As a millennial who's in the financial services industry, I constantly learn new things and gain a lot of useful new information. Learning too much wasn't always good; it got to a point where things got a bit confusing -- information overload as we call it, and that wasn't at all helpful. I realized that we can't just let the winds dictate where we're supposed to go -- that's why boats have sails.
I had to learn how to filter. After years of constant learning, unlearning, and re-learning, I'm now able to differentiate the noise from the truth, what's relevant and what isn't. Among the many things which I consider important about investing, I must say these are the top three most important information that a millennial has to keep in mind.
#1 YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO INVEST
You've probably heard this before and you just couldn't care less, but really, the biggest asset when it comes to investing is TIME. The earlier you start, the more money you can accumulate. How is this possible? It's called compounding interest. You probably didn't understand how powerful this concept was when you were still taking up basic accounting but believe me, Albert Einstein wouldn't say “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world” for no reason, right?
Now, let me illustrate the magic of compounding interest, let's say you invest P 1,000.00 every month over 10 years, without investing you will be able to accumulate P 120,000, but let's see how much your money can grow if you invest it.
Remember, you only invested P 120,000 for 10 years but that amount has grown to P 214, 578 -- that's the power of Compound Interest. The earlier and longer you invest, the more time you give it to work its magic. You can see from the visual above the huge opportunity that you miss if you just leave your money in your wallet or in your savings account. Apart from the fact that it won't grow as much as what you've seen, you'll also just probably end up spending it.
If you want to know more about compound interest, I suggest that you read this article posted by CNN: The 1 thing Millennials need to know about investing
Bottomline: Start investing as soon as you start earning, or as soon as you can even when you're only getting an allowance. Just like my sister who started investing even while she was still in college. There's magic when you start early. Believe me. You won't just build your wealth, you will also be able to build good money habits, and of course, the earlier you start the faster you'll be able to achieve your financial goals.
#2 YOU ONLY NEED 20% OF YOUR INCOME TO START AND KEEP THE BALL ROLLING
We've established that it's important to start early. The next question is, how much should you invest and where should you allocate this part of your money? Let's answer the first and most fundamental part of investing first. How much should we set aside for our investments? I personally follow the principle that Bo Sanchez teaches, the 10-20-70 Rule which says: 10% should be allocated on tithes, 20% on your investments, and 70% goes to your expenses. CNBC gives emphasis to this principle in their article 11 Signs You Will Be A Millionaire: "On average, millionaires invest 20 percent of their household income each year. Their wealth isn't measured by the amount they make each year, but by how they've saved and invested over time."
"Where do I put this amount?". To keep it simple, let's focus on growth and protection.
Protection - for your life & health
For protection, there are a whole lot of options available in the market right now. You just have to be very wise in picking the best one for you. Just make sure that it will give enough coverage for your:
1. Long-term Healthcare needs (for your medical expenses when you're old), and
2. Income Replacement (in case of death or accident).
Growth - for your #goals
For growth, I would suggest that you go for Stock Market Investments or Mutual Funds. By doing so you could maximize the earning potential of your money. Guess what? Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't have to be filthy rich for you to be able to participate in the stock market since you only need P5,000 to open an account. Woohoo! You have two options to get started with this: there are direct platforms like COL Financial where you can manage your money yourself, or you can invest through Mutual Fund Companies where an expert will do the investing for you. Either way, if you consistently invest for the long-term you can earn an average compounded interest of 12% annually.
I won't dig deeper into the details for now, but you can definitely message me for your inquiries.
Bottomline: Financial Freedom can only be achieved if we allocate the right amount in the right investment vehicles. Learn how to choose the right investment vehicles where you can maximize the growth of your money without compromising your protection.
#3 YOU NEED NOT TO BE AN EXPERT BEFORE YOU CAN START INVESTING
As millennials, sometimes we have the tendency to delay something especially when we think it's too complicated or nakakatamad intindihin. Believe me, I know how that feels. Sure, you could read countless articles online -- that's a good start. You have to put your learnings into action though, and that's where people like me are helpful. You don't have to have it all figured out. Financial Coaches/Advisers are here to guide you and help you assess what's best for you. We can even help you create a clearer vision and sustainable goals and action steps that will really secure your future. You just need to take a leap of faith and find that person that you think you can trust.
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Let's just have a quick recap:
1. You're not getting any younger ergo the best time to start is now.
2. You can start just by simply setting aside 20% of your income.
3. To get started find yourself a financial mentor/coach/adviser.
Now that you know all these things, it's time to put your learnings into action! Feel free to connect with me via my email I would love to journey with you.
Go for your goals!
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About the Author
Chai Santiago is a graduate of Manufacturing Engineering and Management from De La Salle University who later on found her passion and purpose in the Financial Education industry. She is a Certified Financial Educator® (CFEd®) under Heartland Institute of Financial Education (HIFE) and a Financial Coach at International Marketing Group (IMG).