The younger you start investing the better.
You can start investing even in university, you won’t lose all your money and it’s not complicated. It’s all those myths out there that make people uncertain about investing and scared to get started.
I have met FAR TOO MANY 25+ year olds who wish they had started investing and learnt about money when they were young.
And so I would tell them: don’t worry, I’m on a mission to help current youngsters get started with investing, so they don’t end up having regrets like you. And here we are.
Now, if you’re someone who is horrified at the thought that I’m encouraging students and young people to start investing, I tell you to take a deep breath and read this post where I debunk 6 myths on investing.
Investing is part of the ‘adulting’ section of Financially Mint, which means that you should only start investing once you:
Once all that’s in place, you’re probably more financially educated than 99% of the population and are ready to put your money to work. Aka investing.
It’s totally normal to be scared of the word investing; when I went on the streets and interviewed students, they all flinched when I asked them if they invested, as if I were directly asking them to give me all their money. But that’s because the general population and financial institutions out there are telling us myths. The general population tells us that investing is risky, that you need a lot of money to get started, that it’s complicated, and that it’s only for experts. Well the truth is, these are all MYTHS. I debunk them in this post (check it out, seriously).
So now that you don’t believe these myths anymore, let me convince you as to why you should start investing 🤓
Starting now makes the difference of thousands of pounds
Ben and Jill are saving and investing money.
Ben starts at the age of 30. He invests £100 every month until the age of 60. Taking an average stock market return of 7%, he will have £116,945.26 on his 60th birthday. Not bad, Ben.
Jill decided to be smart and starts at the age of 20. She also invests £100 until reaching 60. BUT! At the age of 60, she accumulates a whooping £247,154.26.
That is nearly double what Ben has, simply because she started 10 years earlier.
And the funny thing is that if Ben started at 30 but invested £200 instead, he still wouldn’t have more money than Jill (quite a few thousand less).
This is the magic of compound interest. And that’s the simple reason you should start as soon as possible, because then you have more years under your belt. Even if it’s just £100, or even £50, that tiny effort can make a huge difference in the future.
It’s better than saving
Saving is great. It’s a great way to get started with money management, it’s how you get started on your goals and see your money accumulating.
However, if I just saved £100 per month for 40 years, I would get… £48,000. Imagine that? Putting your hard earned money every day into a savings account for 40 years, and only getting £48,000?
We saw in the example above that Jill invested her £100/month for 40 years, and ended up with £247,154.26!!! That is insane.
And once again this shows you the power of compound interest. Start with saving, then invest it.
IT’S FREE MONEY
I spend 10 minutes a month managing investments. I could even spend 0 minutes if everything was direct debited and I was putting the same amount away every month.
I’ve written several guides to getting started, this one with 4 Steps to Get Started with Investing being the most relevant. But it takes about 30 min – 1 hour to set up your account, buy some index funds or ETFs, set up a direct debit and voila! You’re investing!
All you do is start with something like £100/month and watch your money literally grow under your nose. 0 monthly effort. Turns out trees with money on them do exist 💁🌴
I always love telling the story of how an attendant at RBS bank suggest I open a Cash ISA (British tax advantaged account only for cash) with the bank. I looked at her a bit confused and said ‘Why would I want to open a cash ISA that offers a lame 0.5% interest rate when I can open a Stocks and Shares ISA and use the 7% of the stock market?’. She looked surprised and embarrassingly said I was right. WIN 💪
Although I was still a finance novice back then, that little bit of financial education had allowed me to make the right choice and open a Stocks and Shares ISA to get started with investing (obviously not with RBS 😉).
Although at the beginning investing can be a little overwhelming with all the misinformation out there and the huge myths and scams, once you read the right books, follow the right people and read the right information, you can’t go wrong. (check my resources page to find the right people to follow!). And if you want to try but don’t want to use real money yet, open a paper account with The Share Centre. Free, easy to start and you’ll get a feel of what an investment platform looks like.
And once you are investing regularly, you will be practicing and learning more and more. You’ll understand the financial news a bit more, you’ll be confident you know what your money is doing, you’ll know your money is actually working for you and not just sitting there in a savings account. Powerful stuff. 🔥
So there you go, 4 reasons why you need to start investing in university/early twenties. Be Jill. Even if it’s just 100€/month, you can end up with a huge bucket of money at a later age. Money which you can then use to retire early, to buy a house, to have options. Check out my How to Get Started with Investing post and look out for some more investing posts coming out in the future 😎. Investing is one of the keys to achieving financial freedom, and every day that passes could be a day your money is compounding. Start as soon as you can.