Why should you be investing?
What do you need to know before you get going?
How and where should you invest your money?
Why should you invest?
Young people have a huge advantage in investing early in life. The stock market is not an exclusive gambling club for Old White Dudes (OWDs). It is accessible, learnable, and life-changing. You can become a millionaire without already being wealthy. Yes, really. If you're wondering why or how to invest, you've taken the first step!
Would you rather have $48k or $350k?
If you saved $100 a month under your mattress for 40 years, you would have saved up $48,000 after that time. Without earning any interest! Not so bad, right?
If you had not stuffed that $100/month under your mattress but rather invested it for an average return of 8% a year, you would have $350,000 at the end of those 40 years. Future-You would be about $300,000 richer than if you hadn’t invested those dollars. For the record, a typical savings account has an interest rate of about 0.06%, so it would be virtually no better than a mattress, although much safer.
So, 20-year-old Smart-Eliza with a student job, summer job, birthday money, whatever, could put away $100/month until she is 60 years old approach half a million dollars with hardly any effort.
But let’s say 20-year-old Normal-Eliza waits until she’s 30, and then, hoping to catch up, invests twice as much, $200/month, until she is 60 years old. She will only end up with $300,000! That means she saved twice as much each month and ended up with 50,000 dollars less in her pocket at age 60! Bad job, Normal-Eliza! We cannot overstate the importance of starting as soon as possible.
What about $800k?
Finally, If Smart-Eliza kept investing just $100/month until age 70, ten years extra, she would have about $800,000. Ten extra years more-than-doubled her money. Smart-Eliza, with very little effort, is now on the brink of being Millionaire-Eliza.
Here at WLI, we want to show you the magical benefits of starting young (now), doing a little, and earning a lot. There is no getting rich quickly here, no scheming, no gambling, no bribing, no becoming famous, no bank-robbery, nothing, nada, nil. Just a tiny bit of planning, a little bit of learning, and a lot-a-bit of thinking long-term and making Future-You wealthy and financially free.
We know it’s not necessarily fun to think about retirement this early, and luckily, by taking the posts here seriously, you won’t have to! We can’t guarantee you’ll hang on to your sex drive into old age, but we can help you hang on to your wallet for much longer (and we can make that wallet much heavier).
How can you get to the Magical One Million?
What if a 20-year-old guy, Josh, manages to save $5,500 a year, or about $460 a month? Well, assuming an 8% rate of return, Smart-Josh would have more than 1.5 million dollars by age 60. Just $460 a month, and Smart Josh becomes More-Than-A-Millionaire-Josh. Good job, Josh!
A bit of explanation:
Maybe you’re wondering whether we're pulling these numbers out of thin air, or whether there’s a catch somewhere.
Well, you can expect to earn a return of about 8% per year in the stock market averaged over periods of time longer than 10 years. As you know by now, WLI is all about the long game. So, $1.00 saved today will be, on average, $1.08 next year, $1.17 the next, $1.26 the next, etc. Each consecutive 8% is nominally greater than the last.
In the Learn section, we’ll go into depth on how this all works. Not too deep, mind you. There are plenty of websites that analyze things to the teeth with numbers and hypotheticals to the moon and back. We don’t plan to offer a product that already exists. Instead, we'll give you the information you need, supplement it with a weekly blog post, and suggest plenty of resources for further reading.
We give you the basics: they’re simple to grasp and will grow your money over the long-term!
Finally, in the Invest! section, we provide you with some options for putting what you've learned into practice. We’ve picked websites and firms that appreciate and help eager, smart investors like us. They take care of the nitty-gritty, run fantastic mobile apps, and let you get on with your life with money and freedom taken care of behind the scenes.
So, head over to the Learn section for the enlightening information that you'll need to move forward! Congratulations on taking this first step. OWDs aren’t the only ones who get to gain from investing. You can (and should) too.
If you wonder...
*The graphs on this page assumes an annual return of 8% on investments in a broadly diversified portfolio of index funds. The annual return on funds in a savings account is set at 0.06%, the U.S. national average. Returns are compounded annually and not adjusted for inflation.