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I asked a personal finance expert how to invest.

– Investing, when most people think of it, they imagine day trading, stock tickers, and people screaming at each other. But apart from what you may have heard, investing doesn't need to be complicated, overwhelming, or even boring. The basics are actually quite simple. And once you get them down, you could make millions of
dollars in your lifetime. With the help of my friend
and personal finance expert, Ramit Sethi, we're gonna
ditch the generalities and get into the specifics
covering how to start investing, what accounts you should open up, and all the things that you
should and shouldn't be doing when it comes to investing. – This is a critical mistake people make. And it will cost you hundreds
of thousands of dollars. – This video is sponsored by Squarespace. More on them later. My early twenties weren't exactly my most productive financial years.

I remember counting
pennies in line at Wendy's to get their $1 chicken sandwich. And if you're in a similar situation, it might feel impossible to even start thinking about investing, and that's because you probably shouldn't. Before you open up your
first investment account, there are two big steps
that you need to take that most personal finance
experts can agree on. First, you need to build
up an emergency fund. You can start with a month of savings, but eventually, you should get it up to three to six months of basic expenses. We're talking about the bare minimum: rent, utilities, groceries, and gas. What is the absolute minimum
that you need to get by on? And second, you should
pay off all of your debt except for your house.

You specifically wanna focus on the debt with the highest interest rates, so those credit cards,
student loans, and car loans that are 8%, 9%, 10% or
more should be tackled as soon as you've got your
emergency fund filled. The power of taking these
two steps alone are huge when it comes to your
personal finance journey. And they will likely take years of saving, patience, frustration, and sacrifice, especially if you graduated with $100,000 of student debt like I did. But once you pay off your last loan, you'll finally be ready to start investing in the stock market. Warren Buffett once famously said, "My wealth has come from a
combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest." Compound interest is the reason you need to start investing
as soon as you possibly can.

– What we know is that over the course of a long period of time, we're talking 40, 50, 60 years, the market tends to return about 7% to 8%. That's per year. So people go, "Well, is that
a lot? Is that a little?" Doesn't mean anything to people. What that means is that your money will essentially double every
10 years if you do nothing. Let's say you invest $5,000
a year from age 25 to 65. At an annual return of 8%, you'll have a total of
nearly $1.3 million. If you chose not to invest and instead stash the money
away in your sock drawer, you would have $200,000. That's a difference that
will easily change your life. – So the minute that I paid
off my last student loan, I knew that I wanted to start investing, but I still had so many questions. How do I open an account?
What company do I use? How much should I invest?
What stocks do I invest in? It was truly overwhelming.

There are a number of different accounts that you could open up with
varying fees and tax advantages. My guess is if you've thought
about investing before but haven't taken the leap, this is where you've
gotten stuck in the weeds. So let's break down exactly
what you should be doing from the minute that you
decide to start investing. In the U.S., if your
employer has a 401k plan and offers matching contributions, then this is the first account that you should start investing in, and you should probably
take advantage of this deal even before you finish
paying off all of your debt.

Put as much money into this 401k plan as your employer will match. After that, the first account you should open up is a Roth IRA. If you meet the income requirements, there are some great tax
advantages to Roth IRAs, and it's why most personal
finance experts recommend it. But what companies should
you trust with your money? – There are a few companies I love. I personally use Vanguard.

I have no financial affiliation with them, but that's where I suggested
my wife open her account. They're super low-cost. They don't get you with a bunch
of fees. That's important. Fidelity's also very good.
Schwab is also very good. All three of these are great. Some people ask about
robo-advisors. It's really popular. I think they're fine. If you are coming to me, you're saying, "Ramit, should I do Wealthfront
or Betterment or Vanguard?" There is a slight difference in fees. You know, you might be
paying about 0.3% more for Wealthfront or Betterment.

In the grand scheme, it's not
the worst thing you could do. Personally, for me, I
don't think it's worth it. I don't mind that Vanguard
has a worse interface because I hardly log in. It's not important to me. And I want a company that
is focused on low fees. – So, to keep things simple, if you haven't opened an account already, just go with Vanguard. They've got really low fees, give you all the investing
options you need, and they make it really
easy to get started. Okay, now that you've created an account, what do you do next? Well, you actually need
to invest your money, and regardless of what your
brother-in-law told you, investing your life savings into Bitcoin is probably a terrible option. I think when a lot of people think about investing in the stock market, they think about, like, you said, Tesla.

They think about investing
in specific companies. Some of them go, "Ramit, why would I invest
in the stock market? 7%? That's for losers. Bitcoin, you can average
50% to 60% a year." I go, "All right, let's start
with some basic math here, which you missed the
day they taught that." If you're getting 60% returns per year, pretty soon you have more money than all the money in the universe, and there are essentially no investments that are consistently
getting you 60% returns.

Oftentimes, really what people are doing with these highly speculative investments is they are admitting I have lost the game of money for myself and the only chance I
believe I have to win is to buy a lottery ticket. And that is not how you invest.
That's not how you do it. – So, instead of investing
your money into one company, one stock, or one risky bet, you need to diversify by investing in something called an index fund.

An index fund is a type of investment that pulls together stocks, bonds, and other securities into
one diversified portfolio. While there is always a risk
when it comes to investing, this reduces the overall amount of risk that you need to take. What are the investments
that are safe in the long run but that will also give us a return where we can actually have
a living when we retire? – I love a target date retirement fund. You simply pick the year
that you're gonna retire. Basically, the year you're gonna be 65. And you just put all your money into it. It's automatically
diversified, automatically. It includes stocks, bonds. It includes domestic,
large caps, all that, and you just put as much as you can. They charge essentially no fees. This is not a financial
advisor that's charging you 1%. It's just a computer
that's doing it for you. People almost find it unbelievable. They go, "Ramit, you're telling me that I just pick one target date fund, and I invest in that same fund
in my 401k, in my Roth IRA, even in a taxable brokerage account?" For the most part, yes.

For the vast majority of people, a target date fund is a fantastic thing. If I had, like, if I were
telling a brother or sister, family member, and they're 25
years old, what should I do? I'd be like, put every
extra dollar you've got in a target date fund and
get on with your life. – I wanna share the exact
index fund that I invest in as well as the strategy you need to know once you start investing your
money into the stock market. But first, a quick word from
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make a website for yourself, click the link in the description below. Thanks for considering. I
forgot to turn the camera off. All right, so let me show you the exact target retirement
fund that I invest into when it comes to Vanguard.

So this is it. It's the Vanguard target
retirement 2050 fund. Obviously, if you plan on
retiring earlier or later, you would pick a different fund, but this is because I plan
on retiring around 2050. You can see, over the past 10 years, it's performing at 8.36% annually. After you've actually invested your hard-earned money
into the stock market, the hard part comes, waiting. How you manage your
emotions and risk tolerance is one of the most important aspects to building wealth over time because growth isn't a straight line.

– It goes like this. It's up. It's down. Some years it's up 30%.
Some years it's down 6%. This year happens to be down. But you have to remember
that it was way up for the last 10-plus years. – Most people just can't stomach the twists and turns
that the market takes, and over the past year, things have been looking a bit dicey. – But it does seem we are kind of slipping into a recession, doesn't it? – People are gonna feel a lot of pain. – Concerns, of course, about
the potential recession, they continue to loom. – In a poll for the Wall Street Journal, economist put the probability of a recession in the
next 12 months at 61%. – And the fear is that we
are much more likely now heading toward a recession. – What would you say to somebody who sees this happening right now and wants to pull their
money out of their 401k? – If you do this, you are doomed. It's one of the worst financial
decisions you can make to try to pull your money out.

Let me explain. It's called timing the market when you try to pull it
out at the right time and then get back in at the right time. There's several problems with this. First of all, you don't know if it's gonna go lower or higher. And people go, "Well,
dude, it's so obvious." It's actually not obvious. People said it was obvious
in 2008, 9, 10, 16, 20, 22. It's not obvious. It can
go up. It can go down. The market does what
the market's gonna do. You cannot predict it. Second, even if you pulled
it out at a great time where things are really
high, and then it goes low, you need to be right a second time to put it in at the right time. The solution is to simply invest every single month consistently. Doesn't matter whether it's up. Doesn't matter whether it's
down because you don't know where that fits in the overall scheme. Every month you set up an
automation in your Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab account, and it might be $100, it might
be $1000, it might be $5,000.

It's just continually going in. So when it's expensive,
you're buying fewer shares. When it's cheaper, you're
buying more shares. Over time, that strategy
called dollar cost averaging tends to dramatically
outperform timing the market. – I remember the day that
I first invested money into the stock market through Vanguard. I knew that I wasn't supposed
to be checking these accounts. I had read books by Ramit
and others that told me so, but I couldn't help it. I refreshed that thing every single day, tracking the changes and
watching as it went up and down. But eventually, I decided
to stop obsessing, and I just let the investments do their work in the background, and it was the best decision that I made. Now I check in every six months
to see how things are going. And over the past eight years, on average, I've returned about 8% annually. If you invested $5,000 per
year over the same time period, you'd have made $13,000 in interest. And if you remember that graph
from earlier in this video, if you keep investing, your money will soon grow exponentially.

That is, of course, unless you make one
fatal investing mistake. – This is a critical mistake people make, and it will cost you hundreds
of thousands of dollars. A lot of you watching have parents who are using a financial advisor. I want you to pull out
your phone right now. I want you to text mommy and
daddy, and I want you to say, "Hey, how much are you paying Chet, our neighborhood financial advisor?" Chet, when he gets the question, is going to go into a
very long monologue about, "Well, you know, we're
here to protect your money. I wanna keep you safe, and
I'm always looking over it, and blah, I'm making decisions. (bleep) Chet is ripping your parents off. Chet is charging: I can almost guarantee, a 1% assets under management fee. Now, you go, "1%, what's the big deal? That's not bad to have
somebody look over it." Over the course of your lifetime, if you pay a 1% fee, 28% of your returns will go right into your advisor's pocket.

If you pay a 2% fee, which some
of these ripoff artists do, you will pay over 50% of your returns straight into their pocket. If you have a modest income,
you're starting in your 20s: it could be hundreds of
thousands of dollars. Most finances we've heard
today, it's really simple. Target date fund, automate your money, focus on living your life. But if you really need a financial advisor because things have gotten complicated or you have stepchildren or
all kinds of crazy stuff, fine, pay an hourly fee or a project fee, but never a percentage of
assets under management.

– Since personal finance and investing is really different for everyone, it requires you to do
a bit of extra research to make sure that you're making the best decision for
yourself and your family. So to help you identify what you should and
shouldn't be doing right now, I've linked to some
really helpful resources in the description below this video. There are some flow charts from the personal finance Subreddit that I've found to be very helpful, and I also highly recommend you check out Ramit Sethi's book, "I Will Teach You to Be Rich". It helped me out a ton
when I first got started, and I think it'll help you as well. As you start to dig into
your own personal finances, it's often easy to lose
sight of the big picture: the reason why it's so important to start investing, to begin with. Say somebody just starts getting
into personal finance now, what advice would you give them? – I think money is an
amazing source of joy, and I think when we
typically think about money, it feels like flossing to us.

"Ah, I really should like
do something with my 401k." So I always start by asking people, "What's your rich life?
What do you wanna do? You wanna take a trip to Italy? You wanna take a quarterly camping trip? Awesome. Let's build
that into your rich life. Let's start there." And once you do that,
suddenly you realize, "Oh, my gosh. In order to do
these things that I wanna do, whether it's solo or with a partner, or bring my family and friends with me, maybe I need to have more money." Now you have lots of ways to do it.

You can negotiate your salary.
We've talked about that. You can start a business. But
certainly, you can invest. Every year you wait to invest
is costing you thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. – Ramit, thank you so much for doing this. If people wanna learn
more about your work, where should we send them? – Come to my YouTube channel.

Come to my podcast,
where I interview couples where they share real numbers. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they laugh. It's really insightful when
it comes to money psychology. And you can come to my website,, and all my other social channels. [Matt] Check the description
out for all the things that we mentioned in this video. Thanks so much for watching. Don't forget to hit subscribe. And turn on notifications
for future videos from me. Thanks for watching..

As found on YouTube

401K to Gold IRA Rollover

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