Money

4 Lessons I learned as the editor of Think Save Retire

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When I initially found out that I would be taking over as the editor of Think Save Retire, I experienced a full range of emotions.

First and foremost I was excited beyond belief. But that didn’t last long before the worry set in. I was experienced as a writer and an editor, but I was still fairly new to the personal finance space, and I knew that I was going to have to learn a lot of information in a very short span of time.

I immediately began to consume any relevant material I could get my hands on. Books, blogs, articles, podcasts, Youtube videos, etc. Although I was completely overwhelmed at the time, I quickly realized that the research didn’t feel like a chore. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. And I’m still continuing to learn today, close to two years after taking over.

The following items are the things that I consider the most important takeaways from my time learning about personal finance. These are the things that I wish everyone knew.

Your 9 to 5 job can make you wealthy

I used to think that in order to be wealthy you either needed to be born into money, or you needed to start your own business and work tirelessly around the clock to make that business successful.

Through my time in the personal finance community, I have realized that although an entrepreneurial spirit is definitely helpful for achieving financial independence—you do not need to be a business owner to build real wealth.

Through the power of index funds, your 9 to 5 can make you a millionaire if you invest consistently and for the long term. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “high earner”, it is still feasible. And even though any investment opportunity comes with some risk—it may not be nearly as much risk as you would think.

Check out this article on index funds for a closer look at what I’m talking about here.

Individual stocks usually aren’t the best bet

Before I learned about investing, I treated the stock market like a casino.

I would place bets on companies and cross my fingers that I would hit it big. And that strategy was effective occasionally, but it definitely wasn’t yielding the kind of returns I wanted.

It was early on in my tenure as editor that I realized when it comes to investing, a boring strategy is oftentimes a better strategy. I learned about S&P 500 index funds, and never looked back. I’ve moved away from buying individual stocks and I focus the overwhelming majority of my investing on the S&P 500.

S&P 500 index funds have a return of about 8%, and there are relatively few investment options that outperform them over a long period of time. You won’t be a millionaire overnight, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to grow your nest egg.

Learn more about S&P 500 index funds.

Cash is trash

I used to be so proud of myself for “saving money”. Which meant that I would just deposit whatever I had left over at the end of the month into a savings account that was accruing a whopping .01% in interest.

I had always known that I was losing money to inflation, but it just seemed too risky to invest in the stock market without feeling like I knew what I was doing. Being the editor of Think Save Retire forced me to do the research on investing and helped me to get very comfortable, very quickly.

But I also know that won’t necessarily make sense for everyone’s circumstances. With inflation soaring, it’s never been more crucial to find some type of financial instrument to grow your savings. If you’re still not ready to invest, a high-yield savings account is likely going to have a considerably higher interest rate than a run-of-the-mill savings account at your bank.

NerdWallet keeps an up to date list of the best high-yield savings accounts. You may also consider taking a look at I-Bonds as an alternative to the stock market that is considered to be lower risk.

I learned more from strangers on the internet than I ever did in a classroom

I have two degrees, and a half dozen professional certifications, but when it comes to personal finance, the internet is undefeated.

Reading about Steve Adcock’s journey to financial independence gave me the foundation that I needed to get started.

Then I took Jeremy Schneider’s wealth building course, and I learned more about money in 8 hours than I had in my entire life previous to that. I’ve said on record before that I firmly believe that I will become a millionaire as a direct result of what I learned taking this course.

Signing off

I’ve been involved with Think Save Retire in one way or another for close to 3 years now, but this will be my final post as editor of the blog.

It has been a life changing journey to say the least, and I’m grateful for all of the friends I’ve made in the personal finance community. I’m also grateful for all of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and all the opportunities that have arisen as a result of my time here.

I wish continued success to the blog and its followers, and I hope that the tradition of helping people to become financially independent continues for years to come.

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