Number two for Lessons I’ve Learned as the Spouse of a Financial Advisor is making my money work smarter and not harder. If you’ve already engaged a financial advisor, this idea has already resonated with you. Few education tracks include adequate financial education. I largely lucked out; I studied business and married a finance guy, though I am still learning things.
The majority of people I know acknowledge saving money is a good thing. It may not be easy, but most people understand certain items, such as a home, require an accumulation of cash, and most do not wish to work until their last day; hence, saving money is intuitive. What is not intuitive to most is how they can make their money work for them. As you have probably heard Matt say, we are in high inflationary times. Your financial freedom stored in your money is leaking. Recognizing this and taking steps to plug the inevitable leak is important.
A very bright friend of mine is saving for a graduate study program. Let me emphasize: she is NO dummy. I only recently discovered she has been putting all her saved monies into a standard savings account for the last 5-10 years. I was stunned and immediately began telling her about options and why this was ultimately harming her. Despite the recent dialogue on inflation, she felt she was stuck and this was the only option. She is not a trust fund kid, she does not have a reason to have a financial advisor, and further exploring options felt intimidating.
Thereafter, I had to acknowledge this was not a conversation I would have had with anyone prior to marrying a financial advisor. I have a business degree, I have studied finance, I have studied economics, and I have studied time value of money; I was also raised by people that retired at 51—not a typo, fifty-one years of age. Yet, I had no idea what my options were at 22 following college graduation. I knew to contribute to a 401(k), save as much as I could for “rainy days” and retirement, and so on, but I had not realized the benefit of opening a money market account in lieu of traditional savings via my bank. I was fortunate to meet Matt at an early age, so I got around to working smarter, rather than harder, with my money earlier than most.
Thereafter, I also realized how many other people I know have allowed themselves to be trapped by the consequences of inflation; accepting they have to keep working or their retirement lifestyle would look vastly different than their working lifestyle. So much of this can be circumvented by making money work smarter rather than harder—your money can make you money! Groundbreaking news! Phone the press!
We could make this an economics lecture on the time value of money, but I do not wish to torture you. Simply remember the rule of 72—just take the number 72 and divide it by the interest rate you hope to earn. With a standard 7%, your money will double every ten years.
See you next month. - Taylor