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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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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

Identifying All of Your Debts

The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

1. Own Your Debt

Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

2. Make a Debt Tracker

It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

3. Get Your Debt Number

Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

Prioritizing Your Debts

All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

There are three main types of bad debt:

  • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
  • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
  • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

  • Student Loan Debt
  • Mortgage Loan
  • Business Loans

2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

“If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

2. Hide Your Credit Cards

If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

3. Automate Everything

Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

4. Plan Ahead

Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

5. Live Cheaply

The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

  • Live with roommates
  • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
  • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
  • Take public transit or bike to work

Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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1. Maintain a High Credit Score

Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

  • Never miss a payment
  • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
  • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
  • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
  • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

2. Earn More Money

There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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Talk to Your Boss

Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

Start a Side Hustle

This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

Build an Online Business

There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

3. Celebrate Your Wins

As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

4. Set New Financial Goals

Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

Conclusion

Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

More Tips on Getting out of Debt

Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

Reference

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