If patience is key, why is it so hard to practice??
Starting out can feel slow for a few reasons.
1. You only have a small amount of capital to work with, and your accounts may not be very large.
2. You only get paid so often, which means you may only get to make changes / investments a few times a month, if that!
3. A lot of investments pay quarterly, so you will not have much change in your account cash balances every month to make additional investments with.
As time goes on and you accrue more investments you will receive larger and more frequent distributions, this can create the feeling of enhanced progress because you get to be more active. It's important not to stretch yourself too thin or make frequent trades for the sake of activity.
As we discussed earlier, important goals take time to accomplish. To keep you motivated and moving in the right direction you should acknowledge and appreciate your small steps along the way.
This was one of those months. For instance this month I completed 1/2 of undergraduate school and broke the $50 a month dividend goal. Both of those are accomplishments that keep the snowball of progress rolling. Now I will keep going to class and finish the second 1/2 while working towards breaking the $100 a month dividend goal.
Slow and steady
Why does it take so long to accomplish your goals?
That's simple, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Usually important goals take a long time to complete. For instance, I am working my way through college right now, and it's going to take me about 4 years to complete, that feels like an eternity, I'll be 26 by the time I graduate.
The same thing applies to saving money, it takes time. Just like school, you have to do it in small manageable amounts. You can't take 45 credit hours per semester, you also can't save 100% of your income every month, so it takes time to build up.
To my point, don't focus too much on the future. Know what your goals are, and keep taking small manageable steps to get there. Don't look at all 120 credits you need to graduate and worry about how to get them right now. Don't look at a huge sum of money and wonder how you will save it. Take the classes you can and perform as well as you can in them. Take the money you make and save as much of it as you can. Keep chipping away at it and you will eventually get there.
This same idea applies to a lot of aspects of our lives. Take working out as an example, you can't go to the gym for 1 week and wonder why it's not working, you have to keep going, and keep working at it, until you see results, just like your education, just like your savings. Little bits at a time.
The only way to climb Everest is one step at a time.
My friends and I often wonder, "how do we get ahead?" What we are really asking is, how can we live a happy, productive life while facing the struggle of being a young adult in post-industrial America. And the reality is, that it's a difficult situation, which is not improved by the older generations consistent millennial bashing. Before we dig in I would like to point out a few things about generation Y. We have the most corrupt political system since the Gilded Age, college is more expensive than ever before, our friends have fought the longest continuous war in American history, and we are stuck trying to fight climate change. So before any old timers try to rant about the "entitled millennials", remember, you're the ones who built this world and now we are trying to navigate our way through it.
So, how do we get ahead? Well guys, honestly I'm not sure. I suppose the most logical thing to do would be to go to school and learn a profession that you wouldn't mind doing for the next few decades. This doesn't mean you have to go to 4+ year university. Two year colleges are good for a lot of people, and trade schools are equally important. Mike Rowe gave a talk to congress a while back about the lack of students enrolling in trade schools, so once our parents generation of blue collar workers retire, then there could be a huge surge in demand for trade jobs and few people to replace them. Overall, try to get an education or a specialization in something that you don't mind doing.
Once you are in a career you should try to live below your means and eliminate your debt as quickly as possible, because no doubt you will have a mountain of student loans waiting for you. A few years ago I went on a nine month adventure outside the States. While there I met a man who gave me advice, advice I should have listened to. He said "poor people by things that cost them money. Rich people buy things that make them money." I should have listened, but of course being young and convinced I knew better I shook it off. Only to kick myself for it now.
The final thing you can do is vote in your interests. If your a multimillionaire, it would be in your interest to vote for people that will protect your wealth. If you are not as well off, then it would be in your interest to vote for people who might make your climb to the top a bit easier. What side is that? Well you will have to do your own research and decide which route is best for you.
One of the most important goals in life is to achieve freedom. To purchase my freedom I need to save a considerable amount of money. The question is, how do I get there? I like to picture my journey to freedom like a pioneer heading to California in search of riches. They had some help along the way in the form of rough maps, and the stories of people who had made it, but no exact details. Some days they would head a few degrees north to avoid a desert, other days they would head a few degrees south to avoid a winter storm. But either way, they were always making progress, always heading west. That’s how I picture my journey, it’s not perfect and it’s not a straight line, but every day there is progress. As long as I keep walking towards the sunset, one day I will arrive at the Pacific.