Reading Time: 10 Minutes
Yea, I know. That sounds like a popup on an adult website. But it’s true, and it’s super easy. Why hasn’t everyone done it yet? A good friend of mine asked me the same thing when I told him about this. And yet, five months later he still has not done it either. Step up your game, Andrew.
It sounds daunting at first, but like the RONCO Chicken Rotisserie from those late night infomercials, it takes just a few clicks and then, say it with me now: Set it and Forget it!™
To give credit where credit is due, I did learn this from Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Another site that sounds like a major scam but it’s not. It has a lot of great tips and ideas in all facets of economic success. Highly recommended.
But that’s why I’m writing this, to spread the message to more people, from hopefully a more relatable source, and show you that it’s not a scam. It’s real, it works, and it’s easy.
I’m not rich. Far from it. This is just a little way to get a little more money and peace of mind. If you are rich, awesome! This will work for you too. But if you’re like most people and are not anywhere near it, you really don’t have to be.
Onto what I do:
How I Gained $100 over Six Months in Six Minutes
Investment. The secret is investment.
If you don’t have time to read the rest, just read this:
I opened a Vanguard IRA, put $1000 as an initial deposit, and set up an automated transfer of $50 a month from my main checking account.
That’s it. Done.
Click the link, sign up, and that’s it.
Really. Do it now.
That doesn’t sound too bad right? $50 a month is reasonable to start out with. For the gains you could be making over the course of your life until retirement, an investment of $50 a month shouldn’t be missed all that much.
Now I know what you’re going to say when I talk investment: “But Aylon, the stock market is unreliable, and unsafe! We’re in a depressions/recession/really-bad-economic-times/HORRIBLE-STOCK-MARKET-EVIL-GAHHHH!!!”
Or something like that.
But what I’m really hearing is: “But Aylon, I’m afraid of uncertainty, and I don’t even know how to invest.”
And that’s cool. It’s perfectly fine to be afraid of putting your money into a place that you’re unfamiliar with and don’t know what will happen to it. You’d be crazy not to be. I was in the exact same place. I was right there with you. I heard all the news stories about the terrible economy, and people losing millions in the stock market, and all that. I didn’t know the first thing about how to even get money into the stock market. All I knew was “Buy Low, Sell High,” and anything else I could glean from watching the movie Wall Street far too many times, and Wall Street II: Electric Boogaloo even further too many times.
But that’s not the kind of investment I’m talking about. I’m talking about IRAs. A long term, managed account, invested in a mix of stocks and bonds depending on your age group, with an extraordinarily high likelihood of success. Now that’s not to say that there’s no risk involved, but the breakdown is catered to your age group, and risk is calculated accordingly to increase the chance of success by the time of your retirement. It’s engineered for your success. Otherwise, they lose customers.
I’ve done the research, but you can do it yourself too. The company I use, Vanguard, charges some of the lowest fees in the business, around 0.18%. Feel free to check out more on their website. You don’t have to use this company, it’s just what works best for me, but I do encourage you to use something. And do it now.
I could spend another 800 words explaining the benefits of investing early and compounding interest and all that. But I wont. I’ll just tell you my story.
An IRA isn’t meant to be constantly watched. You can’t, aside from a few exceptions, touch the money until retirement. It’s meant to steep and steep, like a cup of tea made by a forgetful college kid. But when he finally remembers about it when he’s 65 years old, it’s still nice and hot and super strong and filled with money. I think I mixed up my analogy there, but you know what I mean.
But I did, I’ve kept a close eye on my IRA and here’s what happened:
I started out strong. I gained a whole $7 in my first month. Then it dropped $23 the month after. But then a miraculous thing happened, I gained $80 by month six. That’s $80 past all of what I added. $80 purely from the success of my stocks and the interest of my bonds. Then came the end of the year, and I elected to have my dividends (bonus from the stocks) reinvested in my account. This came out to be $21 extra. There’s $100 I gained in six months by doing six minutes of initial time investment. Now by this point I had only added $1250 of my own money, and gained over $100. That’s about an 8% increase in six months. No bank account is going to give you that on a little over $1000.
Granted, yes, I can’t touch that money until I’m 65, and yes, it’s bound to drop a bit. There’s always a possibility of my stocks tanking, but historically there’s about a 10% increase over time by investment in the stock market. This is no get-rich-quick scheme. It’s no get-rich-at-all scheme. It’s an insurance policy. It’s a 10 hour pulled pork in a crock pot. Invest literally six minutes of your time now, plus automatically a little money every month, and odds are, you’ll have a nice big chunk of soft delicious meat/money later.
So why hasn’t everyone done this already? They haven’t had that push. So consider this your swift kick in the backside. Go to Vanguard or another investment site you feel like doing research on, find the (Roth) IRA for your age group, put a bit of money in, set up your automatic deposits, and forget about it until you’re old and hungry for delicious tea/meat/money.