Investment: The sooner you start, the better

Investing: the why, how and other things

Well, this may be very different from what you usually read here, but I believe it has its place. We are all hackers, we find new ways to exploit systems. Why not, for a moment, turn our attention to a system that may provide us with assets? I want to talk a little bit about my way through this system, even though I may only be fingerprinting at this stage.

What should you spend your money on

Money can be exchanged for goods and services. We all know that. But did you know that money can be exchanged for more money? You lend it to someone and they buy shit for it. When they make money, they give it back to you and you split the profit on what they make (to a certain ratio). This is a very nice way of making money once you have it. You just need to know who to lend your money. The more profitable a business is, the more profit you can share.

If you buy a car, a phone, a laptop, these things lose value over time. If I tried selling my X200 now, it wouldn’t be really the money I spent for it now, would it? Everyone understands this point, but no one seems to acknowledge the need for money investment. Least of all my peers and classmates. Investing money is seen as the boomer hobby, something that starts “next year”. I don’t want to work my whole life just to survive, paycheck to paycheck.

When to invest? How much? How often?

The answer to the first is “As soon as possible.” I don’t want to work my whole life just to survive, paycheck to paycheck.

When to invest? How much? How often?

The answer to the first is “As soon as possible,” since the duration of your investments is almost as important as the amount. If I save 250$ a month with 6% interest for 30 years, I will have twice as much as I would have if I only saved for 20 years. One third of the time longer, double the money.

Of course, not always do we have the pleasure of watching a steady increase of 6% every year. There are dips, there are crises for every company you lend your money to, and that happens. They may even go under, declare bankruptcy, but that is not a huge setback if you diversify your portfolio properly.

For the how much, it depends. I would never spend more money than I can lose comfortably, because as much as I want a nice and stable income later, I don’t want to hang myself every time something happens to the stock. Consider investment a luxury, the same as a partial payment on a car or something.

How often should you invest? Same answer: It depends. As often as you are comfortable with. I opted for a monthly investment plan, because I am comfortable with such a plan and my expenses work for me.

Diversification

What is diversification? It means not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you only invest in Apple, you are betting on Apple doing well. If Apple stocks dip, you feel every little crisis on your money. What happens if you invest in several different companies and branches? Suddenly, that Apple crisis impacts you much less.

How do we crack this egg?

Now that we know how it works conventionally, we may now employ our less conventional approaches. This system isn’t foolproof, no system is, and there are ways to take advantage of this.

The first method is the simplest, but goes against almost everyone’s grain. We wait for a crisis that we feel will NOT drive a company to ground and then we invest. Think of it as weak encryption. We can wait for a weak message to come (a crisis) and then exploit it, riding the stock back to the norm.

What we need is cool nerves. When stocks plummet, you can feel the hit in your stomach. What you might want to do is abandon ship before it sinks, however remember that stocks go down, but afterwards, the mostly go up. This is how the rich get richer.

Rule #1: Buy in times of crisis, when everyone else is losing their mind

What else can we do to invest well? One thing that seems to recur often is that people believe what they are told. This doesn’t go for random internet people who tell you to invest in stock XYZ, it pays to never trust the company, either. Often, spokespeople keep crises under wraps as often as possible, to prevent the full impact until all the important people managed to get rid of their stocks. In the case of a crisis, it is not in the company’s interest to lose their stock value even more by having people sell their stock at a low price.

Rule #2: Never trust anyone who tells you to buy their shit.

Self-improvement

You may be asking yourself “m4iler, you supersmart big-brain human! How does this financial bullshit advice tie into anything about self-improvement?”

Well, it’s simple: I am terrible at managing money. What I have, I spend. When I don’t have a lot, I spend a little. Every paycheck burns my pocket right through. I can’t help myself, it’s a horrible way to live, trust me. I cannot save unless I block my money from myself, but I have yet to find a good way to save money and have access to it at the same time.

It is one of my strongest personality traits. I am a born helper, my quality of life skyrockets when I can help someone and feel needed. It may also be my undoing, since I would help someone even if it was my last breath (I will write a blogpost on my strong/weak traits later, stay tuned).

My strong suit (being generous) is capable of becoming my weakness quickly (giving away all my possessions, leaving nothing for myself). My GF tells me I need to think of myself, but that’s why I love her. I can focus my attention on her, and trust her she will take better care of our finances (she has experience).

One thing I can get better at is this new job. I can help people in my job, I just need to know everything there is to know. This is self-improvement taken to the extreme. I want to be the very best at what I do, just to help others get to the same level. This is my life’s goal.As I said, I’ll do a proper blogpost on what I’m like and how I’m going to develop myself in its own post. Consider this a trailer ;-)

I will most likely update this blogpost when I get into some trouble, but until then, I’m going to get the help of a company to manage my money. I can believe them more than the companies, because by managing my money, it is in their interest to make me as much money as possible. I know they get a cut from it, sure, but it’s still better than investing on your own, because unless you want to spend time researching, you can always fuck something up horribly and end up worse off than when you started. By getting a person to manage your funds for you, you can relax a bit more, but still have the luxury of calling your person and saying “Buy XYZ for me, it’ll be huge” every now and again when you get a good hunch (most likely based on research).

So, this has been a very rushed blogpost, mostly for myself, but again, someone may not know this and they may benefit. I’m in my early 20’s, so I’m the target group. If you think you have some money to spare, try investing it.