Investing is possible at any age! But, it can look a little different depending on your life circumstances. That’s why Brandon, Tatiane, and I have teamed up to talk about the challenges we’ve faced as investors in our 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Investing in your 20s
By Sophia Lackens
As a recent college grad, investing has been the last thing on my mind. Term papers, final exams, and student organizations have taken up most of my last year.
Investing can often seem like a grown-up’s task. And, I don’t feel grown up enough to be a part of it.
Plus, as a part of Gen Z and a graduate of the class of 2020, my outlook on the economy, the job market, and financial institutions isn’t that great.
In 2008, I was in 4th grade when half my class’s parents lost their jobs. In 2017, I was applying to colleges when student loan debt reached $1.3 trillion. And, in 2020, I graduated in a global pandemic.
With the current uncertainty, I’m not investing. And, I won’t be until I land a full-time job and can stop quarantining at my parent’s house. I don’t have enough financial power to justify investing money that my family might need for unexpected expenses.
Hopefully, once a vaccine is distributed and unemployment is down, I’ll be ready to start my investing journey.
Until then, I will scout out my investment options and build my understanding of personal finance. Before I start investing, I want to be as informed as possible. Working with an investment firm has helped me become more comfortable with financial terms and understand the investment process better.
When I’m in a stronger financial position, I am confident I will have the tools I need to invest with intention and impact.
Investing in your 30s
By Tatiane Amaral
Growing up in a household where money was never part of any conversation, we certainly didn’t talk about investments, and my parents never had an investment account. They mostly lived paycheck to paycheck and that was the norm to me for a long time.
Ironically enough I started working in the financial industry right after college, but because of the lack of money talk I had growing up, I had a lot of anxiety around money, and the reason I was working in the financial industry didn’t change that, at least not for a while.
Once I started thinking more about my future self, it started giving me anxiety that I didn’t have a plan just like my parents didn’t. That’s when I started having conversations with friends and colleagues about money, investments, and everything in between, and it felt liberating.
Starting to invest in my future self and having a plan, helped take the anxiety off of whether I am going or not going to have enough to retire, and all I had to do is take the first step, and I am a firm believer that your age and where you are in life should not stop you. Being in your thirties doesn’t mean you have everything figured out, I know I don’t, but it’s never too late to change the status quo.
Investing in your 40s!
By Brandon Small
My personal experience with investing may be a little unique because I’ve worked in finance my entire adult life. Believe it or not, not everyone that works in finance has their personal finances figured out! Maybe because working at a job and handling other people’s money doesn’t have the same emotional and anxiety inducing effects that the money in, or not “in,” your bank account has. Personally, I’m still a work in progress. Most of my friends, in and out of the finance profession, are a work in progress.
There is no typical 40s financial experience. I’m convinced of that. There are people in their 40s that are already retired and there are people in their 40s that haven’t given a second’s thought about retirement. There are people in their 40s paying for their children’s college education and there are people in their 40s just starting college.
But I will say, everyone in their 40s can benefit from reviewing their current investments, thinking about how those investments align with their life plans and how their investments reflect their social/moral priorities. Thinking of your finances as a “practice” as opposed to a goal will make it easier to get started and make small, incremental, and positive changes. One recommendation we almost universally make to new investors, regardless of their age, is to simply commit to a monthly investment amount that is drawn, and this part is critical, drawn automatically, from their bank account into their new investment account. Once you think of making periodic investments as “paying yourself” first, you’ll be amazed at 1) how easy it is and how you still have enough for living and entertainment and 2) how quickly the invested amount will grow. This is a simple step. It requires nothing more than committing to a start. And your 20 year older self will definitely thank you!
And “practicing” at your financial health is something you should invite others to participate in by broadening your circle to include family, friends, co-workers, and reputable online resources (trust us, stick with the big-name and well-known sources – there are no secrets out there, just facts and advice that has not changed in years).
I imagine my 50s will be a lot like my 40s. There will be stocks I wished I’d invested in. There will be investment mistakes that I regret. But the simple advice of always committing to improve and practice will not change. I’ll never get it right, but I expect to get it better!
Investing Looks Different For Everyone
No matter how old you are or what your life looks like, investing is always an option to plan for your financial future. Every generation and age comes with different challenges and opportunities. There is no one size fits all approach to investing. So, if you’re ready to start talking about what investing could look like for you, reach out to our team. We’ll help you navigate the financial challenge and seize the opportunities.