When does ‘saving money’ turn into ‘building wealth’ for your financial future? We asked some financial professionals for their quick tips on the path to security.
MAURICE QUIROGA, executive VP/managing director, PNC Wealth Management
◆ Discipline and willpower are key. The discipline to set money aside in savings, and the willpower to avoid the temptation to tap the funds.
◆ Learn to practice frugality. You don’t have to be cheap, just smart. Buy things on sale and use technology to find the best prices. This adds up over your lifetime!
◆ Be patient and be prepared to take profits. Don’t get greedy—any profit is better than none.
MELISSA LENZ, financial adviser, Edward Jones
◆ Be goal-specific. Are you saving for a child’s education, a second home, retirement? Assess your current financials. What do you need to do to get there? And is it possible, given your current status and comfort with risk?
◆ The best time to do this? Immediately! The younger, the better, but it’s never too late.
◆ The biggest mistake? Panicking, especially when the market is volatile. If you panic, you will do exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Remember, the key is time in the market, not trying to time the market.
JIM CARR, VP, investments, Wells Fargo Advisors
◆ When you’re learning about investing, read and listen—but remember, there is a lot of conflicting information. There’s no single place to become smart about investing.
◆ Find a financial adviser by asking around. Who do your friends use? Make appointments with a few and get to know them. Find someone you are comfortable with, who understands your goals and financial habits.
◆ Pay attention to your money. Know where it’s coming from and, more important, where it’s going. Small strategies will help you to find the money for investing. For example, making and drinking most of your coffee at home!
LANDERS CARNAL, chief investment officer/executive VP, Commerce Trust Company
◆ Begin building wealth on the very first day of your first full-time job. There are very few free lunches in this world, and the miracle of compounding is one of them. But the miracle will only work if you start as early as possible.
◆ Once you have a plan in place, stick to it with no excuses. Don’t think I can dip into this now and make it up next year. Consistency is critical.
◆ Assuming normal averages in life expectancy, it’s fair to say that people in their 20s can afford to take more risk in their portfolio, simply because they should not be touching it for decades to come. They can ride through a lot of volatility.