I’m asked this question quite often and I truly love answering it.
As a first-time investor, there are countless routes you can choose; but truthfully, the most important investment you can make is to invest in YOU.
It starts by deciding to do a little thing I call “PAYING YOURSELF FIRST.”
This is the most important decision you will ever make when it comes to your money.
When you earn a paycheck the first person who must be paid is YOU.
You need to get financially selfish, and budget to pay yourself first before anyone else gets paid.
The best way to do this is to use your retirement plan at work, like a 401(k) plan which you hopefully have available. You want to save the first hour a day of your income. So what every you earn from 9am to 10am – that is what you save daily and add to your retirement account.
To explain further, saving the first hour of your day equates to 12.5% of your gross income. Now, if you’re employer matches your savings, this is icing on the cake. With employee contributions, you’re looking at saving around 15% of your gross annual income.
That is TREMENDOUS, and an absolutely amazing way to kick start your savings. 15% is a life changing amount of money to save & invest for your future. Optimally, you want to start doing this in your twenties. I recommend investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, by doing this you’ll more than likely be a millionaire by your late 50’s early 60’s. Start saving early, get to your destination early, and continue to save more.
If your employer doesn’t offer a 401k plan, set up an IRA account – there are multiple companies that offer them. When your account is up and running, save the maximum allowed by law each year. Go to www.irs.gov for the latest rules.
Originally published on Quora.
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