While being a millionaire most certainly offers a sense of privilege and extravagance, it also provides comfort.
Despite the idea that many of life’s luxuries can cost you your bank (plus a large chunk of your future earnings), achieving comfortable wealth is possible—if you’ve got a solid investment plan you’ll follow religiously.
Here are eight investment strategies to work your way to your first million dollars.
1. Say No To Fees (Of Any Sort!)
Investing comes packed with hidden and some obvious fees – broker fees, distributor fees, exit and entry fees, maintenance fees, and a string of other service-based fees. If you can manage your own investments and money, you can save hundreds of thousands in fees over the lifetime of your investment.
2. Don’t Try To Time The Market
This can be one of the biggest blunders one can make—simply because it’s impossible, speculative and you’re gambling with your savings. While there are indicators that show market trends, this does not promise that your investment will most certainly move up or down.
#BQPortfolio | Don't try to time the market, Sunil Pandey learns as he plans his retirement.
— BloombergQuint (@BloombergQuint) July 10, 2018
3. Think Long Term And Diversify
If you put all your investments into one asset class, your investment will tank the minute the asset class goes into free fall. How do you beat this? Plan and diversify your investment – it could be debt, treasury bills, equity, real estate, startups, business ideas – anything, as long as you think long-term. This can pay off in the long run.
4. Think Like An Owner
When you buy your stocks or make your investments, think and act like it’s yours – you’ll be doubly careful to make the right checks and invest smart. When you invest in solid, robust companies with this in mind, the returns would also be equally strong. Good companies can pay you high dividends that can up your total income.
5. Invest In Yourself First
Be it education or investing for your retirement, put yourself first and then try to budget for the other frills in life.
6. Borrow If You Can, Don’t Buy
With a growing shared economy, you now have plenty to choose from – co-working spaces, ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, shared rentals and accommodation, and the list goes on. Here’s where you can really cut costs – be it while running your business or as a regular looking to channel the savings elsewhere.
7. Set Goals (And Stick To Them)
Make sure you start saving as early as possible and invest it – even a dollar can compound over time. As time goes, set bigger goals and get excited about them! Once bonuses and income increases come your way, bump up your investments – it can soon touch a quarter of a million.
8. Max Out Early
Your 401K can be one of your biggest retirement funds and maxing out your annual contribution by the end of June can be a great way to boost your retirement savings. How does this help? It gives your money an additional six months to compound.
6 Money Saving Tips For Millennials
Millennials make up approximately 25% of the total population in the United States and they are now larger than the Baby Boomer generation.
This has welcomed a new trend—increased spending. The spending power of Millennials is estimated to reach a whopping $3.39 trillion by the end of 2018. A higher education level and more spending power haven’t yet translated into financial literacy.
As financial literacy is not taught in schools, most individuals grow up having no idea of investing and saving options. Most millennials will soon have to start making life decisions—whether it is to buy a home or start a family.
They need to find a way to overcome mounting student debt, skyrocketing rents, a saturated job market, and stagnant wages, while saving enough for retirement.
Sounds tough? Sure. But you need not worry. Here are six financial tips that will help millennials save a few bucks—all the while maintaining financial discipline.
Getting Plenty Of Financial Advice? 5 Money Rules You Can Ignore
Today’s millennials aren’t big fans of debt. Unlike the baby boomers, young adults today are straddling massive financial pressure – be it heavy student loans or home prices reaching unaffordable highs. While all of this welcomes plenty of financial advice, most of them are wrong. Here are five pieces of money rules you can afford to ignore.
1. Buy A House ASAP (And Not Rent)
With home prices almost doubling and trumping inflation and pay, buying a house could lead to a nightmare if you’re taking out a mortgage before your income allows you to afford one. A better option would be to rent until you have enough funding to put down 20%, while taking care to not make payments that are more than 30% of your total income.
2. Ditch Your Credit Card
While this might be popular financial advice from the older folks, getting a credit card that comes with a low annual fee can help you immensely – if used right. What’s more, it comes packed with perks like reward points, cashback, mileage for travel, and can help you meet a large unexpected cost.
3. Pay Down Debts With The Highest Rates
It might be tempting to tackle the biggest debt of the lot and let the smaller ones slip down your priority list. The trick here is to focus instead on paying off your smallest of debts with every dollar you can afford – once it’s paid off, roll over to paying off the next one, until you’re debt-free.
4. Start Saving For Your Retirement (Right Now)
Despite the upside to saving for your retirement now, millennials might often find money too tight. For folks who are just out of university, a wiser option would be to aggressively pay off your debts instead. Although, here’s a caveat – IF your employer offers a retirement contribution match, invest just enough to get that perk (It’s free money!).
5. Buy Yourself A Car
With the shared economy on overdrive, there are plenty of options ranging from car rentals to ride-hailing services. Pumping your money into buying your car could also demand more of your savings for repairs and maintenance – funds you can use to pay off other expenses with. The opportunity cost isn’t worth it if you haven’t got enough financial cushion to meet your important expenses.
Why You Need To Bag Muni Bonds For High-Yield Tax-Free Returns
With many investors taking to the stock market or making do with scraping a meagre 2% yield off their 10-year Treasury bills, most miss out on including a far better option to their investment portfolio – municipal bonds. What’s exciting about this asset class? They come packed with significant tax advantages, and yield returns that are over 6% to the investor. Here’s a short, somewhat helpful video on how municipal bonds work:
Muni bonds have been the safest bet when investing in bonds – their default rates at 0.2% for years are almost miniscule when compared to the volatility that the equity market flirts with. Earlier this year, a new federal tax law enabled improved tax deductions on federal returns. This drew many to bank on municipal bonds since it fit the tax-free bill. The interest income you receive on muni bonds is not subject to federal taxes, plus it is exempt from local taxes if it was issued within your state. The cascading gains you make can be dramatic.
The best way to tap into muni bonds are through a bond fund. Within a regular bond fund, you get to pick amongst mutual funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Beyond these classes, you would also have to consider factors such as your investment horizon and cash flow requirements. Here’s a post that explains the calculations that go into muni bonds and other considerations to look at when making the investment. Better yet are the projections – nearly $51 billion in reinvestment demand is expected this month, which would sweeten the deal for municipal bond holders.