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Read Read Read
Like compound interest, the earlier you invest the bigger the return in life. I know very few exceptional (or even very interesting people) who are not voracious readers. It will make you a more interesting person. A better leader. A more thoughtful individual. It will open your eyes to things you wouldn’t normally encounter and will challenge and enhance your woldview. Be diverse as well. Don’t just read business books. Read great fiction. Don’t just be in to science fiction, pick up some philosophy. Read as broadly as you can.
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads–and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” – Charlie Munger
One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is the ability to delay gratification, which is essentially having the forethought to understand how much more value something will have in the future and the discipline to wait. Being able to delay gratification is the skill necessary to play the long game. This goes for all areas of adult life.
Live Like Your in College
If you’re one of the lucky ones that snagged a fantastic job right of school as a banker, engineer, programmer, etc… Congrats! Now the hard part is not blowing it all. I was there not too many years ago and I was poor in college. My first inclination was to start buying stuff. I wanted to head straight to the car dealership to get out my junker, to the mall for clothes, and Best Buy for a big screen.
Some of that’s ok. You probably want a tv, but it doesn’t need to be the $4,000 70 inch. You probably need some work clothes, but don’t over do it. The key is avoiding those major expenses that make it impossible to live like a college student. Get an apartment (not a luxury one), keep room mates, avoid expensive cars, and all and all try not to change much about your spending for at least a few years. The cash you’ll manage to put away will be worth a lot as life goes on.
This may be slightly repetitive but start early and often. Those early paychecks may seem small and the amount you can put away, even smaller, but the money you save in your 20’s will be worth so much more than each subsequent decade. If done right, you can fully fund your whole retirement in your teens and twenties with some smart saving and allocation. Don’t just save for retirement. Max out those 401k’s and IRA’s if you can, but put back cash. Think about what you want in the future (a home, a business, etc) and earmark money for that as well.
Try Different Things
Your 20’s can be a time for experimentation. Don’t waste time. Don’t do nothing. But don’t be afraid to try some things. If you hate your first job, that’s ok. Save up a bit of money. Come up with a game plan and move on to the next thing. Maybe accounting isn’t your thing and sales are. Perhaps you find that the beach isn’t for you but you like it in the mountains. Don’t stress out. You’ve got time try a few things. Nobody has it all figured out.
It will expand your worldview and change your life. Do as much of it as often as you can, as early as you can. This potentially goes a bit against the savings goals, but you can do it smart and prioritize some of that discretionary money. Go see the world.
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Don’t forget to check out our Resources Page where we’re working to keep links to the best of the web for personal finance, investing, travel and frugal badassity.
The New Job MarketJuly 28, 2017
Munger: The Psychology of Human MisjudgementJune 26, 2017
Millennials are Holding Too Much CashJune 25, 2017
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