to do in life.

Regardless of your financial situation, try to believe in yourself so that you can stay happy, enjoy the small things in life, and keep yourself motivated.

4. Do what you love

Making tons of money is what most people might call being rich. However, if the person is not happy with their job, he probably considers himself the poorest person on earth.

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Floyd Mayweather’s net worth would not have been $700 million today had he not been a boxer. Similarly, Bill Gates would not have been the richest man on earth if there was no Microsoft. People who pursue what they love have always prospered more than people who work out of compulsion. The more you start doing what you love, the more money will continue to flow into your life. Even if it does not, you still get to stay happy as you grow rich within yourself.

5. Stay gentle

Gentleness was considered one of the greatest virtues by a philosopher named Confucius. When you are humble, you develop an ability to sense your environment and work accordingly.

For example, look at people like Buddha and Gandhi and compare how lived their lives. They were gentle, realized the value of their lives, and always stayed strong in their thoughts. Buddha left materialistic prosperity to live the life of monk and find the richness within himself. Gandhi belonged to a poor family, and despite leading one of the largest revolutions in the world, always stayed gentle.

Try to be soft and smile to make others smile. If you succeed in making other people happy, then you are truly rich.

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6. Become generous

Giving money is not the only act of kindness. In fact, I would not call it being generous at all. Generosity is what comes from within. When you give someone something from your heart you feel happy, and that feeling is what makes you feel rich. You also need to realize that sharing what you have, without even thinking of what amount you have, is what an act of kindness means.

Also, provide undivided attention to people who need help from you. Nothing is more generous than giving all you have and making others feel good.

7. Build relationships

The real wealth that you build and will be remembered through your relationships. People need to value their relationships more than anything else. Seek to make emotional connections with your family, your friends, your partner, and people that you meet regularly.

“Matters of the heart are important to me. All this materialism and all the money and wealth are things that you don’t take to the grave. One day you have it. The next day you don’t.” — Shari Arison

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flic.kr

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Grishma Giri

Grishma Giri is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Published on November 3, 2020

How to Start Investing Without Taking Major Risks

How to Start Investing Without Taking Major Risks

No one loves risk. This is the uncontested truth about us human beings. We love gaining but never losing. This is not abnormal in any way because human beings exist to increase. Any form of loss is strongly resisted by our brains. This article will teach you how to start investing as a risk-averse individual and get optimal results.

All forms of investing are risky. The only thing we can do is minimize the risk, not eliminate it. This is why every investor needs to tolerate some level of risk. People who do not have any risk tolerance end up not investing at all.

It is important to note that not investing is very risky. This is the greatest risk you can take on your financial future. Being a financial consultant and advisor for years, I have realized that successful people avoid losing possible returns while average people avoid losing investment capital.

This means that successful people work hard to gain what they do not have while average people work hard not to lose what they have. As they say in sports, the best form of defense is offense. As successful people go for what they want, they find it easy to protect their investment.

How to Start Investing Without Taking Much Risk

As I have pointed out, you cannot eliminate the risk, you can only mitigate it. These 5 tips will help you secure the returns while taking minimal risks. It is possible.

1. Get Investment Intelligence

Investment intelligence refers to a set of information that helps you make prudent investment decisions. This is what the greatest investors like Warren Buffet and George Soros have. They can judge different opportunities from an information point of view. With that, they avoid making mistakes that could potentially cost them billions.

As Robert Kiyosaki points out in his book, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, investors can be placed in 5 levels:

  • The “zero financial intelligence” level
  • The “savers are losers” level
  • The “I am too busy” level
  • The “I am a professional” level
  • The capitalist level

The first 3 levels, which consist of 90% of all investors, do not have sufficient information to make prudent investment decisions. Many would rather not invest, others will rather put their cash in a bank account, and the rest will choose to delegate the responsibility to someone else and entrust them to multiply their money.

The last two levels of investors have some investment knowledge. They end up becoming the most successful people in the world. As I usually say, making money is not the problem, multiplying it is.

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Therefore, knowing how to start investing without much risk starts with self-education. Read books and blog posts to learn how to reduce the risk involved while still getting acceptable returns. The more you learn, the more you earn. Getting more knowledge will help you look at the numbers and the facts as presented by the numbers.

2. Start Small

It is almost guaranteed that as a new investor, your first investment capital will be lost. This is because you do not have the right information and skills to make a return.

Even though you may have some basics, it takes practical experience and skills to become a successful investor. Therefore, it is prudent to start small. As you make returns and learn, you can increase your investment capital over time.

Do not borrow millions to make an initial investment. This is a grave error many people make. When the investment goes down, they are left heavily in bad debt. First, invest your savings and test your principles of investment. After you have gotten returns, you can now consider risking more and more capital.

3. Diversify

Diversification is usually the first answer given by all financial advisors when asked how to start investing by risk-averse people. This answer is correct. Diversification of your investment portfolio means investing in different asset classes to spread the risk.

There are 2 types of diversification:

  • Inter-asset diversification: This is where you invest in assets from different industries. For example, you can invest in stocks and real estate. These are different asset classes.
  • Intra- asset diversification: This is where you invest in the same asset class. For example, investing in stocks of different companies falls in this category.

Inter-asset diversification is more effective in mitigating risk because it cautions your finances from systemic risks that affect different individual industries. For example, some situations affect the real estate market only. Therefore, if all your assets are in this market, you will be highly affected. If you have diversified to stocks, businesses, precious metals, bonds, etc. you will not suffer major losses.

Diversification aims to have some assets bringing returns even if others make losses. This is a key secret when it comes to how to start investing while minimizing risk.

4. Do Your Due Diligence

Due diligence is different from getting investment intelligence. Getting investment intelligence entails understanding the general principles of investment. Doing your due diligence, on the other hand, entails understanding the facts behind a certain investment opportunity.

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When someone tells you of an investment opportunity somewhere, go after the facts. The facts will tell you whether it is a good opportunity or not. Never focus on people’s opinions when judging different investment options. The best thing is to do your research and justify the claims by the facts. Facts will never mislead.

The best approach is to study the past and project the future. This is called forecasting. Similarly, you can follow what is called scenario planning. This is where you try to understand the future and make appropriate decisions today.

For example, you might foresee that electric cars are going to take over in the future. This way, you will decide to invest long term in car companies that are focused on that area. This is due diligence.

5. Avoid Making Emotional Investment Decisions

Emotional decisions lack logic and rationale. They are not supported by the facts. Emotional decisions are therefore risky. When it comes to making investment decisions, always use logic. This is using your brain rather than your heart.

For example, a friend you love and respect may tell you of an investment idea and ask you to invest. The natural tendency is to comply with their demand. When you bring your emotions here, it will be impossible to resist even though the deal does not favor your financial future.

However, it is better to do what is emotionally incorrect to safeguard your financial interests. Demystify the options and make an informed logical decision.

Low-Risk Financial Instruments

Knowing how to start investing without taking much risk requires looking at different low-risk investment options.

Here are some financial instruments that a risk-averse individual may consider investing in.

1. Treasury Securities

Government financial instruments are less risky. This is because the government can print money to repay its investors. Therefore, the possibility of default is considerably low.

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It is, however, important to understand that these securities yield below-average returns. If you are in your prime age, only invest in them as a diversification tool and not as the main income-generating instruments. Therefore, consider your financial position and make an informed decision.

2. Dividend-Paying Stocks

Dividend-paying stocks are less risky compared to those that do not. Even if the stocks decrease in value, the dividends you get over the years will caution you against actual financial loss.

Therefore, analyze the company in whose stocks you want to invest in carefully. If they do not have a dividend policy that suits your financial needs, move on. Fortunately, many companies pay dividends to their shareholders year in year out. You just need to do your due diligence.

3. Preferred Stocks

Preferred stocks are given priority over ordinary stocks. They are paid after bondholders are sorted. Therefore, in case the company is pushed out of business, preferred stockholders will be paid before ordinary shareholders upon liquidation of the company’s assets.

4. Fixed Annuities

A fixed annuity is an insurance contract that pays the holder a guaranteed interest rate on their contribution. The opposite is called variable annuities.

The great thing about fixed annuities is that they are simple and predictable. There’s no need for you to learn about the stock market changes since you know what to expect based on your agreement.[1] Fixed annuities are guaranteed. They are paid as long as the company is in a position to do so.

5. Money Market Accounts

These are interest-bearing accounts provided by financial institutions. They pay a higher interest rate than the normal savings accounts. These accounts have insurance protection and are therefore less risky.

6. Corporate Bonds

This is a financial debt security that is issued by a firm and sold to investors. Bondholders receive a fixed or variable interest on their investment and receive their investment capital upon maturity. These are low-risk instruments especially if the issuer is an established firm in the market.

7. Certificates of Deposits (CDs)

This is a type of product offered by many deposit-taking institutions. They offer premium interest rates on deposits as long as the customer agrees to leave the money untouched for a certain period.

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8. Value Funds

Value funds follow the value investing strategy used by famous investors like Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham. It involves identifying shares that are undervalued and putting money in them.

Value funds are low risk because they are sold at a discount. They later bring returns when the market undergoes an auto-correction. However, it takes skilled managers to identify undervalued stocks.

Word of Caution

So far, we have looked at how to start investing without taking major risks and the instruments to invest in. It is also important to give a word of caution on the same.

1. Let the ROI Outdo the Inflation Rate

Inflation is a persistent increase in the prices of commodities. It serves as a measure of the changes in the prices of commodities and services over a period of time. Inflation impacts the cost of living and eats into the purchasing power of money.[2] If your return on investment (ROI) is less than the inflation rate, you have lost economic value.

2. Consider Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost is the value of the foregone alternative. If you have different investment options, calculate the ROI, and invest in the option with the least opportunity cost.

3. Consider Your Financial Position

Where you are in terms of finance should determine the kind of investment option you choose. People who are just starting should seek both returns and security. If your investment is wiped out, you will have little left to lean on.

People who are established financially can afford to take major risks. After all, when they lose the investment capital, they have enough to fall back on.

4. Consider Your Financial Goals

People have different financial goals. Some want to be very wealthy, while others just want to live a comfortable life. Choose your investment options carefully based on your goals. People who want to be super successful should seek to maximize ROI.

Final Thoughts

As we have seen, it is impossible to eliminate risks. The best you can do is to mitigate them. Therefore, tolerate a certain amount of risk to guarantee better returns. By following the tips in this article, you will learn how to start investing while significantly reducing the risks involves as you focus on the reward.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Liverani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Annuity.org: Fixed Annuity
[2] Financial Express: What is Inflation?

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