Slower to get married, to become parents and homeowners, millennials are also slower (than older generations) to become investors. Millennials are reaching their prime spending and working years, but are reluctant to view themselves as long-term investors. Managing personal finances isn’t a topic covered extensively in school, so a lack of formal education may be a reason for this reluctance. However, it’s far from being too late to start investing in your financial future. Get started with these 4 tips:
1. Get an early start.
There’s a misconception that you need to wait until you get a raise or are finally working your dream job in order to start saving for retirement. That’s simply not true. You should aim to start saving as soon as you start making money. When you’re young, compound interest works in your favor - your money is able to grow for decades!
2. Use the 10-10-10 rule.
To be secure in your finances, it’s essential to create a budget and stick to it. 70% of your earnings should be spent on maintaining your lifestyle. Abide by the 10-10-10 rule when it comes to the remaining 30%. 10% goes to your immediate savings, 10% to long-term investments, and 10% can be used for your enjoyment.
3. Understand the risk.
If investing guaranteed a return, everyone would be doing it. Before you begin, think about how much you’re willing to lose. Remember that when you’re young, you can generally afford to partake in riskier investments, because you have time to make up for what you’ve lost.
4. Diversify. Diversify. Diversity.
It’s important to remember not to put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in what you know, and focus on the long-term.
According to Bankrate, only 26% of people under 30 own stocks, but because the stock market can produce return rates of 11%, it’s important for young people to at least educate themselves on how stocks can help them plan for retirement. It’s important, especially now, since company pension plans and social security are no longer reliable retirement plan options.