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Most Useful Money Investment and Saving Tips
This article presents the most useful money investment and saving tips that you can apply this year and the years that will come after it. These tips are based on the personal experiences of the writer, who happens to be a freelancer and also a business owner.
Notice the title of this article and the sequence of the words: investment comes first, before saving. This goes against the grain of what the baby boomer generation and their kids who form the Generation X were taught. Back then you needed to go to school, get good grades, get a good job (with those good grades) which you could do for the next 30-40 years of life, and then you would live happily ever after. Your job would allow you to save a portion every month or every week for the “rainy days” that would surely follow. This line of thinking may have worked for a time, but things have certainly changed since then.
I was born in the 70s to working parents who went to school, got the good grades and the jobs that came with it. We lacked nothing as the salaries of my parents paid for my existence and that of my siblings. Life was good.
As I sit at home all these years later, I find myself in a different zone from my parents. I did go to school, and I did get a job, but I quickly jettisoned it for life as a freelancer and entrepreneur. Nearly 20 years down the road, I have no regrets. I am not rich, but I can afford things my parents struggled to provide. Money has taken on a new meaning for me, not as a tool to hedge against a rainy day, but as a tool that can get me even more money when I want. Currently we are in a market where workers who were paid handsomely in certain sectors are being laid off in their thousands. But I find myself insulated. My remote job earnings now cater for an expanded retinue of family members, many of whom are out of work.
The investment and saving tips I will drop here saved my life (and by extension, the lives of several persons connected to me). If you apply them, you may not be a Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, but you will not find yourself queueing for unemployment benefits. By the way, if your government has such a welfare program for the unemployed, you are one of the lucky few.
Investment and Saving Tips
Change Your Mindset About Money
This is the first step. You must jettison all the old school stuff you have heard about money. Those who think money is the root of all evil, or that it is bad to have too much of it, or that you need to get a proper job “like everyone else” so you can save for the rainy days, are people you need to run away from. The same people will come to beg you for money or to borrow some of it when they are hard up. That alone should tell you something is wrong with their world view of money. Understand these points as part of your new mind set:
- Money is not the root of all evil. Those who misquote that particular bible verse need to read it again, as it clearly says, the love of money, and not money itself, is the root of all evil. Did the same bible not say that “money answers all things and that “wisdom and money is a defence to all men”?” Think about that.
- Money is good and the more of it you have, the more needs you can take care of and the more you can help around you. Some people say that more money means more problems, and use this as an excuse for their not having enough of it. Can I tell you something? My problems have reduced as my money has increased. Do you think anyone on the Forbes list is batting an eyelid as to how their families can afford to feed, pay school fees or buy a new home or a new car? Or finance a new business, or get turned down for a loan? Or worry about bad credit?
- Money is a tool to make more money. I am about to show you how this works.
Let’s move ahead.
Invest and then Save
Money is a tool which can be multiplied to be able to get more of it. You can then save the rest. Money is not a tool to enhance consumption. If you have this mindset, you will continue to be broke. Money is a tool for production and multiplication. So you have to invest in a business or venture that can yield profit with minimal costs.
Invest in the Real Money-making Businesses
Your first investments should not be in speculative ventures. These can come later. Your first investment should be in low-risk, good-yielding, in-demand and easily monetizable businesses. Businesses built around the primal needs of human beings are good investments. Everyone must eat, live in a house, wear clothes and stay healthy. This is why companies built around agriculture, healthcare, clothing and real estate generally do well over time. The good thing is that many of these sectors have various avenues through which you can invest, either directly into your own company or buying into ownership of companies already in these businesses.
In times of low demand check the oil company stocks on the Dow Jones and see how they are being sold off so fast, your head will probably swim. Then take a look at the tech stocks that power computers, cloud computing, servers, financial technology, etc. They do not look like they are having any downtime. Tesco in the UK had to employ 45,000 new workers to deal with the surge in demand for groceries. Online grocery stores are seeing huge increase in traffic. Take a look at the global demand for face masks and ventilators and you will see why automobile companies are repurposing themselves to produce the in-demand products of today. Finally, take a look at Google’s earnings, and earnings of the contactless delivery companies like Amazon, Uber, Fedex these are set to grow and grow, as more people use delivery companies. Look at certain Pharma stocks, what a great investment right now.
Lesson here: start a company that services the primal needs of human beings, or you invest in the stocks of the companies involved in those sectors.
Invest in Learning Digital Skills
The digital workplace was worth $150 billion in 2014. It is estimated to become a trillion-dollar market within the decade. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that remote work, is doable and workable for just about any sector. Even Telemedicine apps are now permitting doctors to hold consults for their patients remotely. The ability to be in Minsk and serve a client in New York, or to be in Durban, South Africa and offer skills to a client in London will be the future of work once the pandemic is over. Therefore, you must start now to invest in digital skills. Investing in digital skills is just the same as investing money for future returns, because these skills can be monetized.
Develop Several Savings Accounts
Ideally, your investments mentioned above should be able to give you the ability to generate money at will, and not have it tied to a fixed time frame which a salary does. This will also help you to put aside some of what you earn as savings. I have found that the use of various savings accounts for expenses, personal or family projects, or education for kids puts more discipline and drive into my investment process. For instance I am saving now for a new house. I have a savings account where I put in a portion of what I make from my various investment ventures solely for this purpose. I have a savings account for medicals. I have one for property investments as well as rent. I also have one that funds some of my personal luxuries. Do not be fooled by the concept of a “savings” account. They do not generate any interest that will beat inflation, so I do not even consider earning any interest from there. I prefer to put my money to work in ventures that produce higher yields. You should too.
To conclude this piece, I would summarize these tips as follows:
- Learn skills and do remote work for various clients. It is the future of work. If you failed to catch the train then, you can catch it now.
- Offer consultancy services on skills you have and use online platforms to get a global reach. Learn to trade the financial markets. There are low-cost, low-risk assets that even the risk-averse can benefit from.
- Start up a business in an in-demand industry which services the human needs. Some governments are giving out loans guaranteed by their central banks. Ask your local bank if you qualify.
- Open several savings accounts where you can warehouse money for separate projects.
- Always ensure you have enough cash to cater for at least 6 months of living expenses. At least, you will be able to feed yourself and your family and cater to essential bills while giving your new ventures or skills time to start bringing cash.
These are just to guide you. Look at your location, your town, city, state or country and ask yourself: what can I set up as an investment to generate more money, out of which I can save some of that? What am I saving for? If you can find the answers, then this article would have made a lot of sense.
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