Everyone has New Years resolutions. From fitness goals to career goals, we have all made them. The question is whether or not we stick with our goals throughout the year. I think it’s safe to say, most of us don’t. We set a really high bar, which is almost impossible to reach and the second we don’t see the results we are looking for, we quit.
Let’s make 2020 different. Let’s set attainable goals. This will increase not only your self-confidence, but also give you the ability to set new, even bigger goals in 2021 – because you will have already accomplished the ones you set out to achieve this year.
For the sake of this article, let’s focus on personal finance goals. As many of us know, the rally in the stock market has marched on for the past decade and is running towards the end of the track. Even experts have no idea when it will end, but everything is cyclical. The stock market will decline at some point. A correction will happen. It’s just part of the cycle. But if history taught us anything, it’s that you need to ignore the downturn and use it as an entry point to either start investing or put more money to play. Buy low, sell high!
I want you to do two things this year. The first, and the easiest is contribute to your company’s 401K plan if you have one – and especially if the company matches your contribution in any way. This is FREE money. If you don’t contribute to your 401K and you work for a company that matches, you are LOSING money.
If you don’t have the ability to contribute to a 401K then I would like you to open an account at a low-cost brokerage (TD Ameritrade, Schwab, etc.) and invest in low cost ETF or Index Fund. Vanguard has a great group of funds covering everything from International Stocks to Bonds to a general S&P 500 fund focusing on value stocks. They do all the work for you. All you need to do is invest as much money as you can, as often as you can. Be consistent and over time, you will watch the value of your investment grow.
Your Goal: To contribute something to your investment account EVERY MONTH. I don’t care whether you contribute $50 or $500, I want you to add something to your investment account. This should be a very attainable goal because YOU are controlling the goal.