At some stage most of us get sick of not having enough money. We dream of riches and are motivated to learn a bit about finance.
First, we read about stocks and bonds and interest rates. Next comes companies and market share and economics. It's all very grown up and you're feeling part of it. "I'm on my way I'm making it" goes the Peter Gabriel song. If we're really keen we may even learn big words like P/E ratio and capital expenditure. And we have all heard of some bloke who made a fortune on Bitcoin (we don't hear about the losers so much...hmmm).
But in the end, it's all too much. Paralysis by analysis. Where to start? Eventually, we give up. Let's be honest, most of us aren't genuinely interested in this stuff.
Look, that stuff has its place. It just isn't the whole story. Look at the chart below.
Let's assume you start out with $50,000 in super 20 years ago. You earn $80,000 each year (which means annual employer contributions of $7,600). Assume your return is 6% each year (not reflecting any particular investment, just a conservative round number chosen. The actual return in the ASX200 was c 10%). You would now have almost $450,000. Nice big number, chart goes up, happy days.
But look at the dark red part. Those are employer contributions. Remember, your employer has to put 9.5% of your salary into super for you. After 20 years, about half of your wealth is due to your efforts my friend! It's not due to what anyone with 'finance' in their job title did or any specific super fund. That dark red bit is due to YOU getting YOUR butt out of bed each day and going to work. YOU aided the growth without even trying. Clever thing!
Now take a moment. How does that feel? I am dead serious. For all of the worry about stock markets and the noise in the media - the Dow Jones, Trump, blah blah blah, you are responsible for about half of your wealth (as well as the economy doing its thing). And you likely didn't even know the difference between capex and a XXXX! Love you Queensland!
So, answer my question, how does it feel? Pause. Take a moment...
Yes, I agree!
So imagine if you made a bit of effort, just a little bit, cut out the garbage spending...and put some away each year. How would that feel knowing you are looking after your future self?
Yes, I agree.