Have you ever been looking at something on YouTube and you started to view the suggested videos and it takes you places you were not intending to go? That happened to me this weekend. I don’t remember where I started, but before I knew it, I was watching interviews on YouTube at this exclusive gym in Southern California. The pool of interviewees were had some occupational diversity including: a retiree, a school teacher, some business owners, a sale representative, and a day-trader. They were asked such things as, “what do you do for a living?”, “how much money do you make?”, and even, “why do you spend $200-$300 a monthly on a gym membership? at this club” Among all the questions from all the interviewees, there was a line of questioning I noted that had the most interesting responses.
First, I want to point out that most of the interviewees claimed to be actively investing. That’s awesome! But, I guess you need to make some extra money to afford a $300/monthly gym membership, yikes!). As they talked, I noticed their investment vehicles and strategies were as diverse as there were. Some were into the stock market, some were into real estate, others were into crypto[currencies]. Even though their investment strategies and portfolios differed; they all could articulate (at least for the camera) what they were investing in and why. This may not seem like a big deal, but this is huge! It means, they had enough interest to learn about the places they decided to park their hard earned money. What do you invest in and why? If you can’t defend your investments, you need to do some research. You might be doing something just because you were told. And who said what you were told was good advice? How do you know if it’s good advice (or not) if you haven’t vetted the opportunity? It’s not enough to know a particular investing strategy is working for someone else. You need to know yourself. Get educated. Know where you put your money and why.
Secondly, I noticed all the interviewees had defined goals. Goals help keep you focused. Some of the goals were to maintain their lifestyle and enjoy their retirement. Some of the other goals were to retire early and enjoy more of their life on their own terms. Some of the investment goals were to make a little extra money to have a little more freedom. They say, “money can’t buy you happiness”, but it can buy you options! So what are your investment goals? Is your strategy leading you toward your goals or are you going to have to course correct? Have you even thought about it? I know this may seem simple, but these are basics to investing that everyone should be able to answer; because everyone should be investing!
And the last thing I noticed was, they all wish they started earlier. Investors know the power of time, the concept of compounding, and how those two forces can work for you or against you. The longer an investment is growing, the longer it is compounding and its value is more rapidly increasing. That is how the rich keep getting richer. They invest in assets and the assets grow in value, compounding over time, to create wealth. They invest themselves rich!
So what do we do now? Well, if we are not already investing, we have work to do. First, we need to get in a position to invest. And we do that by building a strong financial base from which we will have money to invest. You build a strong financial base, by eliminating debt, spending wisely, building up savings, and getting current on your bills. And while we are preparing ourselves financially, we can be preparing ourselves mentally. We MUST get educated. We don’t know what we don’t know. I guarantee, there are far more opportunities than you have thought are possible. So, let’s get busy and start building the best financial future God has for us. God Bless.