MILLENNIALS: MORE SAVERS AND SPENDERS THAN INVESTORS

#millennials #investors #savers #spenders
Millennials don’t see themselves as investors.
According to the 2016 Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study, 46 percent of the millennials surveyed considered themselves as savers, 44 percent considered themselves spenders and only 9 percent considered themselves investors.
This study was quoted in an Adam Shell article for USA Today, which was published April 27, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Despite Wall Street’s attempts to woo the nation’s largest generation into the stock market, millennials have yet to embrace investing, Shell’s article says. Only one in three say they invest in stocks, the article quotes a Bankrate.com survey.
A Black Rock study says nearly half of the millennials surveys found the market “too risky,” the article says.
And, four in 10 say they don’t have enough spare income to put away for the future, the article quotes a financial literacy survey from Stash, a financial app.
Let’s break down the facts. If you are a saver, and are putting money away, where are you stashing it? In a bank? Under your mattress?
In this market, the rates of return on that money between those alternatives are not far apart.
Secondly, there is wild and crazy – “risky” – investing, and there is careful investing. Each requires consultation with someone you trust , but here’s a good rule of thumb: as you start investing, look for more conservative vehicles, i.e. relatively safe mutual funds. As your wealth grows, you can diversify and take a few, well-thought-out risks. If you really do well, and want to play, take a very small amount of money and invest aggressively.
Here’s another rule: it’s difficult to have a nice nest egg for retirement just keeping your money in a bank. There are very few, if any, traditional, regulated banking products that are paying decent returns. Banks are wonderful institutions for your checking account, and perhaps a small savings account to cover unexpected expenses.
But to really be a saver for retirement, you have to take SOME risk. And, make no mistake, EVERYONE has to save for retirement. As stock-market-loving baby boomers can attest, you never know when your job is going to go away.
For those of you in the category of not having enough spare money to save for the future, there are ways to solve that problem. First and foremost, you have to make saving for the future a priority in your life. Even if you see yourself as a spender rather than a saver, you have make SOME saving a priority, or the fun you are having today will turn into poverty when you retire, or when that good job goes away.
A suggestion might be to look at the many ways out there to use your spare time to earn a secondary income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, saving is not just prudent, but necessary. The more you save when you are young, the more you will have, and the better your life will be, when you are older. If you are a millennial, talk to your parents about what to do. However their lives have turned out, there are lessons in their lives that will apply to you. Don’t underestimate their story, or their advice.
As you save, some risk will become necessary. Though the stock market looks scary, over time it has proved to provide the best returns. Find a trustworthy, knowledgeable adviser to help you get started, and who will continue to work with you. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about fees, returns etc., so that you will have a clear picture of how to proceed.
Finally, watch what you spend. Don’t deprive yourself, necessarily, but look for things you can eliminate to allow you to save more money. Remember that a dollar in your pocket generally is better for you than a dollar you put into someone else’s pocket.
Your future could well depend on decisions you make in your youth. You don’t have to depend on things “going right,” if you make good choices now.
Peter

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WHERE ARE YOU?

#newyear #happynewyear #jointheride

The new year is coming this week. Do you know where you are?

Not your precise location, but where you are in life?

Better yet, do you know where you want to be? Is where you are en route to where you want to be, or are you currently off course, or lost?

If you’re off course, or lost, do you know what you need to do to get back on course? Do you see yourself never knowing where you are going, or even where you want to go?

Let’s start where you are, because it’s really the only place to start from.

If you are young, say 20-something, or 30-something, you are probably en route to somewhere. Do you have an idea of your ultimate destination? Your destination is all that’s important, because you’ll undoubtedly hit some bumps in the road, or turns that will get you off course. If you know that, you’ll know what you have to do to get back on course.

If you are fortunate enough to have a smooth ride to your ultimate destination, great. Chances are, though you won’t, so plan on unexpected diversions.

One way to combat diversions is to form good habits. If you like gooey desserts or snacks, forgo one a week. If you buy a cup or two of coffee a day, consider cutting out one or two a week. Better yet, make your own coffee at home and bring it with you. Same with any meals you might eat at work.

However you do it, figure out the money you are saving and PUT IT AWAY into a safe investment. Do the same with any raises you get at work, though these days, raises are scarce. Don’t touch what you’ve saved.Let it grow.

You’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll have at, say, age 50.

If you’ve reached 50 or higher, time is not on your side. But those same llitle things can still help you. Keep in mind, though that there are many vehicles out there that might help you make up lost ground. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Younger folks, too, may find a way to get to their destinations faster by exploring this option.

So take the time to figure out where you are, where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

Consider being an entrepreneur. For a good manual on how to do that, check out Darren Hardy’s book, “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster.”

Regardless of what you do, plan for obstacles, but know your destination. And, know what you need to do to get there.

Happy New Year!

Peter

WHAT TO DO WITH LOTS OF MONEY: PART 3

#thinklikearichperson
You’ve done OK in life, but you still dream of something better.
So, you play the lottery.
You know the odds are not in your favor, but you can’t win if you don’t play, right?
If you think like a rich person, as author Steve Siebold suggests, you would take the money you spend in lottery tickets and put it into an investment that will multiply over time. In other words, you’ll get rich slowly.
Then, there’s the matter of what you would do with the money if it were suddenly in your possession. If you think like a “middle class” person, as Siebold categorizes it, you would come up with ways to SPEND your newfound fortune. If you thought like a rich person, you would find ways to INVEST your newfound fortune.
The message here is that if you think like a middle-class person, your fortune will disappear relatively quickly. It seems ridiculous, at least to those who think like a rich person, that ANYONE could be given that kind of money and not make it last through his lifetime, and the lifetimes of his descendants or heirs.
You see, thinking like a rich person, you would take your windfall, place it in appropriate investments and spend SOME of the dividends, interest and capital gains. The rest of the gains would be reinvested.
If you think like a middle-class person, your instinct might be to give some of your fortune to your friends, so they can SPEND like they have never spent before. That might make you feel like a really good person.
But, if you think like a rich person, your first instinct might be to give some to reputable charities. You might give some to your family. But the only way you would give money to your friends is if your friends had good investments that you could get in on. You would probably never give money to friends to spend, knowing they would not spend it wisely.
So it’s not only your thoughts about making money that matter. Your thoughts about how you would use money matter just as much.
So where are your thoughts today? If it’s Monday, are you dreading another workweek? Or, are you seeing your job as a means to an end, because you are slowly building a fortune?
If you think that way, you’ll think of Mondays as one more day until your ultimate payday. If you like your job, or at least have found enough things to like about it to make it relatively pleasant to go to work, it will make building your fortune that much easier.
So how does a “middle class” or working person build a fortune? First, you have to have a regular savings plan. Have money taken out of your check – it doesn’t matter how much or little you make – regularly to go into savings. Then, don’t touch it, unless you are buying into a superior investment. Let it grow for as long as you work.
Also, as Siebold suggests, perhaps you can find a vehicle that will allow you to build a fortune without interfering with your job. There are many such vehicles out there. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll see lots of former “middle class” folks who learned to revise their thinking, and could tell their employers goodbye quite early in life.
In short, thoughts matter, especially thoughts about money. Give first priority to growing money, second priority to help others grow money and third priority on spending money – wisely. Even if you don’t have much money now, thinking that way will provide you an eventual fortune.
Peter

HOW TO THINK ABOUT MONEY: PART 1

If you had all the money in the world, how would you feel?
There are all kinds of answers, and there are many books out there that try to teach us how to think about money.
Steve Siebold has written one called, “How Rich People Think.” It teaches, much the way Napoleon Hill teaches in “Think and Grow Rich,” or Robert Kiyosaki in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” that we have to look at how we think before we can get rich.
Sure, you can inherit a bunch of money from your late great aunt, or you can win a big lottery jackpot. But, chances are, if you have what Siebold calls “middle class thoughts” about money, you probably won’t have your fortune for very long.
Most of us have been taught that hard work, a good education and keeping your nose to the grindstone for, say, 40 years will help you retire comfortably.
But if you think like a rich person, you are not thinking about having enough money to retire, as Siebold writes. You are thinking about having enough money to make an impact on the world.
In other words, to be rich, you have to think of solutions to problems, and invent them.
Most of us were taught that if we had a job, or something else that was paying us, we had to worry about holding onto it. Rich people will try things, fail numerous times, and try something else. They don’t fear failure or loss. In fact, they don’t fear much of anything. Even if they lose their fortunes, they know they will find a way to make them back.
That may be why it’s difficult to really punish white-collar criminals. They used their genius for evil, and most of us would like nothing more than to see them lose everything. Even if they lost everything, they would find a way to make it back – hopefully in an ethical, law-abiding way this time.
Yes, we all would like to have a lot of money. Some of us believe it is not possible for us to get a lot of money. It’s possible for anyone to get a lot of money, just by thinking the right thoughts. You don’t think about who would give it to you. You think about how you can come up with the idea that people will pay you for.
Then, you think about how you can use and grow that money. As Siebold writes, middle-class people think about how to spend money. Rich people think about how to invest money.
Most of us have been taught to get a good education – get through high school, go to college, get a degree in something that will get you a good job. Rich people, Siebold says, don’t think of education in terms of degrees. They think of education as learning anything that will make them money. Some of the richest people in the world have relatively little formal education. They’ve just thought about ways to make money, learned what they needed to pull it off and gotten rich.
Do you think like a rich person? Do you think like a middle-class person? Do you think of making money via a job, or making money via an idea? Once you get money, do you think more of ways to spend it, or more of ways to invest it?
As you ponder these questions, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You will see how some ordinary, middle-class folks got wealthy, and how you could do the same. The only difference between them and you is how they think. It’s difficult to become rich, until you first learn to think like a rich person.
Give it a shot. Think what you would do to make a lot of money, and to not just preserve it, but use it to help others. Don’t be jealous or envious of the rich. If you feel that way, remember the best way you can help the poor is not to be one of them.
Peter

SPENDING: YOURS, MINE, OURS

We’ve all been taught that spending less and saving more will increase our wealth over time. No one disputes that.
When we want to cut household spending, most of us prefer to do it gradually, rather than all at once. For example, we may decide to go to Starbucks three times a week, rather than five.
As we get used to three times a week, we may go down to two, then one, then none. Then, we see a Starbucks run as a real treat, and do it once in a while. After all, the coffee you bring in your Thermos may not be Starbucks, and you may long for a treat once in a while as a reward for your good behavior. It’s OK to splurge, but not as a habit.
The point is, we feel cuts in household spending directly. They are a real sacrifice, as we see them, but we do it for a better, long-term outcome.
Then, there is government spending. It can best be called a real illusion. Yes, real illusion is an oxymoron, but it applies here. First, the money is REAL, even though the government can print it at will. It’s yours, mine and ours. The illusion comes in the concept that we would not really feel cuts in government spending, since so much of it is waste, so it should be relatively easy to cut.
We can prove that by watching people who advocate government spending cuts in the aggregate, but when it cuts things close to where they live, they complain bitterly.
We can debate whether government should be so intertwined with the economy, but the fact is, it is. It is tough to reduce its importance to the overall economic well-being.
Many private industries, defense contractors, for example, have, as their largest customer, the government. Cuts in defense could affect lots of private sector jobs. And just watch the almost annual debate over cutting superfluous military bases. The communities, and states, in which those bases are located would be hurt badly, even though closing such bases makes perfect economic sense from afar. Perhaps those bases are outdated. Perhaps they are just not needed for the country’s defense. But the shopkeepers, restaurants and other businesses whose clientele lives or works at these bases often go out of business when their base closes.
UNNECESSARY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS VS.HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT
Many see certain government departments as unnecessary. Certainly, the usefulness of some agencies is debatable, but cutting such agencies in their entirety, all at once, would puts hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more people out of work in a job market that can’t find work for those currently idle.
Proponents of such spending cuts would simply accuse those laid-off government workers as having too easy a life for too long. The fact is, they were working before the cuts, and now they are not. What do you think would be the bigger problem as you see it?

Our personal spending, multiplied out over time and people, affects the economy. The local Starbucks wouldn’t likely go out of business if we cut back our spending there, but if EVERYONE did, it might be a different story. The point is that spending cuts are most palatable if done gradually, over time. If Starbucks anticipates that people would be cutting back their coffee runs over time, they could plan for it – perhaps by lowering prices and providing better benefits to keep people from doing it. If you are a Starbucks fan, and the prices were lowered, you’d be less likely to cut back because Starbucks is reducing the spending for you.
If you want to spend less, save more and make money at the same time, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
As with personal spending, government spending cuts should be incremental and gradual over time to make them more palatable. It’s been said that anyone can cut taxes. Anyone can raise taxes. Cutting spending, in a way that won’t have too many people screaming, is the real challenge. More people get re-elected because of spending, and securing aid for the home district, than by cutting taxes – or spending. Despite the criticism of earmark spending – look at how much of it was in the fiscal cliff deal – politicians rely on it.
The lesson here is to worry about spending in your own household. Saving more and spending less, as consumer adviser Clark Howard preaches on radio, television and in newspapers, is the key to building wealth. We should watch how our tax dollars are spent, certainly. But we should be aware that cutting spending in large amounts quickly is perilous. It’s no surprise that politicians fear taking on that chore.
Peter

CAPITAL, LABOR AND ECONOMIC FUTURE

Are we, or have we been, moving into a trend in which capital surpasses labor as the economic engine?
New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman thinks so.
From the working person’s viewpoint, the economy is still quite depressed. But economic figures are improving and corporations are making record profits. Many of these companies are holding on to their cash for dear life, fearing the investment and regulatory climate now and to come.
Krugman points out that manufacturing is moving back to the U.S. from overseas. He uses the example of manufacturing computer mother boards. They are made largely by robots, so the cheap, Asian labor is no longer needed. Perhaps that’s why we hear that China’s economy is contracting.
But let’s look at the way things are, from where you sit. Chances are, if you are still working, you have at least some fear that your job is going to go away before you want it to. Perhaps you are saving your pennies, and not spending frivolously, in anticipation of being shown the door at work. The U.S. savings rate needed a shot in the arm, for sure, but how it is getting it is quite disconcerting.
Perhaps you are out of work, and have been for a while. You scratch your head because the job you had, which you had thought, or even had been told, was vital to your company just went away. It’s not as if you had done a lousy job at it and were replaced. Your job just went away, and it’s not coming back.
Meanwhile, you hear about record profits for companies and wonder why they are not putting some of that money back into their operations, i.e. in creating new jobs. Well, they probably don’t have to. Technology has improved to the point at which machines replace people in big numbers. No matter how much money they have, companies will not create jobs they don’t think they need. Some will actually cut jobs they should maintain.
This phenomenon is detrimental to what we know as the middle class. Because those with the capital have political benefactors, they may be creating a political system that lets them get richer at others’ expense. When the successful are protected in this way, the less successful become more vulnerable. As Krugman says, we’re not talking about a gap between the educated work force and the less educated. In this milieu, EVERYONE gets paid less. When the less successful become more vulnerable, they not only get paid less for what they do. They pay more for what they need.
INHERITANCE TAXES CAN HURT
Krugman says that the rich also are fighting to eliminate inheritance taxes. He may find some disagreement here, because inheritance taxes can prevent family businesses from being given to future generations of that family. Sometimes, families have to sell their businesses to cover the tax bill, and there is something wrong with that. On the other hand, there could be large amounts of wealth being easily transferred to people who are already wealthy, without adding to the economic engine.
If this trend of forced idleness continues, it bodes ill. Look at what is happening in other countries, where young, often educated people can’t find work. Such free time among a disgruntled group can lead to all sorts of bad things.
However, in all this, there is good news. There are lots of ways out there to make money, without worrying about having a traditional job. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Hear and see the stories of how average people are making above-average incomes, and helping others do the same. It also attacks the notion of paying more for what one needs.
So if you are working, think about your plan B. Savings will certainly help you, but they may not cover all your bills without a paycheck. If you are not working, don’t be discouraged. Check out one of the many opportunities there are, through which average people, regardless of education, are prospering. Sometimes, becoming successful just requires being open to looking at something different.
It has been said that the best way to help the poor is to not be one of them. The best way to fight the capital vs. labor battle that Krugman illustrates is to find ways to generate more real capital. Kurgman calls the capital guys robber barons. If you help people prosper with you, that’s makes you a benefactor.
Peter