Blog | Personal Finance

Fasten Your Seatbelts for The Investment Journey

The road to financial freedom starts with an investment strategy.

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If you eliminate those who were born into family money and those who won the lottery, you’re left with the average Joes - or in our case, Janes - of the world. Now, some of these average Janes work 9-5 jobs just to make ends meet while others have gone on to achieve their financial dreams, living the life you desire. How did they do it? Most likely through a series of investments, which could have been in their own business idea, someone else’s business, real estate, the stock market or anything else. And did this happen overnight? Highly unlikely.

Let’s compare it to something we are probably all familiar with: wanting to lose a few pounds. If you decide to lose weight naturally, it’s a process that takes effort and discipline. You don’t just go to bed and then wake up slim and trim. Instead, you exercise regularly. You make changes to your diet. Then, over time, you start to see the results of your hard work.

Investing is no different. Sadly, there is no secret get-rich-quick formula. You simply don’t go to bed one night and wake up wealthy the next morning. There may be people who promise these things, but I have yet to see one that lasts for the long-term.

Saving is a scam

That’s right. If you know a “Jane” who’s financially free, the chances that she gained her wealth by saving is slim to none.

When talking to women all over the world, the majority always share similar advice that’s often given to them:

“Save money!”

“Put money in your 401k!”

“Live below your means!”

Give me a break. It’s as if these advisors think women are pretty stupid and can’t do anything more than that. I find this irritating.

I’ve seen many women who just sit back, and let others control their money, simply because they’ve been advised to do so. These days, you can’t be passive and hope that things are going to change.

You must be active. You must do something!

Start by thinking differently. For example, if you’re only getting 1% interest on your savings, start thinking, “Where can I get a better return on my money?”

This is where the journey of your investment strategy begins.

Investing is a journey

In the process of becoming investors, we learn. We get some hands-on experience that teaches us lessons we couldn’t learn otherwise. We make mistakes—and learn from them. We get more and more experience, and make more and more mistakes. During this process, our knowledge, confidence, and abilities grow (not to mention, our bank accounts grow too). In many ways, chasing your investment strategy is just like life: a journey filled with highs and lows, joys and sorrows. At the end of the day, it’s always a journey worth taking.

The journey is the reward

The process we go through is even more important than the end goal. That is the key.

Who we become in the process, as a result of all the learning, mistakes, and experience, is where the real value lies. Think of any chance you have to increase your financial education as money in your pocket down the road.

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The journey is the reward.”

The journey is worth it

1985 was the year from hell. Robert and I lost pretty much everything. At one point, we even lived in our car. It was undeniably the worst year of our lives. My self-esteem was crushed. The upsets were constant. My inner voice was saying persistently negative things like, “You can’t do that,” “You’re going to fail,” “You don’t know anything,” and, “You’re hopeless.”

I would honestly go to bed some nights thinking how much easier it would be if I just never woke up. It was the lowest point of my life.

But now, looking back many years later, I realize that Robert and I were both going through our own processes. There was no pretending: it was miserable. Yet, by going through that process, hitting bottom and then pulling ourselves back up, it was probably one of the best things that could have happened for both of us.

The result of that extremely difficult time made both Robert and me stronger and smarter individually and more committed and assured as a couple. It was invaluable. That was the reward at the end of the process.

Start your journey today

I guarantee that your own journey is waiting for you today. On it, you will make mistakes—and some of them will be enormous. You will be challenged. You’ll have fearful moments. There will be times when your character is going to be tested. But if you shy away from the challenge, you won’t grow. You won’t learn. And you won’t gain anything.

So, average Janes: Today is the day to start your journey. Fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times. It’s going to be a bumpy, but awesome ride.

Original publish date: June 21, 2018

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