How to Invest Money - The Monetary Ranks
Welcome to your free crash course on how to invest your money. This guide is going to cover everything you need to know as a total beginner. It starts off with assuming you're in debt and goes through what to consider doing as you start to make money and build wealth.
I'm not a financial advisor so do your own research. I'm a guy who went from being a broke and struggling English teacher trying to build an online business, to an expat who actually has an online business with enough cash flow coming requiring me to invest my money.
I mention this to let you know I've been on both sides of the proverbial coin. Let's get to it.
Enlisted consumer - Pay check to pay check
Most start off enlisted. That means you have a job, you have debt, you live for the weekends, you invest a little in your companies 401k or perhaps you started a Roth IRA yourself or dabble in crypto.
But the truth is you are generally living pay check to pay check. The higher ranking enlisted guys at least have a pension but the lower ranking consumers owe more that they are worth and barely make enough to live.
Nothing wrong with being an enlisted consumer if you're one of those people with a government job and a pension. It's a good life, if however you don't have a pension then you can't save your way to wealth. You need to invest.
Cadet - Pay off credit card and student loan debt
When you decide to take control of your finances I describe this as being a monetary cadet. You're no longer an enlisted consumer as you're goal is to get ahead financially. Your investing strategy is simple. Don't worry about investing and instead focus on getting out of debt. You'll get a bigger return on your money by eliminating debt as it's akin to having your foot on the break pedal.
I know this is a tall order for most. Credit cards on average charge you anywhere from 18% to 27% a month in interest payments. Just by paying this off, your income will skyrocket by this amount. We all get into credit card debt for various reasons, sometimes our own incompetence, sometimes just bad luck because when problems happen the credit card is your way out.
It's not always just being irresponsible and buying stuff we can't afford like a lot of money gurus love to assume. Sometimes we start a business that fails or perhaps we need the money to cover an emergency. I'm not judging, but before you think of starting any type of investment, you need to get out of debt, particularly credit card debt.
Next is student loan debt which is a true nightmare for many. I was watching the Dave Ramsey show and one guy had 1 million dollars in student loans! He was studying to be an orthodontist. All in all it will take him 10 years of schooling for his career field and then an additional 10 years to pay off his debt. So in 20 years he will finally start making money when he is in his 50s.
I paid off my student loan debt because I served in the Air Force Reserve and used the GI Bill. I also majored in finance and accounting and got a high paying salaried position at PWC.
There is no real strategy here, be very careful not to ruin your life with student debt and credit card debt. If you have this sort of debt then you must focus on paying it all off before you can invest any money.