2020 has been a disruptive year. COVID-19 has weighed heavily on global economies and stock markets. The pandemic has ruined the financial independence plans of many. The good thing about the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is that it is not a one-size fits all approach. You don't know if you can reach FIRE until you try. I believe investing in equities is a sure way to catch FIRE. But catching FIRE requires a savage investing attitude. A savage attitude requires you to set up goals.
Define And Set Goals
In order to succeed at anything, you need to set goals and define that success. Financial independence is no different. For some, financial independence consists of amassing a lump sum of money to retire at a certain age. For others, it is all about building a strong passive income stream and reduce debt. No matter how you define it, financial independence requires effort.
Financial Independence: Unleash the Savage
Unleash the savage from within to reach financial independence. You develop a savage attitude by learning how to deal with disappointments. You will be disappointed along the way. People will cast judgment upon you. You will be ridiculed or mocked. But your ability to handle setbacks will dictate your success. Block out the noise. Use every bit of setback to build momentum. Momentum builds money. And money builds financial independence. Dealing with setbacks and seizing on momentum to keep the FIRE burning is what I call a savage attitude. And the only way to build momentum is to start on that journey. You start by investing.
Investing leads to financial independence.
I get it. Investing is a daunting word for many. The pandemic has made investing even more complicated. It has created even more excuses for not investing.
I'll wait after the pandemic is over. I don't have enough money. I'll invest once the elections are over. There's too much uncertainty right now. I'll invest after the next crash. If President Trump wins re-election, I'll do this. If Biden wins, I'll do that.
The truth of the matter is the best time to invest for financial independence is now. You don't need a lot of money to invest. You shouldn't try to time the markets by waiting for the next crash. I invest the bulk of my money in stocks to reach financial independence. That's the only way I know how. I know what you're saying. The stock market is volatile. I was skeptical at first too. I didn't know I could do it, until I tried. Now I won't look back. I have the momentum on my side. If you invest for the long term, you will reach financial independence. But you can't reach it until you start.
Start investing with little money.
Cost used to be the main barrier to investing. But with the rapid rise of investing start-up companies, you can get started with very little upfront money. Brokerage companies used to charge a fee or commission each time you buy or sell something. Those commissions are now a thing of the past. Also, many brokerage companies allow you to buy partial or fractional shares. As I write this, Microsoft's stock (MSFT) is around $213.87. If you wanted to invest in MSFT, you could invest a few dollars instead of buying one full share for $213.87. Most people know they need to invest to reach financial independence. The question then becomes, "How do I get started? What should I invest in?" My goal here is to get you on a path to financial wellness. If you are just getting started or confused, here are some of your options.
- Try a robo-advisor. Let them do the investing for you. SoFi, Acorns, Wealthfront, Vanguard, Betterment, and Stash are a few robo-advisors.
- Participate in your company's 401k plan. It's free money.
- Open your own brokerage account.
- Buy one stock just to see how it works. As you get more experience, add another one.
- Buy an index fund to invest in multiple stocks at a time.
The bottom line
Final independence is both easy and hard. You need a savage attitude to succeed. A savage attitude to help you deal with disappointments. You will face setbacks. Shut out the critics. Don't wait until you have "enough" money to invest. The best time to invest is now. Unleash the investing savage within you. That's how you reach financial independence.
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