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How to Become an Investor Instead of a Consumer

https://thinksaveretire.com/how-to-become-an-investor/

thinksaveretire.com

How to Become an Investor Instead of a Consumer
Learn how to become an investor instead of a consumer by 'flipping the switch' and taking control of your finances.

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From consumer to investor

From consumer to investor

A consumer spends money and follows trends while an investor puts capital to work and takes advantage of trends.

Chronic consumers often go broke, and persistent investors often get rich.

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Discover if you’re a consumer

  • You feel the need to reward yourself after a hard day of work by buying new clothes/accessories or eating out.
  • Lifestyle creep controls your expenses. When your income increases, you buy a new car or a more expensive house.
  • You reserve your credit card for unexpected expenses instead of using an emergency fund.
  • You rationalize using a credit card to buy things you might not purchase with a debit card.
  • When something is on sale, you feel the urge to buy it, even if you wouldn't have otherwise bought it.
  • You follow social trends.
  • You don't think you have money to invest or the time for it.

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The chronic consumer

Consumers will remain consumers, even if their income increases.

  • Negative spending habits can destroy your financial life, and disrupt your mental health and relationships.
  • Credit card debt can put stress on the quality of your life an contribute to unhappiness.

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Forming the habits of an investor

Investors put their money to work. They know that the money they set aside today sets them up for financial freedom.

  • An investor puts any excess money towards investments that will earn more capital.
  • They value learning new skills and think of ways to use it to earn more money.
  • When their income increases, they invest the difference.
  • They don't use a credit card and have an emergency fund built up to cover at least six months worth of unexpected expenses.
  • They don't follow trends but identify trends that will last, then find ways to use them by investing through the stock market or a startup.
  • Their focus is on Return on Investment (ROI) to direct their decisions.
  • They understand how to use compound interest to build long-term wealth.

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The "Opportunity Cost" mindset

Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain from other choices when one alternative is chosen.

Every time you decide to buy something, you choose to lose out on investing that money. If you buy a brand new car you don't need for $30,000, you're missing out on the opportunity to invest that money into the stock market and lose out on compound interest. This means that you should not buy on impulse, but think of your money in terms of future value.

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How to switch from consumer to investor

Individuals who have bad habits ingrained in them will take more effort and self-discipline to make the change. Know that you are able to make a switch. It's okay to take baby steps and work your way to becoming an investor.

  • Invest in yourself.
  • Start tracking your expenses.
  • Identify and improve your spending weaknesses.
  • Get all bad debt out of your life.
  • Automate your savings and invest your excess income.

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Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Marketable skills make you valuable.

Listen to content about investing, side hustles, and entrepreneurship that will inspire you. Keep a notebook and write down information that stands out to you.

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Warren Buffett

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Investing

... is the trading of your money today for a lot more money in the future. It is a high yield over the long term.

What happens to your money

Banks don’t like to give away their money. That mindset is reflected in the interest rates of checking and savings accounts of 0,5% and 0.9% avg. annual interest respectively.

When you deposit your money in the bank, the bank turns around and invests that money at 7% a year or more. After they collect their profit, they give a tiny shaving of it to you.

Portfolio and Diversification

  • Your portfolio reflects your long-term wealth building investment strategy – not the short term. It includes everything you own. Your retirement accounts, your investment accounts, even your home are types of investments.
  • Diversification is a way to describe owning multiple types of investment assets. Diversification is smart because you both protect yourself from failure and position yourself to take advantage of multiple robust methods for building wealth.

Investing defined

Investing is about laying out cash or assets now, in the hope of more cash or assets returning to you tomorrow, or next year, or next decade.

Most of the time, this is best achieved th...

Productive assets explained

  • Productive assets are investments that internally throw off surplus money from some sort of activity. 
  • Each type of productive asset has its own pros and cons, unique quirks, legal traditions, tax rules, and other relevant details.
  • The three most common kinds of investments from productive assets are stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Investing in Stocks

  • It means investing in common stock, which is another way to describe business ownership or business equity.
  • When you own equity (the value of the shares issued by a company) in a business, you are entitled to a share of the profit or losses generated by that company's operating activity.
  • Equities are the most rewarding asset class for investors seeking to build wealth over time without using large amounts of leverage.