3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

On my 20th birthday, I opened my first mutual fund. As a part-time night teller earning $8.25 per hour, I was so proud of myself. Things didn’t go quite as I’d planned them, however. Throughout the next decade, I learned many investment lessons from my own choices and actions – as well as others’.

I wish I could say all of the lessons were positive. But, mistakes are excellent teachers, too. Doggone it.

So, here are some things I learned. You may agree or disagree with this list. It’s likely your own list would look different. That’s alright. Once you’ve read through my list, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

First of all, should investing even be on your radar when you’re in your 20’s?

ABSOLUTELY. I may not have handled it perfectly, but I plan . . . → Read More: 3 Major Investment Lessons I Learned In My 20’s

How to Become a Billionaire Family

become a billionaire money

Wish you had a million dollars? How about a billion? That’s right! Billion with a “B”! Few dare to dream so lofty, but it’s absolutely possible. And actually, it’s pretty simple. It’ll just take a few years. Well, that may be an understatement, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let’s check out two very solid methods to become a billionaire family.

How to Become a Billionaire Family

The typical route to become a billionaire family is this:

Start your own company Grow wildly Go public with it (IPO) or sell it

But you know what? Not everyone’s an entrepreneur, and some people just aren’t cut out for working on the same project for 15 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So is there another way? Can the average person amass a fortune of billions of dollars? The answer, yes and no… Let me explain.

The Average Way . . . → Read More: How to Become a Billionaire Family

Retirement Savings by Age – Are You on Track?

retirement savings by age - actual

Nearly a third of all workers admit to having less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Fifty-seven percent replied that they have less than $25,000 saved. Without knowing the exact retirement savings by age to reach a comfortable retirement, it’s still pretty obvious that the average American is woefully behind.

Below are the stats for the median retirement savings by age in 2013. Based on the recent news of people continually ignoring their retirement savings, I assume today’s numbers aren’t much different. So, here’s the big question, “Is it good enough to be average?”

The average Social Security payout in June 2016 was $1,234.98. Add to that an average spousal benefit of $699.77, and that provides the average couple with an income of $1,934.75.

According to U.S. News, the average cost of retirement per month is $3,411.50. This means that the average retiree needs to come up with $1,476.75 on . . . → Read More: Retirement Savings by Age – Are You on Track?

How to Become an Automatic Millionaire

become an automatic millionaire

“What if I told you that in just an hour or two I could share with you a system that would slowly and surely transform you into a millionaire?”

Sounded like a bad sales pitch to me…like I was going to have to dish out $200 to a pyramid scheme before I could receive my millions. In fact, I almost took the CD out of our car stereo right then and there. Thankfully, I pressed on and let the man talk.

Liz and I were on our way back from Tennessee. It was a fantastically relaxing trip, filled with reading, hiking, and many daytime naps. We desperately needed it and were so happy we made the trip. On the way back, I decided to turn my brain on again to learn a little something about our personal finances. I popped in the book on CD, “The Automatic Millionaire” by . . . → Read More: How to Become an Automatic Millionaire

10 Signs You’re Not Saving Enough for Retirement

not saving enough for retirement

The average 65 year old has $149,000 saved up for retirement…which is absolutely pitiful. Even if they receive $2,000 a month from Social Security (and I wouldn’t depend on that in the future), their monthly income with a 4% draw from their retirement account is still under $2,500 each month! At this point, I sure hope most of these 65 year-olds don’t have a house payment, otherwise they’re sunk. Based on this simple scenario of the average person, it’s important to recognize the signs you’re not saving enough for retirement.

10 Signs You’re Not Saving Enough For Retirement

You work hard. You earn lots of money. Wouldn’t you like to have some of it when you’re older? Heck, wouldn’t you like to have LOTS of it when you’re older? I think we all do. But, you have to be willing to sacrifice some things today if you want to . . . → Read More: 10 Signs You’re Not Saving Enough for Retirement

Should I Pursue an Executive Career or Financial Independence?

employee or entrepreneur

At the age of 27, I proclaimed that I would retire by 34. A pretty crazy proclamation I know, but I had a plan: I would live frugally, invest, and also build up my website to be one of the top blogs in the nation, making it worth $1,000,000 or so. I would then sell the site, live off that million bucks for the next 30 years, and at that point start drawing from my retirement account.

This idea sounded pretty rock solid at the time (blogs actually do sell for millions of dollars by the way), but as many of you know, life rarely goes as planned. Since then, I went through an unexpected divorce, ended up owing thousands of dollars from the settlement, and my blog was penalized by Google soon after. Not exactly the golden road to early retirement…

At this point, my site is worth around . . . → Read More: Should I Pursue an Executive Career or Financial Independence?

How to Tackle Multiple Savings Goals

retiring extremely early HSA

When there’s only so much money to go around, there are often multiple savings goals competing for your money. Think of the young professional who’d like to get a more reliable car, buy a house, and save for retirement. Or consider the young family that’s saving for college, retirement, and a bigger house. No matter the stage of life, when you’re trying to make the most of your money, you probably have multiple places to send the cash.

Consider How Much and How Long

When you’re saving for multiple goals, there are several things to consider. For one, you need to know how much money you need. You also need to consider how long you have to save and invest for your goal. This is called the time horizon.

Time Horizon and Investing

The sooner you need the money, the less risky you can afford to be . . . → Read More: How to Tackle Multiple Savings Goals

How to Become Stay at Home PARENTS (Yeah, that’s plural)

getting rid of debt while you're young

Many couples struggle with the thought of just one of them staying at home with their children, but I say, “Why not both?” In this day and age, it’s becoming unheard of for a spouse to forgo their income to stay at home with their child, but in my opinion, becoming a dual-stay-at-home couple is becoming easier than ever !

My fiance and I have tossed around the idea of one of us staying home with our future children, raising them how we see fit. And can you guess the response that our friends give us? “If one of you stay at home instead of working, you won’t have any money and you won’t be able to do anything.” Some of you might share the same view – and I’d say that you’re incredibly narrow minded. Seriously, get your head out of that box you were brought up in and . . . → Read More: How to Become Stay at Home PARENTS (Yeah, that’s plural)

Is It Enough to Save 15% of Your Income for Retirement?

income for your retirement

When it comes to saving for retirement, how much is enough? As a starting point, many experts recommend that you save at least 15% of your income for retirement. One of the loudest personal finance voices out there, Dave Ramsey, recommends saving 15% of your income for retirement as part of Step 4 in his seven baby steps to financial peace.

But what if you got a late start in your financial journey? The later you start to save, the less time your money has to compound and work for you to build wealth. And if retirement is close, it’s probably wise to move your money into less risky, lower performing investments. You’ll earn a lower return, but you’ll preserve more of your capital so your money is there when you need it.

Is saving 15% of your income for retirement always enough to live a comfortable lifestyle in your . . . → Read More: Is It Enough to Save 15% of Your Income for Retirement?

Becoming Wealthy or Being Cheap? Or Both?

becoming wealthy

Are you taking actions toward becoming wealthy or are you actually just being cheap, likely never to get truly wealthy? And what’s the real difference? As Ramit Sethi often talks about on his blog, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, cutting out a few expenses is not going to dramatically change your financial future. In fact, if you ordered a tall latte every day before work for a year, it would cost you about $1,000. That sounds like a lot of money, but what if, during that same year, you started a side business that generated an additional $10,000 in profits?

As my nifty graph shows above, the difference maker was not those negative lattes, it was the positive business income. Becoming wealthy is often done by massively increasing your earnings, not by scrimping and saving your way into a poverty-stricken lifestyle.

Becoming Wealthy – When . . . → Read More: Becoming Wealthy or Being Cheap? Or Both?