Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY Saving and Investing ... Either Set a Goal and Then Get Started or Get Started and Then Set a Goal ... Either Way Works

Most of us need to do a much better job of saving and investing for ourselves and our families. That's a well known fact.

But most of us don't make a sufficient effort to do so. That's also a well known fact.

In large measure that's because we don't believe we're qualified to do so, and we properly don't want to pay 'experts' for advice which isn't worth the prices they charge. At least that's my view. Thus, we're stuck.

How millennials and Generation X investors can conquer their fear of finances has this to say:

"We’ve all read the news about how Generation X and millennials just aren’t getting with the financial program. Saving and investing are both falling short of where they need to be, while incomes just aren’t growing.

But can you blame them? They’ve grown to adulthood and early middle age living though the Great Recession watching their parents’ tried-and-true institutions turn out to be tried but perhaps not so true. They trust in things they can figure out for themselves, yet financial services has long persisted among the more opaque industries.

Making things worse, these adults have developed some pretty deep-seated fears about managing their money, which has left them hamstrung on the sidelines. . . .

Investors ages 18-44 are the least likely to speak with an investment advisor. A full 74% of millennials (age 18-34) and 66% of Gen Xers (age 35-44) who have considered investing say speaking to an in-person advisor has actually stopped them from investing, period. In other words, regardless of a need for financial guidance, nearly all younger adults today wouldn’t turn to a traditional advisor to get the help they seriously need. Interestingly, those with children under 18 in their households are significantly more resistant than those without children — despite the fact that parents have even more long-term financial goals to plan for than non-parents.

What are the top reasons why talking to a traditional financial advisor has stopped these 18 to 44-year-olds from investing?

1) Cost (will I get soaked?)

2) Trust (will they really do what’s best for me?)

3) Judgment over their financial position and limited financial knowledge . . . .

So how can the millennial and Generation X investor break through the financial fear factor? . . . you need to know it’s okay to start small, making sure you’re 100% comfortable with an institution’s fee structure and build from there. The key here is to just get started.

Fear comes from a sense of losing control. But once these investors understand they can set the course, the speed and are the ones with their hands on the wheel, there’s a lot less to fear."

Summing Up

We will never finish what we don't start. Getting started is the prerequisite to reaching any goal.

And if we don't know where we're going, any road will get us there. Specific goals are simply dreams accompanied by timetables.

The secret to successful individual investing is in the doing. There is no guaranteed path to financial security, as there is no guaranteed path to anything else in life.

And when saving and investing, there is no one road to travel. We must each make our road as we go. So if you haven't already begun, get going.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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