Three years ago, I decided to get a handle on my finances. We work in a profession that gives us a little freedom financially that we might not otherwise have. It occured to me that I had a responsibility to do with this excess in a positive manner. So, I started reading. I picked up some Dave Ramsey. I started reading Kiplinger’s and Money magazine. I subscribed to financial advisory emails. Anything that I could get a hold of to help me better understand the financial world was of interest to me.
Shortly after that, it began to occur to me that putting my money in a traditional saving’s account at my local bank was going to get me nowhere in my pursuit of financial security. Interest on savings accounts today are so small that you might as well bury your money in a jar in the back yard.
That made me think. I wonder what my readers are doing with their money. I had a friend once who was so suspicious of the banking system that he wouldn’t even take out a checking account let alone set up any kind of savings. He literally kept all of his cash in a jar at his house. I would criticize him at the time about needing to put his money in the bank but the more I think about it, it wouldn’t really matter. Banks are not going to give you much of a return on your money. You might as well keep it in a jar in your bedroom.
That is unless you invest.
And, that is what I do. I currently have accounts through Betterment and Scottrade that gives me a much better rate of return than a traditional savings account would. I know, many of you would question the wisdom of putting your savings into the stock market. However, the danger of long term investments is not really serious unless you still have your money in stock in your late 60’s and beyond.
For someone my age, the stock market is an excellent way to build up extra cash as the return is so much greater than that of a bank account.
I also dabble a little bit in peer-to-peer lending through a site called Lending Club. However, the interest on the loans that I distribute are not as great as what the stock market is returning to me so I don’t do much with it.
You might be thinking, what’s your point Strange?
Well, here it is. You might currently be in the same position that I found myself in two years ago. You would love to get a bit of a better return on your money and build towards your retirement but don’t really have an understanding of where to go. This post is an excellent place to start.
Let’s have a conversation about this. This forum presents us with two opportunities here.
Opportunity #1: If you are looking for advice on investment or looking to get away from the traditional savings route, leave your questions in the comments section below…
Opportunity #2: If you are in the stock market and have made some solid investments, maybe you would like to share your experiences for any of us to learn from.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.