Saving in the Modern Age

Alec Shklyar, Finance, Money, SaveAmerican spending habits are being increasingly questioned as the saving rates of many citizens continue to plummet. In fact, the St. Louis Federal Reserve releases data every month on personal household savings rates. In 7/2016, the savings was a measly 5.7%. To put that into perspective, the rate just 50 years ago was literally double that.  

Just as well, the vast majority of other industrialized nations have a higher personal savings rate than the United States of America. Considering the standard quality of life in America is significantly higher than many other developed nations, there is a clear disconnect between how much Americans are making and how much they’re spending. In this vein, it has come to light that although Americans should be saving between 10 and 15% of their annual income as a rule of thumb, an astounding 7/10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

This sort of savings illiteracy is only becoming more pervasive and more impactful. Thus, we need to take a stand and reverse the trend. In order to do so, here are several helpful hints for living a financially responsible life:

Use the internet for budgeting—throw paper to the wind:

In recent years, the technological boom has molded nearly aspect of society, budgeting tools included. There is an abundance of free online tools men and women can use to plan their budgets, see where they can save, and form an easy-to-adhere-to savings plan. Generally, it comes up with a dollar figure based on the dollar amount you earn or the percentage of earned income you want to put away. In just a half hour, you could have the financial plan that will bring stability back into to your life.

Associate with other fiscally responsible individuals.

Jim Rohn said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, and our finances are certainly not excluded from this broad but accurate analysis. If your friends and family are also trying to put away money and are also invested in their own fiscal well-being, then you, by extension, will be more likely to save successfully.

To this end, if you live alone, I suggest meeting up with a group of others who are striving to save some cash. This way your goal becomes more attainable and you are able to witness others gain the budgetary discipline you want, which makes it more realistic, and thus, more achievable.

Stay S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

-Specific
-Measurable
-Achievable
-Realistic
-Time-based

Saving money is difficult, and it’s nearly impossible without having the proper goals in purpose. They need to be objective so you can hold yourself accountable, and the only way your budgeting goals can be objective is if they’re quantified and adhere to the above parameters.

Remember—the only person who suffers from a lack of savings is you. Take care of your future self the way you deserve.

11 millennial money-saving ideas so teeny-tiny they might actually work

It’s so tiny (crazy?) that it just might work. I recently stumbled across this awesome article with some unique but insightful ideas on how the younger generation can make some money despite a smaller entry-level salary. For a good read, click here!

How to Invest in Stocks for beginners

Owning stocks are one of the most profitable ways to grow your wealth long-term. However, if you are new to stocks it can be rather confusing to understand the jargon of it all. Well, for those of you who are beginners in the stock market, you will find some ways to invest in stocks below:

Education

One of the most important ways to understand how to invest in stocks is to get educated on it first. For starters, you can read articles online such as the Wall Street Journal, find books for beginners, or get some information if you know anyone who works on Wall Street. There is a lot that goes into investing in stocks, so do not rush, and make sure you are well equipped with stocks knowledge before you start investing.

Open a Brokerage Account

The next thing you should do is open an online brokerage account. There is a great variety of options, so make sure you do your homework before you decide on which one to pursue. I would read up on some reviews on the company, find out if they are they successful, and even ask friend or family member if they have any advice on good online brokerage companies. Another idea when searching for a brokerage company is finding one that offers paper trading. This is great for beginners because you get a chance to invest in stocks without going into your own pocket. It can be a great stepping stone before getting into the real stock market and investing your money.

Set your Goals

Determining your goals in any profession is an important way to succeed, and that especially goes for investing in stocks. When you invest, you want to decide what are the goals you have in mind for investing.  Once you come up with your goal, make sure that you check in on it frequently. You should be checking on your investments at very least every month to see if there have been any changes.
For more information, please check out this article:

Stock Market 101

What is a stock ?

A stock is a share in the ownership of a company. Once you have a share within a company you then take ownership of the company’s assets and earnings. The more stock you take within a company your equity becomes greater.

Stocks are also a limited liability. This means if the company is not able to pay their debts, you will not be be liable to fix this issue. There are companies that are in charge of this if this issue were to occur and they are known as partnerships. When you own a stock, you lose whatever you invest into it.

What is an IPO?

IPO (Initial Public Offering) –  According to investopedia an IPO is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking the capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.

Risk in Stocks

There are risks in investing individual stocks. For all you people who are new to the stock market, NOTHING is guaranteed. Any stock can go bankrupt, so if you buy a share and that company goes bankrupt, then your stock is worth nothing.

Purchasing Stocks:

There are two ways for someone to purchase a stock and first way is to use a Brokerage Firm. For a full-service brokerage firm your pockets may hurt after, but you will be receiving quality advice from professionals to manage your account. For discount brokerage firms, you will not receive as much quality service but it is cheaper. So in the end, it all really comes down to how much you looking to spend.  Another way to purchase stocks are Dividend reinvestment plans and direct investment plans. These plans allow shareholders to purchase stock directly from the company, which for many can be more of an easier option.

For more information, please check out: http://www.investopedia.com/university/stocks/stocks1.asp