In your twenties, you are just starting your journey to financial independence, stability and freedom. This journey has its own challenges and its wins. However, this wins only come when you are cautious about your finances and not ignoring them. And, this might take a while.
You are probably getting the grip of earning an income, either from your 9-5 job or your small business and side hustles. You are getting some money, you are able to take care of your basics such as rent, transport and food and still have something extra in the bank.
Investing is one of the key ways to attain wealth and have financial stability in later years of your life. It has its own benefits Therefore, starting to invest while still in your twenties is very crucial. This is a money habit that you will carry on into your thirties, forties and beyond.
Financial advisors say it’s easier and simpler to invest while you are younger. This is simply because, in your twenties, you are not having many responsibilities to direct your money to. You likely don’t have a family to take care of, or children to take to school or a house mortgage to pay. That means, after taking care of the important needs – food, health insurance, rent and transport you can consider investing.
But, as a twenty something year old, you might not be having as much financial knowledge as a thirty something or forty something year old. With this in mind, it might be difficult to know the right place to invest.
Where to invest.
Most people might think you need lots of money to be able to invest. On the contrary, even with little money you can join the investment world.
Remember you are not earning lots of money in your twenties. However, that should not prevent or discourage you from investing.
There are many ways you can invest even with little money.
A savings account.
This is the beginning point of your whole investment plan or goals. You cannot invest if you do not have the money to invest. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a lot in order to invest.
If you want to get into investing, consider investing in a savings account. Open an account where you save your extra money, even if it’s 10 dollars. Over time, your 10 dollars every week will turn into 100 dollars. And with time you can increase your saving rates.
You can also use an automated way of saving. In this, you really have to sacrifice and balance your finances. But, I find this one easier since you don’t get into contact with the money. The money is automatically sent to your savings account according to the plan you have set. It can be 10% or 20% of your income.
You can set up a locked savings account where you put money into the account and cannot withdraw it until after a specific period.
So, teach yourself to live on less than you earn and save up the rest.
A retirement plan.
You might be thinking, “Uuh, I am only 24, retirement is way too far.” I read somewhere that your twenties is the time to set a foundation for your fifties. The earlier you start making a retirement plan, the better.
And, anyway, what is there to lose for starting a retirement plan? Nothing, actually you gain. It makes your retirement years less stressful and assured financial stability. Something most people struggle with after retirement basically because they never had a good retirement plan.
Set aside a small percentage of your income that goes into your tax deferred retirement account.
Apart from setting money aside, you can also invest your money into other investment places such as real estate or building a home. These investments will serve as your retirement plan as you will still enjoy their returns during retirement.
As a twenty something year old, real estate might sound ambiguous to you or even out of reach for you. But, that does not mean real estate investment is not possible in your twenties.
These days it’s easier to invest in real estate as part of a ‘crowd’ and have shares in commercial properties without being a landlord.
This is a good way to start if you have an interest to venture into real estate in a big way later in your life. You get to understand the commercial properties or commercial real estate investing.
Research real estate crowd funding in your area and get to understand the options you have at hand and how much you want to put into the investment. Know if the physical commercial property is correlated to the stock market or not as this can be a downside in crowd funding.
We have all heard about stocks as a way of investing. Some time back, you needed a good amount of money to get into stock investments, but not anymore. Put in mind we are not talking about lots of money to invest but the little money you can put aside comfortably.
Stocks have proven to be a great long-term investment method in the money market. But, it comes with substantial risks as the stock market is unstable/unpredictable and nothing is certain.
Additionally, to invest in stocks, you need to understand the money and stock market. If possible look for someone who understands the money market and stocks to guide you.
Clearly, investing in stocks can be risky if you do not have familiarity with the money market. Therefore, you can invest as little money as possible at first to gauge the waters until you learn the money market. You also don’t have to invest in a full share for a company, some companies allow you to have fractional shares. This can also allow you to invest stocks in different companies at the same time.
Government bonds/treasury securities.
Now, this one you have to play safe as you can never get rich out of this. But, don’t rub it off. You can consider it as a way of having some money put somewhere and brings you some interest. Something is better than nothing, right?
You can use government bonds as a temporary investment plan and then you can later move to plans that give you high returns.
This plan allows you to directly invest into government securities and you are offered interest payments after a period of a bond maturity. It can be monthly or annual, this varies from time to time.
Occasionally, the government can offer tax exemptions on the treasury bonds making it a good investment.
This is a better choice than government bonds. This is simply because, most corporate bonds offered by companies offer higher yields than treasury bonds offered by government.
You can easily lend some money to a company through a bond that matures between 1-30 Years. These bonds are basically distributed by corporate trustees who are just a third party to make the process easier such as banks or financial institutions.
They are offered in different categories depending on the type of the company. It can be industrial, banks or financial institutions such micro-financing and SACCOs. They can also be in transportation, public utilities or international.
Fixed Bank deposits.
In my opinion, I would say this is one of the easiest way to invest in your twenties.
Basically, depositing money into a fixed account that has a fixed interest rate for a fixed time of maturity is a form of investment.
You deposit money into the account and you have no access to the money until its maturity date. That is, you cannot access the money until the duration of the saving plan is complete. It can be 3 months or 6 months or a year. It depends with the target period you have.
Fixed bank deposits through cash or checks are a liability to the bank and an asset to you.
In summary, investment is possible in your twenties if you are willing to sacrifice and to remain disciplined. You have the time to invest. Importantly, when you invest in your twenties, you are investing for your thirties, forties, fifties and for the years ahead you.
Investing is a way of preparing yourself for the ‘adult life’. The life where responsibilities are tight and unavoidable. And, if you have no financial and investment plan set out in your twenties, this part of life will be difficult yet it doesn’t have to be like that.
Consider the life you want to live after your twenties and the goals you want to achieve. Moreover, think of the home you want to build, the wealth you want to accumulate, the places you want to travel and start investing now.