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The Only Route to Financial Freedom – Entrepreneurial Mind

The Only Route to Financial Freedom – Entrepreneurial Mind

We are all familiar with the old adage,  “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer,” but why is this so? Let’s actually take a moment and try to break it down.  Is there something the rich have, inherently know or do that the poor and the stagnating mediocrity dwellers don’t? I believe there is, and here’s why.

The Education System

We have all grown up being taught that higher education is the most stable, feasible and surest way to success. While the people who follow the rules go on to realize higher academic achievements, the majority of them never spend time outside of school learning about the rules of money. Unfortunately, our educational system was designed to produce hard-working perpetual employees rather than self-sufficient millionaires.

 “ The purpose of foundation (the general education board) was to use the power of money, not to raise the level of education in America, as was widely believed at the time, but to influence the direction of that education…The object was to use the classroom to teach attitudes that encourage people to be passive and submissive to their rules.

The goal was-and is- to create citizens who were educated enough for productive work under supervision but not enough to question authority or seek to rise above their class. True education was to be restricted to the sons and daughters of the elite. For the rest, it would be better to produce skills workers with no particular aspiration other than to enjoy life.”

-G.Edward Griffin in The Creature from Jekyll Island, on Rockerfeller’s General Education Board, found in 1903.

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If you have or plan on choosing a professional career you might live to be comfortable. But without the applied knowledge of business and investments, you will find it extremely difficult to live the life you had once dreamed of as a kid.

Debt            

What’s your initial reaction when you hear the word debt? Nine out of 10 people would probably experience a less than positive one.

Most people take out loans or use their credit cards to pay for things they cannot afford. Most of those things become liabilities. Meaning they suck the money out of your pockets to a place where it will never be seen again.

For you to fully understand debt and how to deal with it, you must open your mind to its uses and possibilities. If you didn’t already know, there is actually debt that is considered good.

Good debt can make you more money than you have.

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Let’s say you take out a loan and invest it into a rental property. This would be considered good debt because it’s actually putting money back into your pocket. On the contrary taking out a loan to buy that Mercedes C Class you can by no means afford while living in your mom’s basement, would be considered bad debt.

Utilizing and understanding the concept of good debt will actually increase your financial stability not diminish it.

Save Your Money

Most common mantra #2: Go to school get a high-paying job and save your money. Yea,yea,yea we’ve heard it all before.

If we Gen Y’ers are actually planning on building our own wealth, working our asses off just to stack it up in the bank will not cut it.  Just like with good debt, knowing how to spend your money is just as important as making and saving it. Educate your self on investment options that interest you and spend that money. Work for your money and then make it work for you. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel with the rest of them. 

Get a Job at a Big Corporation and Work Your Way up the Organizational Ladder

We all go through that pressing brain-crushing moment when we realize that we need to make a serious decision about the direction we want to go in life. You’re sick of your parents “helping you out” and you feel an overwhelming need to break through into your own independence. But now what? When your age has caught up to society’s standards of where you’re supposed to be in life I’ve seen people take one of these few directions:

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A) Blind themselves with their social life (friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, I like to party all the time etc.)

B) Settle into a job doing something they love (or sadly not even that,) which doesn’t provide any real growth or opportunity but is stable enough to make them feel comfortable.

C) Get a job at a big corporation and spend the majority of their years putting their blood, sweat, and tears into working their way up the corporate ladder.

D) Or you can go against the grain of it all and become an entrepreneur by starting at the bottom with the goal to make it to the top on his or her own terms.

As for options A and B, I don’t think people who pursue them are too concerned with the prospect of becoming wealthy. Option C is where life gets tough. These people want success and they’re willing to work for it. The problem is after all the time spent killing themselves in school in hopes of landing a job at a top corporation; these people spend the best years of their lives working over 60 hours a week for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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The worst part is that these people spend their lives making someone else’s business prosper, and do not work to help themselves. They are constantly depending on getting raises, bonuses and promotions, and put all of their energy into their next paycheck.

For all of the D’s out there, you realize the importance of owning the ladder instead of climbing someone else’s. You would rather put your blood and sweat into your own business to create real wealth and financial freedom for yourself.

You Need Money to Make Money

If you didn’t have the pleasure of being born into a rich family, or have access to daddy’s Rolodex it probably seemed at one point or another that making millions on your own was a long way away. I remember growing up and wishing my parents were rich, wishing I had more connections and that someone would be able to pass me over something instead of starting at square one. But if you look closely you’ll realize that because information and resources are easy access, riches can be and are made through innovation and knowledge more so than through having money alone.

Live Below Your Means

It’s all about your mind set. If you’re focusing on staying below your established means how can you ever grow and surpass your current financial standing?

It is said that the person who lives below their means suffers from a lack of imagination. I say, if you can’t afford it innovate ways to make it possible!

Original Source – Elite Daily

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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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

Reference

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