There are literally a million ways to invest your money. Individual stocks, mutual funds, robo advisors……. trying to pick a good way to invest your money can be completely overwhelming. It can feel like it’s just easier to say skip it and leave your money in your savings account to grow.
But while leaving it your savings account isn’t the absolute worst thing you could do with your money (like, say, giving it all to your neighbor’s creepy uncle to help expand his plumbing business), it’s also not the optimal path if you would like your money to work for you.
The best path, in my opinion, is the simple path.
The one where you figure it out once, get it set up to function automatically, and let it run in the background while you live your life to the fullest.
One of the people who first turned me onto this way of thinking is none other than JL Collins, the blogger behind jlcollinsnh.com. He runs one of the BEST FI blogs on the internet. If you haven’t heard of him or looked through his blog, I highly recommend it if you have some spare time. Each blog has their own thing they’re known for, and his blog is known for his series of articles on investing.
And now…… he’s turned those articles (and more) into a book!
I had the pleasure of previewing this book, and let me tell you, you need this book. I wish I’d had this book when I started figuring out how to invest my money a couple of years ago as it would have saved me more than a few mistakes. It’s everything we should’ve learned about in high school instead of learning about how the mitochondria is the power house of the cell.
Before we get into the meat of this, let me say I’m not getting anything out of promoting his book other than early access. Not because I get x percentage of sales, or a one time payment. Nope. None of that. I’m promoting this book because I genuinely believe it can help people get their financial house in order. I just want to help other people, and this book is a way to do that.
This book (and the articles it is based on) were originally written as a series of letters to his daughter. At the time, like most young adults, she wasn’t interested in what dear old dad had to say, so he wrote it down for later in the future when she would be open to listening to his advice. (Not that I know what that’s like……)
I met JL at the Chautauqua last year and we had several great talks containing a lot of great advice. I particularly like listening to him because I’m only a few years older than his daughter, so much of the information he’s trying to impart upon her is also useful for me. Much of that advice is contained in this book, so you don’t even have to cough up the money for a trip to Ecuador like I did to get it. Since most of you, my wonderful readers, are just getting started in their own journeys, you will also find this helpful.
The book contains advice and tips on pretty much anything and everything involving investing in the market, to include but not limited to, the following:
-Debt and why it’s important to avoid it (especially consumer debt)
-FU money and why it’s great to have
-how to think about the market and your money
-how to invest in the different kinds of market environments
-the various stages of wealth (building and preservation) and how they’re not necessarily tied to age
-the dizzying array of accounts out there and what they do (401ks, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, HSA, FSA, TSP and others)
-what investment firms to use and what to avoid
-some common con techniques to avoid
-the case against Dollar Cost Averaging
-what FI looks like, how to be supported by your money, the 4% rule and how to use it best
Of particular interest to me was a case study he does with a 26 year old interested in FI. There were some excellent lessons in there that I liked and thought were super useful. Keep in mind, I read this last month so I’m still getting use out of this book even though I run my own blog about FI. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything, which is why I take the time to read what everyone else is writing! I don’t read quite as much as I used to (sadly), and the subject matter of the books are much different now than when I was a kid. Can you imagine me at 13 reading this book? It would’ve been ridiculous!
Nonetheless, the younger you are when you get your hands on this book, the better. Time in the market is the best thing we Millennials have going for us! So don’t waste any more time and go get it!