Thinking It Is Too Late
The best financial advice taps into individuals in their twenties, when there is little debt, few obligations, and a high potential of earnings. Unfortunately, few of us are ever the financially responsible adults we want to be straight out of college. It's important to remember that no matter where you are on your financial journey – one of the lucky few in their twenties or one of the more common forty-somethings realizing that their savings account just isn't what it used to be – it is never too late to get started saving for retirement or even for a down payment on a home. Doing nothing is the only way to guarantee that you'll have nothing.
Thinking You Have More Time
On the flip side of the coin, you must also do everything in your power to get started investing right away. Although no one is going to berate you for failing to start saving twenty years ago, it doesn't do any good to wait another twenty to get started. It doesn't matter if you have thousands of dollars in debt or are switching jobs for the sixth time in as many years. Meet with a financial advisor right now to learn what your next steps should be.
Not Looking Far Enough Ahead
Some beginners make the mistake of investing money only to realize a few years later that those funds are needed somewhere else. Consider the time frame of each and every investment you make. Few advisors will recommend touching money in the stock market before five years is up, but a money market account or certificates of deposit can turn around quicker than that. You'll also need to remember that most investments do much, much better if they are left alone. Trading in and out of the market or changing your mind frequently can comes with fee or other monetary setbacks. Like a good wine, investments tend to get better with age.
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