We’ve all heard it before, put away 50 bucks a month and by the time your 65… But with the advent of online brokerage firms, a stock and options market available to all and it being easier than ever to fund and manage your own account, claims like this bear a whole new meaning.
I am not advocating for a life of hard-lined savings or auto deposits, I would like to bring to light a little known investment vehicle that every twenty something can and should be taking full advantage of – the options market. If forgoing your coffee every morning or passing on a night out with your sweet isn’t your idea of growing your savings account, you’ve come to the right place.
As far as growing your savings account goes, there are two predominant notions, one antiquated and one novel; work hard and put money away piously or learn to invest so that your money makes you money. Can you guess which is which?
A new age of savings has dawned, investing and managing your own money has become easier now than it has ever been and for that reason every twenty-something needs to be familiar with it.
It is a well-known fact that when it comes to savings, it isn’t the amount of money you save that makes the biggest difference, it is the amount of time you allow your account to grow. With this in mind, every twenty-something who isn’t allowing time to work in their favor is making a mistake they cannot fix. Of course this applies to everyone, but when in your twenties you live in the sweet spot between the easy life and true responsibility. It is a rare time, your early twenties, when it is still acceptable if not expected that you live as low budget as possible or even off of financial aid while you “get your feet beneath you” and build your savings and work experience. In addition, the costs of home ownership, children, car payments, medical insurance etc. haven’t fully set in and for these reasons, to pass up on beginning your investment life now is a mistake bound to leave a resounding impact on the rest of your life.
Keeping in mind that the longer you wait to begin this inevitable pursuit, the less time you will have in your favor when you finally do so, let It stay in the back of your mind that each day that passes is another day you can’t let work in your favor.
There will come a day when you will seriously consider investing – some years from now when you have all of the responsibilities mentioned above but that day is far too late to let time work in your favor. I say again, the price of not starting now is a loss you will never get back.
At a minimum, open a managed Roth IRA, set an auto deposit and forget it. However, for those of you who would rather take your financial future into your own hands, learn an invaluable skill and very likely yield a higher return, consider delving into one of the many financial markets. If being in charge of your finances interest you, follow these steps:
First, spend a few days developing an interest in the financial markets. After learning the mind boggling potential, spend five or six weeks devouring information on the many financial markets to help you decide which is most exciting and interesting to you, which has the steepest learning curve and most fits your personal financial goals. From there, take the next step – invest in a class, buy a few books on trading strategies, open up a paper trader account and set some money aside to begin investing once you feel confident enough to do so.
Worst case scenario? You emerge six weeks later with a head full of knowledge that is bound to help you some day. Best case? You change the direction of your financial life and begin on a journey that you will surely thank yourself for many years down the line. The return on investment of this kind of quest for knowledge is limitless, you will learn a skill set that likely pays itself off innumerable times over. You may even change your career interests.
Why be late to this life changing game? Do yourself a favor with dividends, begin this pursuit in your twenties.
Check out http://www.tradersgateway.com for more personal finance and investing techniques geared towards beginner investors.