So, there’s good news and there’s not so good news on the front about Millennials’ savings behaviors and retirement readiness. On the one hand, the research shows we are starting to save as early as 22 and we are contributing to our 401(k)s. But on the other hand, the data reveals that while we are saving early we aren’t quite saving far enough nor do we possess the financial know-how to do it on our own as DIY investors.
In my upcoming book on 401(k) investing, you’ll learn how to achieve long-term wealth creation and retirement security by building your DIY mentality and capabilities. Once you gain the knowledge and practice as a DIY investor there are behaviors you’ll naturally – and intentionally – learn to avoid.
Here are three behaviors you’ll learn never to do as you become a savvy DIY investor:
- You won’t need to lean on your parents for financing. Your parents may have helped you out financially in high school and in college so that you could focus full time on your studies and get your education. (And you may have had students loans that your parents flipped the bill on.) But once you graduate, you’re in the real world now, and you shouldn’t rely on your parents for money. More importantly as you become a DIY investor you won’t need to because you’ll start to build the knowledge to have a healthy relationship with your money. In my case, after I graduated college, I took the initiative to get a good paying job, learn about my personal finances and take ownership of my financial life. Learn to rely on you and not your parents!
- You won’t need to rely on an expensive financial advisor. Financial advisors have their time and their place, and I know many caring and talented ones. But as you get started with DIY personal finances, you really don’t need a financial advisor in your 20s/30s. Why won’t you need an advisor? Investing in general rests on a set of rules that anyone, including you, can master. If you’re young, single and just starting out as an investor, then save the fees you’d spend on a financial advisor and instead take the initiative to DIY. True, advisors are excellent resources for more complex financial life situations (i.e. you’re married and need life insurance, you inherit an IRA from a deceased relative, you have a trust fund, etc.) but cross that bridge when you get there. But for more simple personal finance situations, my upcoming book will show you 5 steps on how to design and manage your 401(k) yourself.
- You won’t engage in counterproductive “investing” behaviors. I can’t say how often I see our generation engaging in counterproductive “investing” behaviors. Things that I see on a regular basis are short-term day trading, speculating on IPO stock prices (re: SnapChat), engaging in complex options trading and timing the market. In fact, the correct title should be that these are counterproductive gambling behaviors. Investing is not gambling. Instead, investing is about having faith in the idea of what we call the stock market and that the companies that comprise it will provide value (new products, better services, etc.) to shareholders in the long-term. Gambling is short-term, seeking only to exploit and profit, and remember that the house always wins. When you gamble you lose. As a DIY investor, and after reading my book, you’ll never ever engaged in these behaviors! No, No, No!
Stay tuned! To get this blog started, I’ll be taking inspiration from my upcoming book, From Millennial to Millionaire: DIY 401(k) – 5 Do-It-Yourself Steps for the Digital Generation to Design and Manage their 401(k), to write blog posts. My new book should be available in eBook and paperback on Amazon by summer 2017.