My Number 1 Secret To Investing, Revealed!

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Where should I put my money now so that I can live comfortably in retirement? I’ve been asked and asked myself this question many times over the years, as I’m sure everyone has. Everyone wants a magic formula that will tell them where to put money. Some people think there is a magic box that will allow them to get to retirement and wealth with little or no effort, but I’ve got bad news, there isn’t a magic box. Well, I take that back; maybe the lottery is a magic box, but that magic box is being bid on each day by 14 MILLION people, so the odds are fairly low on that one, or so says Wikipedia here.

The one constant that has been used in the market for making a profit is time. That’s it folks, there’s your answer, TIME! The problem is not that people don’t realize this, it is that they never take it into consideration when they’re young. Most people don’t start planning for retirement before that “magic” age is gone. If you’re reading this blog and others like it, you’re on the right path though — if you’re between 18–25, you’re WELL on the right path!

So let’s look at some numbers:
People, me included, when you’re 18–23 you’re in college mode and either don’t have an extra $20-$40 a week or month even to be putting it away, but if you DID put away even $20 per week instead of buying a case of beer, and ONLY put it away during your 4 years of college, you would have saved:
$20*4(weeks)=$80/month.
$80*12(months in a year)=$960 per year.
$960*4(years in college)=$3840.
Set that to simmer for 50 years, NEVER putting anymore in, assuming 10% rate of return, retire at 68 and you’re looking at $450,781 being built up in that account! (click the image to see the time that’d be on your side):

save $20 per week in college from 18-22 and you’re looking pretty good for retirement…

So further dreaming… What if you would have been doing this at 12 when you started your paper route and stopped when you were 18 and went to college?
$20*4(weeks)=$80/month.
$80*12(months in a year)=$960 per year.
$960*6(years in till 18)=$5760.
Figure retiring at 68 again, so 54 years:

Start at 12 saving $20 per week?

Yes, that is some serious dreaming, and determination that almost nobody has (myself included!) , but is just staggering the amount you can get with compounding interest. Seeing as though most people don’t get into this mindset until their mid 30’s on average, what would a 35 year old have to stick away to be able to have that kind of money at 68 (click the image below):

You’d need to stick away $333.33 per month or $83.34/week UNTIL you turned 68 to match what you could have done by socking away $20 a week from your paper route in middle school! Sad but true, and rarely do people catch on. But that brings up another debate all-together which might be for another post, at another time, but should you really be having Junior stick his hard earned paper money away for retirement, or just let him be a kid and spend the $ on gum and baseball cards?