This is the best time of your life… especially if you’re in your 20s. We know adulting is hard – trust us, we really do know – but you’re probably enjoying some level of freedom like never before. You’re making decisions that are terrifying and exciting at the same time. You have so much energy to go after what you want, and you are still filled with hope that you can achieve everything you have ever wanted. This is a pivotal moment in your life and what you do with your money now will either go a little or a long way.
A significant question in the minds of many young people today is: how do I stretch my money to meet my needs today and still have something saved for the future? Over the course of your life, you will have milestone projects that will demand serious capital. More so, retirement may seem like a long way off but if you don’t plan towards it, you would have worked all your life only to end up miserable. The answer is simple: start investing today, no matter how little.
To prove how solid this advice is, we did a small experiment: how much will I have in 10 years if I invest N5,000 every month in a product that gives me a return of say 10% per annum?
Using this calculator, this is what will happen:
In 1 year, I will have N 68,351.41 instead of N60,000; not bad.
In 5 years, I will have N 395,411.91 instead of N300,000; sweet.
In 10 years, I will have N 1,037,760.1 instead of N600,000; now, that’s what I am talking about!
What has happened here is the beauty that is compounding interest. I invested N5,000 in month 1 and earned an interest on it; in month 2, my interest is calculated on my initial N5,000 + interest gained + month 2 deposit of N5,000. On and on it goes until I reach the 10-year mark. If you go ahead to use the calculator with an investment that returns up to 30% per annum or if you invest more as you go along the results are amazing.
So how should you invest? We came up with a few tips below:
Have savings goals:
Perhaps you want to rent an apartment in a year, or buy a car in 2 years, or go to school in 3 years, or get married in 4 years, or retire to the Bahamas in 30 years; the point is have your goals written down. A good trick will be to organize them with the amount needed to complete this goal and the timeline. This will help you see your short-term vs long-term goals and will guide you in what investment options to pursue.
For instance, if you want to rent a place for N750,000 next year, you should not go for a high-risk investment that can erode your capital or an investment with a 2-year lock-in period. A low-risk investment with easy entry and exit is a much safer option.
Increase your savings as you go along:
There’s a popular saying that advises that you do not save what is left after spending; rather, spend what is left after saving. This simply means that you should have the discipline to commit an amount that will be invested from your income every month, no stories. As you earn more or as you go along, you can increase this amount by say 1% (more is better really) and adjust your spending accordingly.
A good way to get this done is to have a direct debit on your account as soon as your salary – or other income – comes in. This eliminates the temptation to spend and put off investing until some later time that never really arrives.
Choose the right investment products:
Perhaps the most important of them all. You need to learn how to choose investment products that work for you. Because you’re young, you have the luxury to invest in high-risk products – like stocks or cryptocurrency – that deliver great returns over a longer period. However, it is also best to diversify your portfolio with other stable, low-risk investments that will balance out your exposure to risk – like money market funds, bonds and alternative investments.
So, this is you. You would like to invest for retirement, but also buy a car in 2 years. You can approach a stockbroking firm and open a trading account where you buy shares monthly knowing that you will not withdraw those funds for at least 10 years; you’re likely to make good gains if you pick the right shares. At the same time, you can come to FINT and invest in alternative investment products across different sectors
With smart investing, you’re good today and even better tomorrow.