By: Laura Walton AFC®
There are a couple of routine tasks that I put off doing. I make them out to be bigger than they are. One of them is unloading the dishwasher. So I timed it – how long does it take to unload the dishwasher? About three minutes. Why put off something that takes only three minutes? I probably spend more time putting it off than if I just did it, for heaven’s sake! You know where this is going…it seems we need to read only 833 words to know all we need to know about personal finance…and I agree.
I was sorry to see that the Wall Street Journal Sunday pages were disappearing from the Arizona Daily Star. According to their editor, David Crook, their belief was that “a regular person of modest means and no professional financial background could take control of their money and build a comfortable future.” This is something I say often and is the belief of the TCI Foundation as well.
Their final issue included the article “Everything You Need to Know About Personal Finance in 833 Words” by Brett Arends. It’s a must read and will hopefully give those who have put off addressing their personal finances (like I put off unloading my dishwasher) the inspiration to get started.
The point is that it’s just not that hard to do the right thing! We make saving money seem hard because, frankly, we’d rather spend it. But the boring old adage of “pay yourself first” works likes magic. Money that never hits your checking account is quickly forgotten and saved for your future. You can set up a direct deposit in probably the same amount of time as it takes me to unload my dishwasher.
Wall Street makes investing seem tricky with plenty of “buy this” and “sell that” advice; the public thinks there must be some magic to making good investments. Mr. Arends suggests “keep[ing] it simple” by investing in a simple, diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, rebalanced yearly. We agree and have seen many individuals build a comfortable future by doing just that.
Take a minute (or three) to read Mr. Arends’ article. You’ll be glad you didn’t put it off.