Millennials are under pressure and in a hurry. They face quite a few pressing issues in this meteorically fast-moving 21st century. The cost of living is high, job security is low, and it’s a fact that they are more stressed than the other living generations.
So what could be the antidote for these young Millennials and professionals who are looking into an uncertain future in this volatile world?
How’s this for a mantra?
Well-known Zen author Natalie Goldberg once said: “if you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down.” And it’s perfect advice for Millennials. Because compared to the other, older living generations, what do today’s younger people have that the rest don’t? That’s right: more time.
Slowing down doesn’t mean checking out. American entertainer Eddie Cantor warned that “it’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you’re going and why.” What that means is that, by speeding ahead and trying to check another box every five minutes, you’re not really making the most of your time – you’re actually wasting it.
Slowing down and playing the long game gives Millennials an important edge when it comes to money. Imagine a game show and a question worth a million dollars: one contestant has 30 seconds to answer, and the other has three minutes. The Millennial, with time on their side, has the clear advantage.
In the world of investing, time can be either a friend or an enemy. The Millennial who gets in early can play a long game, riding out blips in today’s volatile market and avoiding the short-termism and risks that having limited time to invest dictates.
How else can Millennials use time as their ally?
Make the money do the work
You’ve probably heard on an advert somewhere that you want your money to do the hard work for you. Every investor thinks that’s true of their hard-earned money, but the Millennial has the clear advantage here. When retirees look back at the financial mistakes they made, the number one regret is that they didn’t build up a bigger nest egg when they were young, so that compounding could work its magic.
Compounding is the amazing benefit unlocked once those initial investment returns start to roll in and these returns start to earn returns on returns. And the more years that pass by, the bigger and faster-moving that snowball becomes.
The key message here is that having time on your side is only an asset if you use that gift wisely. Because like compounding returns, it’s a combination of smart moves across a long timescale that builds future wealth.
We’re talking about things like:
Taking advantage of automation
There are plenty of ways to leverage clever technology and automation to basically ‘set and forget’ – and simply reap the rewards years into the future.
Investing your bonuses
As a Millennial investing early, one thing you can get used to is pay rises. But if you do nothing, a 5% rise will be absorbed into your lifestyle almost without you noticing it. But over a year, that increase will be thousands of dollars – and that’s long-game-Millennial-investing-gold.
Not making excuses
As the cost of living is high, it’s very easy for the Millennial to count themselves out of the investing game because they can’t afford it. But the truth is that there is never a better time than now to start investing – because the now of the future will actually make investing harder, not easier.
Think about it: young people typically say ‘I’ll invest when I earn more”. But that’s just plain wrong.
In the first case, while you may earn more in the future, it’s still much easier to save a few thousand a year today than try to play catch up with tens of thousands of savings per year in the future.
Yes, it’s true – Millennials are facing many financial realities and challenges that some previous living generations did not have to deal with. But their most valuable asset is time – as long as it is embraced as a friend. So, slow down, look at the scenery, check where you’re heading, and start out on that long road to investment wealth right now.
If you don’t have the knowledge or time to manage your own investment portfolio or would just feel more comfortable having your personalised investment plan built and managed by a trusted investment company, like Clover, get started with your free investment plan today.
Also published on Medium.