The best time to plant a tree was 5-10 years ago. The second best time is NOW.
Most young people want to know about investment products where their money would “multiply”. Ask them how much they knew about financial products? Often, the answer is Zilch, nothing. But frequently their only interest is in the investment product where their money would multiply.
Though we don’t have time or interest to learn about building our “Money Tree”, we want instant solutions. We just want the big money tree. Even though we know that it takes years for a tree to grow. The only thing that can be done instantly with the tree is to cut it, which can be done quite quickly!
Moreover, this is a dangerous mistake we make. When young people wanted instant solutions without learning more about financial products, they make themselves vulnerable to financial advisors who sell products that suit their requirements and not their client’s. These financial advisors come to know that their client/prospect is an ill informed person & greedy and they make the best use of this information to sell products that maximize their commissions and not their client’s!
Money grows like a tree: not on it!
So by looking for instant solutions, we end up hurting ourselves. Instead of building a money tree, we end up cutting the tree. As with a tree, nothing happens instantly. Remember the Marshmallow Test?
To be successful in any field, we need to constantly increase our knowledge and skills in that field.
Also just focusing on the fruits and leaves of a tree is not enough. We have to water the roots and save the growing tree from external attacks.
There’s a starter 4 steps that can help you grow your money tree and become a smart investor.
- Learn:Becoming a smart investor is not rocket science that will take years to comprehend. You need common sense and you just need to freshen up what you learnt in school. For example, a bit of math that would tell you about the power of compounding and therefore starting as early as possible. Or why you should use the power of cost averaging by investing regularly. And understanding the psychology of money that takes automatic decisions about your personal finance.
- Track: If you want to manage something, you need to measure it first. You need to know, for example, what is the percentage of your income that you should save and invest. Or, what are your expenses in various categories like grocery, eating out, etc.
- Plan:Most people put their money in a financial product as and when some advisor gets them to do it. It’s not based on any goals; it does not take care of your risk appetite and your asset allocation policy.
- Implement: Once you start taking your money matters seriously, learn, track and plan your personal finance, it’s important that you actually implement decisions.