Blog | Personal Finance

Fasten Your Seatbelts for The Investment Journey

The road to financial freedom starts with an investment strategy

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  • Remember, becoming wealthy is a journey

  • Achieving financial dreams requires action

  • There are no quick ways to get rich— increase your financial education, and do the work

If you eliminate those who were born into family money and those who won the lottery, you’re left with the average Joes and Janes of the world. Now, some of these average Joes and 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. Though you may have seen it promised, these methods rarely last for the long-term.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while embarking on your wealth journey.

Saving is a scam

That’s right. If you know someone who’s financially free, the chances that they gained their wealth by saving is slim to none.

You may have heard the following when seeking financial advice:

  • “Save money!”

  • “Put money in your 401k!”

  • “Live below your means!”

  • This advice, at best, is irritating (and grossly misleading).

    Many people 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.” And that reward is what makes the journey worthwhile.

    Own your own financial future

    This takes us to the last bit of advice: Don’t let anyone do this work for you.

    Too many people rely on what their friends tell them, what they read in magazines and the latest gossip on television.

    If you want to discover the truth about money, success or anything in life, you have to do the work yourself… no one is going to do it for you.

    Yes, it may seem easier to just listen to a “credible” financial advisor on television, get advice from your sister, best friend or someone else you trust, or just do what everyone else seems to be doing. We are all busy with work, taking care of loved ones, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc.

    But if you let someone else make your key decisions for you, you lose control.

    This means that you don’t really know what’s going on with your money.

    Are you going to get that next check to pay your bills?

    Is your IRA or 401-K really helping you plan for your retirement goals?

    What happens if you get sick and can’t work?

    This is stressful; don’t you have enough stress in your life right now?

    It takes extra effort, but…

    You need a financial education to not only survive, but thrive, in today’s world.

    To reduce your stress and take control, increase your knowledge. Kill the excuses about lack of time, intelligence, money, etc. All you need to do is begin with these simple steps:

    1. Question what you see and hear in the media, what “financial advisors” are telling you, and the gossip circulating in your local groups. Do some research and find out if what they are saying is true and if there is a hidden agenda on their part.

    2. Read media you haven’t looked at before and discover what is really going on in the world. For example, check out The Wall Street Journal , The Economist, Bloomberg News , BusinessWeek, The Week , Bert Dohmen’s The Wellington Letter , Drudge Report, Rich Dad’s financial education news section, and all of the other financial and news sources out there.
      You’ll open your mind to different opinions, agendas, facts, and statistics.

    3. Set some time aside each day to spend working on your financial plan. Figure out what you want in life and how you are going to get there.
      Then, schedule time each day to take action on your plan. Without action, nothing happens. (For more help, check out the Triple-A Triangle™ here.)

    Start your journey today

    Your 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, 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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