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7 Practical Tips For Young Investors

7 Practical Tips For Young Investors

Time is an investor’s closest friend; with good resources and appropriate skills, the more time you have, logically, the more you are going to earn. The inflation is growing at an increasing rate, and markets are becoming more unpredictable every day. These conditions are indeed getting worse with the passage of time. Therefore, investment is a decent option to build a nest egg for your future. For young investors this is not only a good way to accumulate their wealth in future, but young investors can also supplement their income; save for a house; and/or save for college.

There are several investment options open to a young investor, for instance, saving in a back account, buying common stock, real estate, stock mutual funds, and short-term Certificate of Deposits. Each kind of option will have its own benefits and demerits; it depends on the investor’s purpose.

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For example, if you are saving for your retirement and your age is 25 and you start with a $300 regular monthly deposit earning 9% annual rate for the next 40 years, till your retirement age of 65, you will accumulate approximately $1,420,000.

Therefore there are several key steps to be taken into account when investing. Here are 7 tips for young investors saving for the future:

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1. Begin your investing activities as early as possible

The earlier you start investing in your life the less financial burdens you will have in the future. For example, spouse and kids expenses, mortgages etc. will come at a later point in your life in your late 20’s or 30’s. Hence, you can easily make a regular substantial monthly payment in the initial years of your youth. Investing early will also have more interest compounding, meaning you can invest in high risk – high return stocks.

2. Learn and educate yourself with the entire process

It’s essential to be familiar with the market, and understand the business you’re investing in. The example given in the beginning, $1.42 million may look a huge sum but its future value maybe equivalent to that of $40000 of today. Therefore for a couple that wants to use that money after their retirement for another 20 years or so will not benefit much. Therefore, it is essential that you know the process; the costs involved in the stocks and equity options.

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3. Choosing between Stocks and Bonds

Young investors find it difficult to choose between bonds and stocks. Stocks are more risky but have a higher return than bonds in the long term. According to NBC News, in the 75 years from 1931 through 2005, large U.S. stocks earned annualized returns of 10.5 percent. That means, an investment of just $1 grew to $1,787. In the same 75 years, long-term U.S. government bonds earned returns of 5.5 percent. That meant an investment of $1 grew to $55.45. But bonds do have an advantage over stocks: the promise of payment. Where a stock may not have any form of payout in the future.

4. Learn to save rather than spend

To be an investor, you need money. To have money you need to save rather than spend. This advice is the most obvious one given out by top business professionals. Hence without ado, to be a successful investor you must do something that nobody in the world wants you to do: save some of your money instead of spending it.

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5. Diversify your portfolio

Diversifying you portfolio means you must at all-time maintain a portfolio that is composed of all kinds of assets: from high risk to medium risk to low risk. The medium and low risk asset compensates the high risk one and the aggregate returns are generally higher than a single asset portfolio. The wise decision to make is to re-invest your returns to earn greater returns, rather than spend those returns. For an investor, this is the best way to prevent a massive setback. Numerous studies have determined that asset allocation is the most important aspect affecting performance and volatility of your investment. In fact, 91% of the portfolio return is based on asset allocation, just 2% on market timing, 5% on stock selection and 2% on other factors.

6. Manage your savings and your debts

Some people make a bad habit of spending money based on future expected inflows. This is clearly a mistake, relying on a raise in income that has not yet been confirmed. Therefore, always choose to spend your money based on your actual and current financial state as this can prevent some serious credit crunch issues in the future and spare extra money for investments.

7. Get to know the taxes and inflation

Mostly Investors forget how much inflation and taxation can affect their returns. Inflation will impact your real returns; if inflation is high real returns will be low. The future inflation rate will also impact your future earnings. For example, if you have earned a return of 21% in a year on your portfolio and the inflation is 17% for the year, you have actually earned 4%. Therefore, inflation affects returns badly.  There are asset options that are either have a tax liability or are a tax- deferred account. Make sure you know your tax policy and that a tax-deferred account will build wealth faster than a tax-liability account.

Featured photo credit: www.ladailypost.com via ladailypost.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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