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Lets discuss how to invest $500 per month, and the best places you can invest your money to build wealth – enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan
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FIRST: Build up a 3-6 month emergency fund.
Having a 3-6 month emergency fund means you won’t have to rely on credit cards to pay your way through an event, you won’t have to sell stocks or other investments to pay for it, and you won’t have to take on high interest debt anytime something happens.
SECOND: Roth IRA
This is a tax advantaged retirement account that lets you contribute post tax money…meaning taxes have already been taking out of what you earned…and by the time you’re 59.5, all the PROFIT in that account can be accessed completely tax free.
THIRD: Traditional 401k
This is an account that you invest PRE-TAX money into, and then you’re taxed when you begin withdrawing the money after the age of 59.5. For example, if you invest $500 per month into a 401K, you’ll be taxed as though you make $500 per month LESS on your paycheck. That saves you money upfront, allowing you to invest MORE money than you’d have left over AFTER paying taxes.
From my perspective, the 401k really only makes sense in a few scenarios:
The first is when your employer offers what’s called a 401K match…this is when they will match your contribution, dollar-for-dollar, up to a certain amount. Essentially, this means you’re doubling your money immediately with zero risk whatsoever.
Secondly, a 401k makes sense if you’re in a HIGH tax bracket now…and expect to retire on much less, in a LOWER tax bracket. The variable here is if you end up making more money in retirement, then you’ll pay more in taxes LATER than you would have just paid now. And, if the tax rates go UP in retirement…then you might also pay more.
FOURTH: Paying down any high interest rate debt you have.
If you invest your money, on average, you’d likely expect about a 6-12% return in a broad index fund…and to do that, you’re taking on some risk that there will be years where you LOSE money. On the other hand, paying down debt is like getting a guaranteed return on your money at whatever interest rate you’re paying.
So paying off a 15% interest credit card balance is like getting an immediate, guaranteed 15% return on your money. Same applies to ANY outstanding loan you have. My basic rule of thumb is this: If you’re paying above a 4.5% interest rate on your money, it’s probably best just to pay it off, because you’re getting ABOUT what an investment would generate after taxes. So there’s no downside.
FIFTH: Invest in yourself
When we look at the ROI of investing $500 per month, in the very beginning, it’s not much. Even at a 10% return within a year, we’re talking about a few hundred dollars. The BEST ROI, however, comes from none other than yourself. YOU have the ability to make a few hundred dollars IN A DAY with the proper education or certification, and especially when your young, making more money can set you up on a completely new trajectory in terms of building wealth.
SIXTH: A taxable account
By doing this, you can invest $500 per month into individual stocks or index funds you find interesting…you can basically just invest your money normally, without any retirement benefits later on. BUT, by doing this, you’d have access to ALL of your money, anytime you need it, without paying an penalties for cashing out before the age of 59.5
SEVENTH: Start a business
That might be enough to buy some basic equipment to get going, it might be enough to get a website built and order inventory, it might be enough to start up a small agency that you can run remotely, it could be enough to even just buy some landscaping equipment and start mowing lawns. The possibilities are basically limitless.
For business or one-on-one real estate investing/real estate agent consulting inquiries, you can reach me at GrahamStephanBusiness@gmail.com