I like to have different bloggers share their knowledge and wisdom with you and me every so often. I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, but I think there is value in hearing different perspectives and learning new things from different people. So without further ado…
(This is not investment advice. Please see all disclosures and disclaimers for more information)
This is not a get-rich-fast & easy scheme. But it is a get-rich easy scheme. It is a safe one that will help you do it the right way and get you to what you thought might have been impossible: becoming a millionaire.
There are lots of things you might not know about money. While most people think it’s safe to save your money in your bank account, this is actually a sure way to lose money. Slowly but certainly, as consumer prices, stock markets, real estate all go up in value, the money you park on your bank account no longer has the value it once had.
A Dime Saved Note: This is not to mean that you should invest all your money. Absolutely not! You should have some money easily accessible in a savings account even if you are losing money due to inflation. Investments should happen after you have an emergency fund in place.
The value of money
Look at the US, for example. Both the Trump administration and the Biden administration have been printing money like their lives depended on it. This graph ends in February 2021. That means that all the extra Trillions of dollars of relief money that the Biden administration is in the process of approving will be hitting the market later in 2021.
Imagine that you would double the number of houses worldwide. Literally double. What do you think will happen to house prices? They will collapse, of course. Another way to look at it would be to say that the price of money would go up.
The other way to look at it would not be that the value of houses goes up, but in fact, that the value of money goes up.
If, of course, you flood the market with money, the opposite is true. It means that pretty much every other asset class has an increased chance to go up. Real estate and Stocks are the most profound example, of course.
Get a head start
I wish I could go back in time and tell my 18-year-old self to start investing now. It might have made my life a bit easier. I started off pretty well, making my first real estate purchase at 26, but after that, I kept what I thought was a safe way to handle money. I added lots of money to my savings account every month, not realizing that the value of that money was dropping every month.
Once you realize that “investing” in currencies like EUR or US Dollar is a losing game, you are ready to take your first step to become a millionaire.
The earlier you realize this, the easier this will go. Once you turn 18, you are actually entitled to invest. At this point, you should not hesitate and invest a minimum of 150 EUR / month.
The advantage you have when you are 18 years old is time. You have another 49 years to go until you retire. That’s like forever, basically. And that is if the government doesn’t increase the required retirement age.
While discovering this early helps, it is for sure not too late at any age to start.
How will this make you a millionaire?
Now how do you become a millionaire with just investing 150 EUR per month? 150 EUR might not seem like a lot, but the 150 you put in now will be worth 7500 EUR in 49 years. All you need to do is invest, and then don’t look at it until you are ready to retire.
If you put 150 EUR on your bank account instead, the chances are it will still be there at 49 and will be worth exactly 150 EUR, perhaps even less.
The math is extremely easy. It’s using something called compound interest. Namely, if you put in 150 EUR today, this 150 EUR will increase by 8% every year. So in year two, it will be 162 EUR, and so on.
Why 8%? Well, that’s just the average. The market is rising every year for the last 100 years. Of course, there are good and bad years, but it will always pay off in the long run. It makes sense if you look at it from a distance. Imagine we had Corona in 1991, for example. The internet was pretty much only just invented, and creating a vaccine those days would have taken 5 years. We would have lost our freedom much longer, and the casualties would have been exponentially higher.
That’s because mankind is always progressing, and it is not going to stop now. In the future, we have AI, robotic surgeries, autonomous cars, 3D printing of houses, and much more that we can’t even think about right now coming our way.
That’s progress and that, of course, combined with a forever increasing amount of cash, is producing a steady compounding growth of 8% / year.
Below, you can actually see what will happen if you invest 150 EUR per year.
After 49 years, you will have earned over 1M with investments. If you put 150 EUR / month on your bank account, this would have only made you 88.200 EUR. So you earn 1000% more if you invest it.
Already over 18? It’s still not too late to start. Starting today is still better than starting tomorrow. But it does get harder.
- At 28, you will need to invest 325 EUR / month.
- At 38, you will need to invest 800 EUR / month
- At 48 you will need to invest 1950 EUR / month
- And eventually, 58 you will need to invest 6900 EUR / month!!! A huge number. While I feel it’s never too late to realize this and start, I would not wait until you reached 58.
And yet, most people don’t start to think about saving for their retirement until 50. Don’t wait until 50. Start investing now.
Once you start investing, your money will grow. At some point, it will grow high enough for you to reach Financial Freedom. 150 is a start, but later in your life, you can consider investing more and get to that one million faster as you progress.
Even if you are over 18, at any age, it’s great to start now. As I said, I was just stockpiling cash on my bank account before I found out about FIRE and compound interest. I started at about 35, so it’s really never too late to start.
What investment will give me the needed return?
One of the most common questions I get is where I could invest my money. Be it from an investor that has just earned his first wage or a 30-year old that has a lump sum on his bank account and wonders where to put it.
The easiest method is by investing your money into an ETF every month—the same one. Ideally, one that covers as many countries as possible, for as many sectors as possible.
If you want to know more about ETFs, I can recommend this blog post for a good investment strategy.
How can you manage to save to invest?
It might not be easy to save to invest, especially in the early days of your life. By now, you probably have heard about a million tricks on how to save more. A few classics are to pay yourself first, don’t fall for lifestyle inflation, …
The truth of the matter is buying is addictive. It makes us feel good, and this is not our fault. When you buy something, the brain releases endorphins. But you get this with anything you buy. So actually, when you spend time to research ETFs / stocks and eventually make that purchase, this can also have that same effect that buying an extra pair of shoes you don’t really need.
So investing will actually help you to become more wealthy. It will also make saving easier for you. You could already get that rush you get from purchasing an ETF, so you might not need to buy something extra.