finance

Getting real about investments can change your life almost immediately.

If I told you that, as a twenty-something, ready to embark on your career, you have the potential to set yourself up financially for life, would you believe me? If I told you this was possible by following a few simple but powerful steps in managing, spending and investing your cash flow, would you believe me?

Certainly, if I told you about the power of compounding interest, your ears would prick up. We’ve all heard about interest. It’s one of the key elements in transforming your financial future into something amazing.

In my YouTube video, “Investing for Students”, I show you how starting to invest with as little as $1,000, plus a $30 per-week contribution, can eventually compound into a $1,400,000+ investment portfolio.

Of course, in this video I have made some assumptions, but not unrealistic ones. I have assumed that you buy and hold the investments; reinvest all dividends; and receive a long-term return of 8% p.a. (the Australian ASX All Ordinaries Index has returned 10.8% p.a. over the last 30 years).

'Millennials are making some major investment mistakes.' Image: The Bling Ring, A24

If now you're starting to believe me re. 'setting yourself up for life', here are my tough-love tips to help you build a solid financial future:

Cut the crap

Stop the excuses and the procrastination – the earlier you start to invest, the easier your journey will be. Learning how to exercise some self-control for your delayed gratification will not only help your future but also help you feel better about yourself. You are stepping up and taking control of your future, which is an empowering, inspiring and motivating step.

Start early

Like today. Trust me, no one ever said, “I wish I never started investing or saving so young in my life". Life is meant to be enjoyable with a healthy balance. As you can see in my video, the earlier that you start, the bigger the impact and the easier it will be. Compounding interest works off the back of time. The more time that you give it, the more magic that can happen. As Albert Einstein once said; “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” Allow compounding interest to be your magic.

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'Stop the excuses and the procrastination – the earlier that you start to invest, the easier your journey will be.' Image: iStock[/img_caption]

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Educate yourself

Okay, we are all time poor and our attention spans are also limited. But, by having the knowledge to know and understand what you are capable of achieving its enlightening to say the least. Building your financial knowledge isn’t rocket science and I have made it super easy (and fun) to understand through my YouTube channel, SugarMamma. Obviously there are lots of different investments out there, but working out the right one for you isn’t hard.

Find perspective

News travels fast and, as a result, the impact of that news can hit even faster and harder. This is true, regardless if you're talking about the share market or latest Hollywood gossip. Even after our recent headlines were dominated with Brexit, and the, “billions of dollars that were wiped off the markets around the world”, the reality is that the Eurozone dropped 8.6% on that eventful Friday, but when you average out the week, it actually only fell 2.6%.

SugarMamma Canna Campbell gives excellent money advice to young people, advising them to start small and start early. Article continues after this video.

Seize opportunity

If you look back at history exploring the share market performance of most major markets around the world, two aspects become apparent. First off, human endeavour prevails; the markets normally, over the long run, accumulate in value. Secondly, the so-called “crisis” often presents buying opportunities; kind of like stock-take clearances, you get more bang for your buck. So you can use the market's short-term overreaction to your further financial advantage.

'Exercise some self control for your delayed gratification.' Image: iStock

Super savings

If you have a superannuation account, you already are an investor. Your superannuation account is actually your investment portfolio. The only difference is that the money is locked up - so you can’t spend it until you retire - and the Australian Government wants you to use this account wisely. The more money in that special little superannuation account you have, the better your retirement will be. So don’t make your superannuation account your abandoned love child. Welcome it into the family and make it feel special.

Healthy habits

I have been investing since I was at university and my job is spent managing every day people’s money and building every day people's wealth. The best words of wisdom that I can leave you with is to make saving and investing so ingrained in your habits, that you don’t even have to think about doing it. Just like cleaning your teeth.

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