Investing Doesn't Have to Be Scary

Money

There's a lot in life that can scare us. I vividly remember our frantic neighborhood search years ago after my toddler son wandered away from the babysitter. And I can still recall my dry mouth and desperate heart as my wife and I sat in the hospital waiting room while our daughter was undergoing surgery. You've no doubt had your own scary encounters as well. You know, the ones that bring an empty feeling, even pain, to the pit of your stomach.

There's another less serious issue out there that also strikes fear into the hearts of many: investing. Though it shouldn't be a fear generator, I regularly see and hear from folks who are filled with trepidation at the thought of it. So, in a financial planner's attempt to be a healer, I recommend one way to ease those fears: Do it systematically. Here's how systematic saving and investing can help:

  1. It's easy. Whether you're signing up to contribute to a 401(k) plan, signing up for the TSP in the military, or setting up automatic investments into an IRA, it's typically a few keystrokes or a simple form or two to get the ball rolling. Our legal team doesn't let me make a lot guarantees, but I'd bet you're less than 15 minutes from getting started. Now that's not very scary.
  2. It's all-purpose. Sure, I love the idea of building your retirement nest egg or funding the kids' college through systematic investing. But there's also systematic saving, and it can be a great way to accumulate cash for your emergency fund, holiday shopping or next year's vacation. Whether it's long-term investing or short-term saving, doing it systematically is truly all-purpose and getting the job done will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
  3. It takes timing out of the equation. "Is now a good time to invest?" I hear that frequently from those looking for an insight gleaned from the crystal ball I don't have. What I do know is that investing a little chunk each paycheck or month and not letting what's happening (or not happening) in the market dictate your behavior can be a calming approach to investing.
  4. It can leverage time. The time value of money is a complicated way to say that earning interest on your interest or compounding interest is a powerful ally to have on your side. But that's only the case if you get started sooner rather than later. And now for the requisite "oooh-aaah" moment: $100 per bi-weekly paycheck growing at a hypothetical 6% will be $431,476 in 40 years. That could put a smile on your face.


Of course, the best thing about systematic saving or investing is that it puts you on a path towards meeting your goals, whatever they may be. As to my son, yes, we found him safely ensconced in a neighbor's house, and my daughter is beautiful, healthy and happy. Our fears passed, we moved forward and you can do the same with your plans to build for the future.

Related Topics

Personal Finances
Connect
Get the

Money Matters

Sign-up
Newsletter

Contributor

About

USAA, a diversified financial services organization, is the leading provider of competitively priced financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their eligible families. Rated among the highest among financial services companies for customer advocacy in a Forrester Research survey, USAA provides convenient and accessible financial products to its more than 9 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com
headerPage0VALoan

  • * Please select the purpose of this loan
  • * Please select the location of the home you wish to finance
  • * Please select the type of home you wish to finance
  • * Please provide a valid email address
  • * Please agree to our terms & privacy policy
  • Next Describe Property
headerPaycheckChronicles

Paycheck Chronicles

2014-2015 Disney Military Deals

Disney Parks Blog has announced the military promotional tickets available for the 2014-2015 season at both the Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.  Often called Military Salute or Armed Forces Salute, these specially priced Disney military deals allow military members and their families to enjoy Disney fun at a discounted price. Walt Disney World, Florida At […]

© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.