You’re one of the best in your industry and you’re paid well for your work, but does most of your salary disappear right as you receive it? Do you struggle with your finances the week before payday? Do you always eagerly anticipate your next paycheck? If so, you probably spend too much of your money somehow. After learning the basics of personal finance like saving and investing as well as how to pay off your bad debts here are six quick tips to avoid overspending and save more money!
After controlling your expenses, paying back debts and saving money, the next step in your journey to financial freedom is to start investing! What’s one of the best and most common investment vehicles nowadays? Stocks! Now, if you haven’t had the time to study what stocks are and if you want to learn the basics, then we have a short guide for you right here!
What are Stocks?
Imagine you and nine of your friends want to start a business so you each equally contribute around P1,000 in cash, equipment, materials and more. In that business, you each decide to share the profits and ownership equally. In that scenario, it will be similar to the business having 10 shares of stock and each of you own one.
Stocks, which also called “shares” or “equities,” signify shares of ownership in a company. The Stock Market is the place where these shares are traded. If, for example, a certain company issues 10,000 shares of stock outstanding and you bought 100 shares, you become a stockholder and you own 1% of that company (100 is 1% of 10,000).
Like the example above, if you’re a stockholder you own part of the company’s assets AND you might also receive a part of the company’s profits in the form of Dividends. Some companies don’t give out dividends and simply reinvest earnings though, so in those cases you earn money when you sell them after the stock price goes up (capital appreciation) or when you perform a short sell. [Read more…]
Personal finance gurus all teach you to save a part of what you earn and invest it, but not a lot of them will teach you the specifics of fundamental analysis (analyzing the specifics of companies) and how you should choose specific stock investments aside from “buy shares of big companies.”
Warren Buffett said that “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Before you invest in a stock, you need to learn what the company’s valuation numbers mean. You need to know what the numbers say about the company’s performance instead of gambling solely on what the stock price graphs say.
*Note: This is a basic guide and I’ll include links to the Investopedia articles if you want to know more about each one. The true importance of this guide is in its Tagalog translation as it’s intended to serve as a primer for Filipinos who want to learn a few things about choosing the best stocks.
“Hey ‘friend,’ can I borrow a couple thousand? I ‘promise’ to pay you back next week.” Do you find it hard to say no? Do you let people abuse you financially? Do you keep letting people borrow money from you even when you know they never pay you back? I’ve had to watch my own mother suffer through that during the early years of my life so when I saw Chinkee Tan’s video, I just HAD to write about it. Never let people take advantage of your kindness.
Although I’ve made a budget plan before (Your Wealthy Mind Savings and Budget Plan), I thought that it might be a bit too difficult for those who just started taking care of their finances. This guide is intended for beginners and it will teach you how to budget and invest for wealth creation.
How can a mere budget plan that you can read in 15 minutes potentially change your life and bring you endless opportunities? Keep reading and you might just learn how. (That sentence was a clue by the way!)
After reading and following the advice of so many personal finance and investment books like “The Millionaire Next Door,” “The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio,” “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing,” and several others, there are several lessons that come up again and again due to their importance. If you’re a beginner and you want to learn how to invest in stocks, then these are the 10 crucial lessons that you need to know:
1. STUDY FIRST
Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest billionaires of the 21st century, said that “risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Whether it’s from books, seminars, blog articles, or anything else, you must read and learn from the best investing guides out there. If you don’t you will likely waste money on “investments” that are doomed to fail, and you will also be VERY easy to scam.
Like what Jim Rohn said: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” If you start properly educating yourself, you will most likely learn the next nine lessons on your own (and you will also learn several more valuable and advanced lessons as well).
Imagine a robot bumping into boulders, walking into walls, and falling off ledges while moving around the workplace. Because of that programmed pattern, it gets seriously damaged and needs repairs every week. Although it knows that being damaged is bad, it still can’t stop itself from bumping into walls or falling off ledges as those are what it’s been programmed to do. Humans behave in a similar way and knowing how to change that is the number one key to learn how to save money:
If we change our “bad programming” or bad spending habits, we will certainly stop damaging our financial future.
“The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.” – Ernest Dimnet
“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” – Matthew 25:29 (NLT)
Brian Tracy wrote a chapter on the “laws of money” in “The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success” and one particular passage caught my eye:
“Money tends to flow toward people who can use it in the most productive ways to produce valuable goods and services and who can invest it to create employment and opportunities that benefit others.
At the same time, money flows away from those who use it poorly or who spend it in nonproductive ways.”
In short: You get more money when you use it well and you lose money if you use it wastefully.
That key idea seems obvious, but it’s mostly ignored by a lot of people, similar to how smokers know that smoking is bad but continue to do so anyway even if they wish to have good health.
Most of us know that wasting all our money on certain things is bad, but we do it anyway even if we someday hope to be rich.
What’s worse is, many of us don’t even know that we’re spending money unwisely!
One of my more popular articles is the one about How to Get out of Debt (more specifically, get out of bad debts). I believe an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so it’s better to avoid bad debt from accumulating than to keep digging yourself out of it.
So how do you avoid bad debts? Here’s a mindset that’ll help!
As I’ve mentioned in several of my articles, aside from just working to earn money, you also need to Save and Invest if you want to be financially successful.
Now, I’ve already explained why I don’t want to recommend particular stocks on another article (Read that one if you want to know how “Investment Advisors” can manipulate you), but I CAN teach you what I’ve learned from OTHER investors through their books and research!
“Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.” – Otto von Bismarck
Now, you don’t need to be an extremely wealthy super-genius to become an investor. All you need (aside from a broker like BPITrade or ColFinancial if you live in the Philippines) is some money, discipline, and applied knowledge.