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Interview: Neal Schmidt, Started Investing At 12, On Young Adult Money

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Neal is pictured on the left.

If you have or haven’t noticed, I’ve been writing more about personal finance recently on Take Your Success.

This is because I believe that it’s never too early for you to gain financial wisdom and to start investing. The sooner you have a solid foundation in personal finance, the quicker you can become rich and be financially secure.

But, as you’ll see in my interview with Neal Schmidt, many young adults decide to spend their money without a purpose and put off investing for later. And in doing so, they lose one of the most important investing advantages: time. Then these same people start investing in their 30s, but can’t make up the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost from stunting the power of compound interest.

To help you out, I decided to interview Neal because he has experience investing in the stock market at the early age of 12, is clearly passionate about the subject, and promises to give you significant value.

Remember to check out my key takeaways after the interview. Now let’s hear from Neal Schmidt.

——

Brian: How old were you when you started investing? And what attracted you to this at a young age?

Neal: I began investing when I was about 12 years old. My father showed me an article that aimed to highlight the power of compounding interest. The article was about two people who were investing in a Roth IRA. The first person, who I will call Paul, began investing at 22 by putting $1,200 per year into his Roth IRA. The next person, Mike, began at age 30 or so and put the maximum contribution every year until retirement (was $5,000 at that time).

Despite the difference in principal both had been adding to their retirement accounts, by the time both reached the retirement age of 59 1/2, Paul’s account (who started investing earlier) still contained a few hundred thousand dollars more than Mike’s. While I know these numbers are not exact, the point remains. It just goes to show that there is no substitution for time when investing.

Brian: Who did you learn and get inspired about personal finance/investing from?

Neal: My parents were undoubtedly the driving force in getting me interested in personal finance. It was frequently the topic of discussion around the dinner table, and my Dad would always reference things he heard on The Dave Ramsey Show or read in the book “The Millionaire Next Door.” He would always talk about how it is a huge misconception that “the only wealthy people in the world inherited their money.”

In “The Millionaire Next Door” Thomas Stanley and William Danko state that 88% of America’s millionaires are first generation wealth, meaning they inherited NOTHING. That fact really stuck with me and made me realize that attaining a little wealth is not impossible.

Now, my goal isn’t to become a mega millionaire, but I certainly would like to live comfortably, be able to send my children to their dream college and have something left over to give back to society. As Dave Ramsey always says, everyone has the ability to change their family tree, and I would love to do that.

Brian: How does investing at an early age, for you an extremely early age, make such a big difference?

Neal: As I said earlier, there is no substitute for time when investing. The best time to start investing was 10 years ago; the next best time to start is today. Compounding
interest is an incredible thing. When started early, retirement accounts such as a Roth IRA, Roth 401k or standard 401k can reach the high “hundreds of thousands” and in some cases even grow into the millions.

The biggest pieces of advice I can give to someone who is beginning to think about investing are start saving for retirement as soon as you are out of debt, and when you make that IRA or 401k contribution, forget that money even exists.

The worst thing you can do for your retirement is pull money from those accounts early. Not only will you incur stiff penalties, but you will be losing out on the compounding interest that money would have gained if it was left alone.

Brian: What’s your investing strategy?

Neal: Being only 22 years old, I’m an aggressive investor, since retirement is so far off. I am currently invested in 100% stock based mutual funds. Earlier I had made a statement about making contributions to retirement accounts and “forgetting” about them. That is because if I woke up tomorrow and there was a huge downturn in the market causing the value of my mutual funds to plummet, I really wouldn’t be that worried, since there is so much time for the market to recover before I even think about retirement.

Despite the Great Depression and Great Recession of 2008, the stock market has always trended upwards, and depending on which resource you ask, its historical rate of return is somewhere around 7 percent.

As I move closer to retirement age and my retirement accounts have grown to a more substantial size, I will move to more a moderate/conservative investment strategy. Until then, I am willing to be a more aggressive investor in order to gain the highest rate of return I can. The higher the risk, the higher the return.

Brian: Do you strictly invest in the stock market, or are you pursuing other investment areas like real estate?

Neal: Currently, I am focused on maxing out my Roth IRA contribution, contributing to my 401k and building a safety net that I am comfortable with. Many people, including Dave Ramsey, consider 3-6 months of expenses to be a sufficient safety net, but in my opinion, that amount should be whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.

Once I have that safety net built to a level that I am comfortable with, I will absolutely look into real estate investments. Having a rental property is a great way to add a supplementary income, but personally, I would not buy a second property to rent unless I had enough to pay for it in cash. I don’t see the sense in taking out a mortgage on a property in order to rent it to someone else.

Brian: How would you assess most twenty-somethings with their money? And why do you think people our age act this way?

Neal:  Most people our age aren’t too concerned with their retirement. When I ask about retirement savings, often times I hear, “I have tons of time to save for retirement later.” Or “I want to have fun with my money when I am young.”

A lot of this kind of mentality stems from people feeling entitled to new things because they worked hard during college. I know so many people who went out and immediately bought a new car when they got their first professional job; hell, I almost did it myself. I almost bought a 2015 Mazda 3, on which I would have had to take out a $15,000 loan.

Sure, I absolutely could have made the monthly payments on it, but then I would have been putting a huge burden on my monthly take home pay. I wouldn’t have been able to contribute to my retirement, which would have cost me tens of thousands of dollars in retirement income. Just because you can afford something does not mean you should buy it.

Another part of that mentality is that I feel like many people our age do not understand the impact of compounding interest. Let’s take a look at a Roth IRA, for example. If someone were to start maxing out their yearly contribution ($5,500) at the age of 22 until they are 60, they will have paid $209,000 in principal over 38 years.

That sounds like a lot until you take into consideration that you can expect the value of that account to be upwards of one million or more, depending on the rate of return. Compounding interest is an amazing thing, especially if taken advantage of early on.

Brian: What advice would you give to young adults who don’t know where to start with their money and investing but want to become millionaires?

Neal: Read the book “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. I have been name dropping him a lot during this interview, and that is because I truly believe in the debt free lifestyle he promotes. I find his advice to be practical, easy to understand and downright effective.

This book has completely changed the way I look at my financial decisions, and the way Mr. Ramsey explains things makes personal finance seem much less daunting. Now, sometimes he can come across as a bit over the top, but overall, his message has been incredibly helpful.

Contrary to popular belief, becoming a millionaire is a choice, and if you don’t believe me, read this book or listen to his radio show. Becoming a millionaire is not about how much money you make but rather how much you save. By making wise financial decisions, living below your means and investing young, anyone can build a great financial foundation that will bring about what Mr. Ramsey refers to as “financial peace.”

Brian: Lastly, and more out of my curiosity, what are your financial goals?

Neal: Personally, I don’t have a dollar value that I am aiming for; all I am looking for is financial security. I could not imagine how I would feel if my son/daughter was accepted into their dream college, and I had to tell them “sorry, we can’t afford it.” That would crush me.

Or if I had to forgo anything but the best medical care if, god forbid, a family member ran into serious medical issues. Sure, money doesn’t make people happy, but it sure as hell makes the low points in life a heck of a lot more manageable. I don’t ever want to be sitting at the kitchen table with my wife at 4am trying to crunch numbers to figure out how we will keep the lights on, a roof over our heads or food on the table. I don’t want that stress on me, my family or my marriage.

People may call me crazy, paranoid or weird; that’s fine. Those are the things that cause me to be so passionate about my personal finances, and I know that if I start preparing now, I will never have those worries.

——

Neal and I have similar beliefs when it comes to money and personal finance. So it became no surprise to me when I shook my head in agreement multiple times throughout this interview.

One of my favorite amen moments is when Neal said, “Just because you can afford something does not mean you should buy it.” I think he hit the nail on the head here!

Because the way I look at it is you can spend your money on material items (new clothes, new gadgets, or a new car) that will make you happy only for the short-term, if that. And if you spend all your paycheck each month, you’re essentially going to have to work the rest of your life. Or you can save your money and invest it, so it grows and allows you experiences that make you happy. For example, traveling the world or retiring at 40 to work on your passions.

A second great nugget, where I actually hit my fist on the table and said “Yes,” is when Neal made the comment, “Becoming a millionaire is a choice.” If the year was 1900 then you might need a famous name and wealthy parents to be rich. But in 2016, the opportunity to become a millionaire is yours if you’re willing to save your money and start investing it.

Even beyond money, I believe that success in your work, fitness, health, friendships, and love life all comes down to a choice. So how bad do you want it? Choose what you desire, follow through, and live the life you want.

Readers, do you want to start investing after this interview? What holds you back from getting in control of your money and future? Is money a topic that deserves more attention and blog posts on this site?

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9 Reasons Young Adults Are Insane Not To Invest In The Stock Market

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Nearly 80% of millennials are not invested in the stock market. That’s scary! And it means a world of financial regret is on the horizon.

That statistic comes from a 2016 Harris poll which surveyed 500 American young adults (ages 18 to 34) and found the main reasons why they don’t own stock is:

  • 40% don’t feel they have enough money to invest
  • 34% don’t feel educated about it to know how
  • 13% said student debt was the reason they haven’t invested

On one hand, some of these people have a point.

For example, it’s impossible to invest when you have close to $0 in your bank account after bills at the end of the month. And it goes against logic to expect someone to invest when they don’t know how to in the first place.

But I see some excuses at the bottom of this.

For the millennials who say they don’t have enough money, I’d ask them, “What have you done to solve this problem?”

They need to pick up another job, work on the weekend, stop wasting money on clothes and eating out, and save their money so they can invest.

Being uneducated about investing can only be an excuse for so long, too. Start educating yourself with a tool called the internet. It’s free!

And student debt is a big money sucker, but again—make more money, save more, and spend less so you can afford to both pay down student debt and invest in the stock market.

What I’m really advising is for these young adults to stop being soft and start hustling for their future so they can invest.

People miss out big time if they don’t own stocks. Here’s why.

9 Reasons To Invest In The Stock Market

reasons-to-own-stocks

Although many of these benefits can come from investing in the stock market in general, I’m specifically referring to investing in low-cost index funds that mimic the S&P 500, for example.

1) History shows you’re going to make life-changing money.

I don’t throw around the phrase “make life-changing money” lightly. It’s 100% true.

Investing in an S&P 500 Index fund, where you buy a tiny ownership of America’s top 500 public companies (give or take), is a great deal for your future.

If you invest in the stock market in your early twenties, there’s often a jackpot at the end of the tunnel. It’s literally like winning the lottery because you’ll end up with millions if you invest your money wisely.

Look at the graph below to see just the growth from 1980 until now. Better news is the graph remains pretty constant on average if you go back 100 years from now—up and to the right.

s&p-500-index-fund-performance-1980

It’s no wonder Warren Buffett said this,

By periodically investing in an index fund, the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals.

If you don’t have faith in putting your money in the hands of the best public companies in America, who are you going to trust with your money?

Where can you find a better option that history backs up?

Exactly, that’s my point.

P.S. I’m not your financial adviser, but look at the graph one more time and make the only sound conclusion! History often repeats itself.

2) No active work is required to profit big.

Like the video above explains, when you set up automatic contributions (through your employer or own brokerage account) then all you have to do is sit back and let your index fund do the work.

How reassuring is that!? Maybe the greatest quality of investing in the stock market is it’s 100% hands off and doesn’t need your time to produce wealth.

It’s get even better when you do a simple comparison of all the time that’s required to build wealth in other areas.

Real estate: Renting out real estate is a pain in the butt if you’re renters aren’t angels (news flash: most people aren’t angels). You can expect property damage, late payments, missed payments, broken rules, and other nightmares that will really second guess your decision to be a landlord.

And even owning property is a headache because of the crazy expensive closing costs, taxes, property fees, HOA fees, and not to mention the monthly maintenance when the sink or shower breaks. It’s never fun to be nickled and dimed to death, which is a usually a regular occurrence in real estate.

Owning a business: If you’re not willing to be obsessed and let your personal desires die for the good of the company, your company isn’t going to generate significant profits compared to the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars that investing in the market can.

You can work 80 to 100 hour weeks to build your company and hope it brings you wealth. Or invest in companies like Facebook and Amazon where other people are putting in insane work weeks to churn shareholders like you a profit while you relax on the weekend, and take steps toward financial freedom.

Working as an employee:  The problem with working as an employee is you’re going to have to do some serious corporate ladder climbing to get salary raises and generate some kind of wealth. Even then, odds are you’re not getting a 7% to 10% salary increase every year like the stock market provides on average.

The stock market is the most reliable avenue towards wealth.

3) Incredibly higher rate of return than real estate.

You want to put your money where it can grow and produce more money for you, right? Then go with the stock market. And, don’t buy a home!

According to James Altucher, the commonly shared belief that buying a home is an investment is all too wrong. He points out that from 1890 to 2004, housing returned 0.4% per year. Yikes that’s criminal!

The list of reasons for a house’s poor return include all of the above like upfront closing costs, title insurance, moving costs. And then ongoing expenses like home maintenance when something breaks, property taxes, and the inability to easily move for a better paying job.

If you own stocks instead, you can kiss all of those annoyances goodbye. And not to mention, most importantly, come home with an average return on investment of 7% to 10% if you buy a S&P 500 Index fund.

4) Investing into index funds protects your money against inflation.

Inflation is an ugly beast. It robs you of your hard-earned money, well the true worth and purchasing power of that money, over time. And the worst part is it’s unstoppable, in a sense.

For example, if you keep your money as cash then it’s unstoppable and your dollars will always be worth less as the years pile up.

But there’s a solution. Can you guess the hero of the story?

Investing in the stock market, specifically a S&P 500 Index fund, protects your money from inflation eating away at it.

Reason being is the S&P 500 beats inflation the majority of the time and these types of assets are immune to inflation.

Plus, many companies can pass on the costs to their customers. So if you own shares of these companies, then you’ll get the profits as an investor (even if you take a small hit as a consumer).

This is just another example of why it pays to be an investor and not a consumer.

5) Buying stock is a liquid investment you can sell at any moment.

Run into a tight squeeze where you need immediate money?

Or do you ignore the sound advice to build an emergency savings fund and it bites you in the butt as your car breaks down or you lose your job?

While it’s never a good idea to sell an asset early and get in your own way of bringing in more profits, the fact that stocks are liquid investments can be a life-saver for some.

At any moment of any day, I can sell shares of my individual stocks or index fund and get cash in my checking account as soon as the transfer completes—usually two to three days.

The opposite is true with real estate and other types of investments.

Once that money is taken out of your bank account for a down payment or mortgage payment, then you have no chance of getting that money back on your real estate investment property in the immediate future.

Instead of selling your investment immediately and receiving the money in two to three days with stocks, you may have to wait two to three years to sell your asset if it’s real estate.

Liquid assets like stocks are even more valuable given the quality that you can sell them at any time.

6) Easy to diversity where your money is invested.

Assuming your name isn’t Richie Rich, the odds of you owning 25 different startup companies or 17 penthouse properties across the globe are slim to none.

Though you can own a sliver of 500 different companies or even thousands if you buy index funds listed in the stock market. For example, you can buy a car, technology, food, retail, shoe, farm product, defense, and more companies than you can possibly remember to stay diverse.

Reason I bring that up is diversity is key for the average investor who is scared of losing all of their money or loses sleep when their investments are volatile.

A well-diversified investment portfolio protects against volatility and too much risk, which is hard to come by in other asset types.

7) Get taxed lower for long-term capital gains.

Investing in the stock market doesn’t mean the taxes on your returns completely go away. (Wouldn’t that be a blessing?)

But the taxes you pay on long-term capital gains (stocks you own for longer than 12 months) are significantly decreased compared to getting taxed on regular income.

Add this to the list of reasons it’s in your best interest to invest. If the government incentivizes investing with these tax policies and you still don’t do it, something is wrong with you.

Just don’t buy and sell your stock earlier than a year of holding it or else you’ll be taxed higher since it’d be a short-term capital gains tax (any stock sold before you’ve had it for at least 12 months).

Oh, that’s not it. If your investments lose money, you can also lower your tax bill using those losses. The goal of investing is not to lose money, but if it happens then reducing your tax bill is a decent compromise.

A wealth growing vehicle that also reduces my taxes is a slam dunk investment. This opportunity is yours for the taking as well.

8) It’s the only way to own a percentage of the products and services you regularly buy.

Eat at McDonald’s every day (like my dad does)? You can own a piece of them buy buying MCD.

Are you a big texter and talker on the phone? You can buy shares in Verizon (VZ).

Always enjoy a nice Disney movie to take you back to your childhood? Buy shares in ticker symbol DIS.

The ability to purchases ownership of a company you use all the time is another thing investing in stocks has going for it.

Now would I put all of my money in only products or services I buy? No, but it is a nice mental exercise to purchase ownership of a company that you use all of the time.

Because, in a way, you’re kind of buying from yourself and profiting from yourself. That’s legit!

9) It’s easy to get your feet wet with a small amount of money.

Want to be an angel investor to invest in a hot new startup company? Can’t happen unless you have an annual income of over $200,000 and a net worth of $1 million. Poor people not invited.

Want to invest in Grant Cardone’s real estate fund? Sorry, tough luck. You also need to be an accredited investor.

Want to buy your own multi-family real estate property and rent it out? Good luck collecting that $100,000 down payment to secure the property on top of the mortgage payments every month.

The system blocks out the little investors who can’t make any moves to grow their wealth.

However, it’s easy to start small when buying stocks.

You don’t need to be an accredited investor to invest in companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and other giant companies like GE.

So if you only have $600 to invest, perfect. Buy $600 worth of shares into a Vanguard index fund and slowly increase your position over time by buying more shares going forward.

Heck there are even new apps out there that will automatically help you invest spare change from purchases like Acorns.

Where buying other assets like real estate and startup investing limit everyone but the rich from participating, anyone can get started investing with as little as a $100 give or take.

And for any parents out there, it’s wise to put your kid’s birthday money into an index fund to get them off on the right start. A little money invested now can likely snowball into millions.

You Reap What You Sow

Two different financial realities await you.

The good news is you’re in control of your financial future. You get to decide the plot line.

If you desire to retire early, have millions in the bank to spend during your golden years, and live a comfortable retirement with your family, all you need to do is start investing.

The bad news is you’re also in control. Meaning you can make the wrong money decisions, not invest in the stock market, and be left with the staggering consequences.

Retirement isn’t fun if you have no money to afford to do anything entertaining. Then post-work life becomes the biggest drag of your life. Some people stop living to such a degree that they wish for death.

So from one young adult to another, make the right choice.

Have a long-term view about life. Buy some shares in a S&P 500 Index fund. And get the financial markets working for your money, not against your money.

Then you’ll give yourself a great opportunity for a happy ending: reaching financial freedom.

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Avoid Bad Credit With These 5 Action Steps

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Everyone starts out their financial lives with a clean slate, but over time you can accumulate bad credit that affects your future finances, loans, and stress.

Now that credit cards are so readily available, people are more likely to acquire bad credit than ever before. Let’s be clear, it’s not the credit cards fault people go into debt and build bad credit, it’s the people’s.

Though if you already find yourself saddled with bad credit, there are services that can help you with this including fixmy.credit.

And if you still have a clean financial record or are committed to rebuild one, here are five of the best ways to avoid bad credit.

5 Ways To Avoid Bad Credit

credit-card-debt

1) Pay your bills on time

This first one couldn’t be more obvious when talking credit score. As you might have already guessed, paying your bills on time every month is the number one thing you can do from preventing any damages to your credit record.

This can be particularly damaging if you miss payments by 30 days or more, so keeping on top of this task should be one of your main priorities.

Remember, even small overdue charges can have a negative impact. Always bear this in mind before making new purchases and receiving a bill.

2) Always start with credit-impacting bills

If you’re in one of those month where it seems everything financially that could go wrong does, you may not have enough money to pay all of your bills. In this situation it always helps to know which bills are the ones which can directly affect your credit score straight away.

That is not to say that you should entirely ignore the other bills, but you can prioritize the crucial bills—credit card, mortgage, loans etc.— to start off with.

Then do whatever you can (save more, spend less, eat peanut butter and jelly for a week) to pay off the bills you couldn’t the month before.

3) Avoid taking on unnecessary debt

As we mentioned at the start, more and more people are taking on debt with these days in order to finance their lifestyles (aka “Keeping up with the Joneses”). But debt doesn’t go away on its own, it needs to be properly managed and paid for.

If you have too much debt which is spread around all over the place, you are much more likely to start missing payments because you don’t have enough money to pay them or you forget about them which will lead you getting into bigger problems.

And your credit score is both influenced by the level of debt that you have overall and also your monthly credit card balance in comparison to your credit limit. Keep that monthly balance as low as you reasonably can which should open up extra savings to put toward debt.

4) Practice managing your money

People manage money in different ways, but you want to make sure you avoid getting in over your head as much as possible.

So, before you decide to take on any new expenses, make sure you stop to think how this could affect you.

You will get the fullest picture of this by creating a monthly budget in which you weigh up your monthly salary versus your expenses. Identify what is essential and nonessential so you know what can be cut if you need to.

5) Save for unexpected emergencies

Though bank balances aren’t factored into your credit score, having some reserves of cash put aside can ensure that you are in a position to deal with any negative financial events which may come your way.

After all, you never know when a financial emergency could put your current lifestyle under threat, so always being properly prepared is certainly the best policy to maintain. And having an emergency account to deploy cash protects you from going deeper into debt if that’s your reality.

Choose Good Credit

Avoiding bad credit is a good financial practice throughout your entire life, so use these five methods as a way to achieve some financial confidence.

Then you can rest easier at night knowing at least your finances are in order, even if the rest of your world is not.

And please remember, every financial decision you make from here on out (and really the day you received your first credit card, but we can’t go back in time) pushes you towards good credit or bad credit.

Paying your bills on time, not taking on significant and unnecessary debt, keeping a budget, and saving for emergencies is how you gift yourself a high credit score. That causes lenders like banks and businesses to want to lend to you and give you a friendlier loan and interest rate because you’re not a high-risk applicant.

Not only are you rewarded with receiving the loan then, if it’s a big purchase like a house or car then the interest rate will often save you thousands of dollars. Winning!

However, making credit card or bill mistakes results in bad credit, lender’s less likely to lend to you, and if they do it’s at a much higher cost. The cards are stacked against you if you continue to build bad credit. And, in most cases, it’s no one’s fault but yours.

So help yourself by moving towards good credit. The future you will be extremely appreciative, and be in a much better off financial place.

This article was written by an outside contributor.

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Do This To Ensure You Become A Stock Market Millionaire

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Wouldn’t it be cool to be not just a millionaire, but be a stock market millionaire? That’s way sweeter than inheriting millions or winning the lottery.

Because the status of stock market millionaire has 3 main advantages below the surface.

For one, you get the pride that both your hard work learning how to invest and your patience paid off extremely well. Inheriting money comes nowhere close to the high feeling of earning your own money.

Making your own lot builds confidence in yourself in all aspects of life going forward.

Second, how life changing would it be to have a million dollars to your name? Imagine the increase in living conditions for the loved ones around you and yourself if you pulled this off.

Just paying off your cars, education, and house in full would be unreal, and your overall financial stress would almost vanish.

So there’s no question investing in the stock market can change your life.

And third, becoming a stock market millionaire doesn’t mean you’re maxed out on making money because you have to save some for the other fish in the sea. It’s the opposite!

The amount of money you can make is unlimited, which leads to my point. You can take what you’ve learned to earn your first $1,000,000, and use that financial knowledge to go make yourself $2, then $5, and then $10 million in the future.

See what I mean? That’s why no one disputes the saying “the rich get richer” because it’s spot on.

Liking what you’re reading? Nothing is stopping you from achieving this reality.

Here’s the simple roadmap to become a stock market millionaire.

Where To Invest Your Money

If you’re familiar with my money talks, you already know I’m a big fan of investing in the S&P 500 Index.

For new audiences: In my book Freedom Mindset, I recommend every beginning investor puts their money into a S&P 500 Index fund. And I’m making that same recommendation to you.

Just take a look at this chart to see why.

S&P-500-30-year-return

You can bet on anything close to a 10% annual return if you put your money here.

I’ve covered this all over the place in my book, articles, and YouTube videos so I won’t go too far in-depth. Check out my other resources if you’re interested in learning more about index funds.

Related: In Index Funds I Trust

The Key: Automatic Investing Contributions

become-a-stock-market-millonaire

Those S&P 500 Index performance numbers are great in all but you only get the lion’s share of them if you’re consistently contributing to your fund.

Problem is most people are inconsistent in general, and even worse when it comes to being discipline with their money. This is why 76 million Americans are financially struggling or barely getting by.

Missing months of contributing money to your portfolio every year will cut off anywhere from $100,000 to $10,000,000 in potential lifetime earnings or more. No discipline will cost you if you commit this unforced error.

To protect yourself from this error and guarantee you always hit your monthly investment contribution, do this one thing: Set up automatic monthly contributions to your investment account.

By automatic monthly contribution, I just mean setting up a recurring transfer from your checking account to your investment account to buy more shares in your index fund every month.

If you can set this up (and continue to make enough money where there’s enough money in the checking account for the transfer to go through), you can ensure you eventually become a stock market millionaire.

That’s basically it to be honest. Not too complicated right?

The best part in my opinion is that this is 100% hands off labor once you set it up once. Setting up this monthly transfer could take as little as 5 minutes.

Just don’t stop these monthly contributions and the gravy train will keep cruising along to increase your net worth. You have to love this!

Gameplan Going Forward

Once you’ve set up your automatic monthly recurring investments (say that five times fast), all there’s left to do is sit back and relax baby.

Well not really, but it sounded good.

Your objective at this point is to make more money (and save more) so you can feed the beast more ammunition so it brings you back more money.

Your goal isn’t to make money so you can save it, but so you can invest it to earn a higher income. That’s what the 1% has learned and the middle-class struggles with executing.

But once you’re closer to retirement, or if you decide to retire early with your stock market winnings, then the gameplan will change. Eventually the beast will feed you money to live on instead of you feeding it.

Until you’re at that comfortable spot though, feed the beast with automatic monthly contributions and he won’t let your finances down.

Cheers to mastering our money!

Related: Top 5 Worst Purchases For Your Financial Future

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