Make money? Check. Save Money? Check. What’s next? Learn about the 3rd step towards financial freedom here! [Wednesdays: The Independent Investor]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Investing is an important activity that we must learn regardless of the career path or industry we are in. I believe this is one of the vehicles that will help us grow our monetary wealth and build our financial future.
In the “Build Your Financial Future” webinar, Professor Joel Litman, President and CEO of Valens Research, discussed four important steps to achieve financial freedom.
The first and second steps, “Make Money” and “Save Money,” were discussed in our past articles.
Today, we’ll talk about the third step that will help you grow your financial wealth.
Are you interested to know what this is?
Continue reading to find out.
The Independent Investor
Generating wealth is part of almost everyone’s dream of success.
Whether it’s for paying for a child’s education, securing a comfortable retirement, or attaining financial independence, how you generate wealth and what you do with it play an important role in achieving your goals.
However, as good as these ideas are, they aren’t enough. You need another vehicle to help you maximize your wealth in the long term.
Any ideas on what this is?
According to Professor Joel Litman, President and CEO of Valens Research, during his “Build Your Financial Future” webinar, investing is the “juicy” part of building long-term wealth.
It’s because most of your investment returns over the next 10, 20, 30, or many more years will be because of asset allocation―how you divide up the pot amongst savings, accounts, bonds, stocks, money markets, etc.
How you fractionalize your wealth is what will define your financial value over time!
It’s not surprising that the world of investing might seem complex for some. Investors often face constantly changing market conditions, an endless supply of stock market news, and many investment choices.
… but just because these things make investing look complicated, that doesn’t mean you should no longer invest.
In fact, the principles of successful investing are quite simple! These tried and tested principles can help you build an effective long-term strategy and achieve better results over time:
- Invest early.
Starting early is one of the best ways to generate wealth and investing for a longer period of time is more effective than waiting until you have large amounts of savings to invest.
This is due to the power of compounding.
Compounding occurs when the money you earn by investing generates more earnings. Here, you earn not only the original amount you invested but also any accumulated interest, dividends, and capital gains.
This means the earlier and longer you invest, the more time there is for your returns to compound.
For Professor Litman, these compound returns are powerful and life-changing because these will help you generate more wealth in the long run.
- Invest regularly.
Investing on a regular basis is as important as investing early. This enables you to think of your investments as part of your priorities throughout the year―not just when you’re near deadlines like the yearly RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) contribution deadline.
In other words, having a disciplined approach will help you build more wealth over time.
Additionally, investing regularly enables you to ease into any type of market (Bull, Bear, or flat). This makes you worry less about finding the right time to invest.
By investing a fixed amount regularly, you can buy more investment units when prices are low and fewer units when prices are high. This helps reduce the average cost of your investments in the long term!
The bottom line: Investing regularly helps smooth out returns over time and reduce your portfolio’s volatility.
- Save enough to invest enough.
Building your financial future and achieving your long-term goals start with saving enough today. It is important to know how much you need to start saving now to have a sufficient investment portfolio for your financial goals.
To help you identify how much is enough, you may ask yourself these questions:
- What is my goal?
- How much time do I need to achieve my goal?
- How much money do I need to achieve my goal?
- What savings do I currently have in place to help me achieve my goal?
Answering these questions will enable you to plan and strategize your investments… and the more you save today, the less money you’ll need to save in the future to accomplish the same objective. Your current income is a good starting point for this.
- Have a strategic plan.
When the markets go haywire, some investors focus too much on short-term movements that lead to hasty decisions.
For example: When they see the markets rise, they jump in and buy high. When they see the markets fall, they lose confidence and sell at a loss.
To prevent this, the key is to avoid making rushed investment decisions, maintain perspective, and focus on the long term.
Also, be wary about what the financial media says! Professor Litman frequently emphasizes this in his webinars.
Don’t just rely on what financial publications tell you. You must also do your own exhaustive research based on facts from reliable sources.
With a well-structured plan in place, day-to-day market fluctuations will have little to no impact on your investment strategy.
Some of the world’s greatest investors such as Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, and Charlie Munger agree that making money in the market comes with a steadfast strategy that’s built around a set of solid investment rules.
If you don’t have your own carefully crafted strategy yet, now is the time for you to build one! A lot of today’s investing giants say they succeeded with the help of a disciplined approach to following these rules.
One more thing: Professor Litman says you shouldn’t put too much of your money in savings accounts and bonds.
It’s because they offer low interest rates and poor returns! In fact, Professor Litman states they should be called “losing accounts.”
According to him, if you’re planning to spend your money after 2 years, these vehicles could be a good place to put your money into. However, if you’re planning to spend your money after 10 years or so, the stock market is the best place for you.
It is through these asset allocations that you’ll maximize your wealth both in the short term and long term.
Apply the principles above in your own investment strategy!
As you turn these tips into action, you’ll ensure your portfolio:
- Is well positioned for the long term
- Successfully navigates market volatility
- Takes advantage of opportunities as market conditions change
Stay tuned for the fourth step to achieving financial freedom next week!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: The Independent Investor”
To best understand a firm, it makes sense to know its underlying earning power.
In two of the greatest books ever written on investing, the “Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham and “Security Analysis” by David Dodd and Benjamin Graham (yes, Graham authored both of these books), the term “earning power” is mentioned hundreds of times.
Despite that, it’s surprising how earning power is mentioned seldomly in literature on business strategy. If the goal of a business is wealth creation, then the performance metrics must include the earning power concept.
Every Wednesday, we’ll publish investing tips and insights in accordance with the practices of some of the world’s greatest investors.
We make certain that these articles help you identify and separate the best companies from the worst, and develop your investing prowess in the long run.
To help you get on that path towards the greatest value creation in investing.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s “The Independent Investor!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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