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9 Harmful Money Beliefs You Should Avoid To Get Richer

9 Harmful Money Beliefs You Should Avoid To Get Richer

Whether we know it or not, sometimes we hold onto beliefs that can actually inhibit our ability to make money. I’ve been guilty of some of the thought patterns explored below, and once I learned to face and negate them, greater income sources opened up to me.

See if you, too, harbor any of these bad money beliefs.

1. “Only certain people get rich.”

Maybe you grew up in a family that experienced a serious lack of funds and deep down believe it’ll always be that way, as if you somehow inherited “poorness” like a disease. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s faulty to think that only people such as Oprah or Bill Gates were intended to be blessed with large sums of money. Even Ms. Winfrey was poor once, and if richness can happen to her, it can happen to just about anyone. Why not create a $1 million business this weekend?

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2. “There are no jobs out there.”

Buying into doom and gloom job reports give some people an excuse to give up their search for employment. As author James Altucher notes, however, millionaires learn to look for hidden opportunities and make their own entrepreneurial moves. Get inspired by this guy who left Google to sell brain pills.

3. “Giving income away will make me lose cash.”

It seems logical that if you have $500 and give away $100 to help a family in need, you’d only have $400 left over. Conversely, if you choose to keep that $500 and skip helping the people whose light may have pricked your heart, common math would tell you that you’d still have $500 for yourself. But life doesn’t work in logical ways; it works mysteriously and circuitously, whereby you may find that opening the door to being charitable comes back to you in fabulous ways.

4. “It’s a zero-sum game – to win, somebody has to lose.”

Simply because one person gains $1 million doesn’t mean that another person has lost out. Instead of viewing money as a big pie whereby those with larger slices are cheating those with slivers, Bill Gates once spoke of a concept called “the creation of wealth,” whereby companies like Microsoft generated funding that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. I view it almost as money being printed out of thin air instead of funds being stolen via some “the rich get richer and poor get poorer” idea.

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5. “Impoverished people are holier, less selfish, etc.”

Yes, we’ve had great examples of folks who’ve walked this Earth that intentionally lived in poverty and focused more on non-material attributes. But that doesn’t mean doing so makes us saints. You can be just as effective by having money and using it in altruistic ways to help others, instead of taking a vow of poverty if your life isn’t meant to duplicate that direction.

6. “Wealthy people are jerks.”

Some rich people are full of themselves. Some rich people are kind and caring. Certain disadvantaged members of the public are lovely, whilst others are cruel. Money in and of itself is merely a tool. Having a lot of it only magnifies a person’s true character. Great wealth doesn’t create character.

7. “I’ll hit the lottery one day.”

Out of all the major lessons I remember from the popular book titled The Millionaire Next Door, the one that sticks out is that millionaires don’t always look like the flashy Rolls Royce driving folks we see in the movies. That’s because some of them plod away at doing all the non-glamorous things it can take to get rich: driving older cars, living beneath our means, etc.

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As long as we’re solely waiting for some sweet Powerball-winning day to make us rich, it kind of takes the onus off of getting there the hard way. Like one stockbroker told me, “Continue on with your get-rich-quick plan, and in the meantime, save money as well.”

8. “I’d better lower my prices/salary in order to gain sales/clients.”

If you’re trying to get rich through your business, there could be times when you’re tempted to cut your hourly rate or the prices of your products or services in order to make ends meet. This could be a great business move – after all, the marketing term “loss leader” wasn’t invented for nothing.

However, if you’re constantly undercutting your own value just because you’re afraid of losing clients or due to fears that what you bring to the table is not good enough to compete with others, it could be more symptomatic of deeper issues.

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A graphic artist who provides high-quality image editing might decide that her level of expertise and skills are worth $50 per hour. If clients looking for a cheap deal try to talk her down to $10 per  hour and she accepts, the artist may discover that she’s effectively lowered her annual salary below the poverty level. Instead of kowtowing to cheap clients out of anxiety, it would be better to politely decline and move on to others that are more than willing to pay higher rates for quality work.

9. “My business has to be shady to make money.”

The talk of the Internet recently was about a New York-area hotel that had the gall to charge people $500 for any negative reviews posted about them on sites like Yelp. Setting aside the fact that the practice might actually be illegal, most readers agreed that instead of threatening guests with fines for negative reviews, the hotel should actually do their best to provide positive customer experiences and gain great reviews naturally.

Amazon is king when it comes to “the customer is always right” theory. They even allow consumers to return Kindle books within seven days if they don’t like them – one of the many ways the online retailing giant has won the trust of goo-gobs of people that love to fork over their credit and debit card numbers to “The Everything Store,” as goes their motto.

Businesses and leaders who adopt the same thought-process – that is, harboring quality customer relationship management training, honesty and good ethics – are the ones that stand a greater chance of making their owners and employees rich. Those firms and folks that believe they must adhere to shady, confusing practices that rely on trickery to make a lot of money are the ones that will burn out like a shooting star streaking across the night sky.

Featured photo credit: Dollars in Wallet via static2.bigstockphoto.com

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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