ABOUT 55% of Americans are invested in the stock market. That includes directly and through 401k plans and IRAs, but does not include those indirectly invested in a traditional pension plan. And that number is based on survey data.
As you can imagine, the percentage of stock ownership rises with income level and education and indirectly race. That is pointed out as inequality, but that is not so.
I wrote the following blog post on HumbleDollar over a year ago, but I think it’s a valuable idea for many people and deserves repeating. In short, there is no reason why the vast majority of Americans can’t be investors even if they start very modestly.
Some mutual funds require minimum initial investment, but there is no reason why that amount can’t be saved. However, there are several funds with no minimum investment amount. Plus long-term capital gains are taxed at 0% or 15% for lower income investors.
It’s not only a matter of putting a modest amount of cash together, but acquiring a basic level of financial literacy … and the initiative to do something for the future.
This is just no excuse for most Americans not to participate in growing wealth just as the much maligned wealthy do.
Here’s how anyone can accumulate the cash to get started.
Going Without Richard Quinn | January 9, 2020
I RECENTLY READ about a trendy way to lose weight: intermittent fasting. Supposedly there are also health benefits. That got me thinking. I’ve been roundly criticized for bashing the financial independence/retire early movement, otherwise known as FIRE, and for arguing that average Americans spend unnecessarily on all kinds of stuff, thus hampering their long-term financial security.
My point of view hasn’t changed. But I’ve found room for compromise: Think of it as periodic financial fasting. I maintain that this strategy can work at virtually all income levels. Alas, it’ll still be an uphill battle to make converts.
Surveys show most people would rather cut back spending in retirement than spend less today. No doubt that sounds easy—until you’re retired. At the same time, however, 87% of Americans appear willing to make tradeoffs to catch up on retirement savings.
Source: Going Without – HumbleDollar
I was told early in life, by a few good friends and even a car salesman, to live below my means. We’ve routinely done so, which has enabled us to still pay for everything we’ve needed, with cash. The current results are in. We actually capped our lifestyle to spend approximately half of what we earn. When retired, Lord willing, we should have approximately double, annually, what we need. We’ve have adequately spent, saved, given and invested. We will continue to do so and we taught our four children the same principles, which are now serving them well.
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