The word “invest” seems to get thrown around a lot. It runs in the same crowd as words like “motivate!” or “plan!” or any of those other $5 work-place words. You can invest in your future! Invest in your health! Invest in your life!
Well, we’re here to talk a bit about one specific kind of investing: investing your money.
From a very early age, most of us have learned that you earn money by going to a job. You want more money? Work more hours. The problem with this is, there are only so many hours in a day that you can work. And what’s the point of making all of this money, if you don’t have a minute to enjoy it? That’s where investing comes in. Essentially, you’re making more money without doing more work.
Check out this introductory video on investing, or read the transcript below.
And if this isn’t inspiration enough for you, check out this video about a man named Earl. Today Earl is in his sixties and is worth over $500,000. Here’s the interesting part: Earl has never earned more than $20,000/year in his life. Need even more inspiration? Check out this video about a 14 year old kid who has made over $50,000 investing!
If you are one of the many people nervous to dip your toe into the investing pool— perhaps because of the crazy jargon, it’s unfamiliar, or it seems risky—take a deep breath and know this: investing can be pretty simple.
Also know that how much you’re willing to “risk” is completely up to you. Investing is different from both saving and gambling. With a savings account, although you earn very little interest, your money is FDIC insured, which means that your money is protected by the government and you will never lose it. Investing is also very different from gambling because when you gamble, you risk money without actually buying anything. With investing, you are simply buying something that you intend to sell later, at a higher price.
Depending on what kind of risk you’re willing to take, there are lots of different ways to make an investment. For example, putting money into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or even buying real estate. Of course there are positives and negatives to all of these, which we’ll go into in the subsequent posts of this series. But for now just know that each of these “investment vehicles” are a way to make your money work for you, and they’re all quite doable for anyone. Investing works on the principle of something called “compound interest”, which we’ll discuss in our later posts. But to give you an idea of how this can positively impact your finances Albert Einstein once said “the most powerful force in the Universe is compound interest”.
So why should anyone invest? Well, if you like earning extra money, that’s one reason. Some people chose to invest to accomplish their goals faster, like buying a home or paying for their children’s education. And although many of you may not worry about retiring, the days of working hard and then one day retiring with a nice, comfortable pension are dwindling.
Today, more than ever, governments all over the world are tightening their budgets, and keeping us comfortable and cozy in our retirement is not exactly high on their list of priorities. Even over the past few years, the ages at which people can claim social security or Medicare have increased, and the earlier you begin claiming benefits, the less the monthly payment. Right now, if a person was born in 1960 or later, retirement doesn’t kick in until age 67! That’s two years older than it was just a decade ago, and is projected to continue increasing. Often times investing is one of the only ways to ensure a happy retirement—or even a retirement at all.
In the next posts in our series, we’ll discuss the most common terms about investing, the different types of investing for different types of people, and finally, how investing can help you reach your goals faster.
Do you have questions about investing? Comment below and we’ll get back to you with an answer!