Too late or Too early???

yogeshmeshram's picture
Rank: Monkey | 63

I am already 28 years old employed individual.Haven't saved or invested a single penny. I want to start learning about finance and investing, you know to retire early, be debt free and have enough after my retirement. Is it too early or late to start learning about it. Maybe read Intelligent Investors or do a masters in finance. I am more inclined to do masters in finance. Can anybody advise me?

Comments (19)

Feb 13, 2020

Time is a social construct.

    • 2
Feb 13, 2020

This seems like bait, but I'll bite.

Your retirement is 27-40 years away, in what universe is that too late?
Just start budgeting, calculate how much youll need in retirement and how long you expect to be retired for,

Also why an MFin? If you want to start saving, be debt free and retire early, how is dumping 50-100k in marginally useful education going to help you.

Your best bet is to just index, and if you really want to actively manage it read books, finance/markets related news and get a firm grasp on corporate finance or accounting.

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

Thanks for your helpful advice. Any suggestions on books to read in finance?

Feb 13, 2020

don't get a masters in finance. read these books

  1. anything by dave ramsey (get you out of debt)
  2. the millionaire next door by thomas stanley
  3. the intelligent investor by benjamin graham

or, just let me summarize every nugget of financial wisdom into 5 points

  1. avoid risk of ruin (have little debt, have cash on the side for emergencies)
  2. live on 80% or less of your income
  3. seek independence in your career, whether or not you start your own business
  4. invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks/stock ETFs/stock mutual funds, or just pick one and be done with it (I recommend ACWI, VT, or VTWAX)
  5. don't watch financial news
    • 7
Feb 13, 2020

what does point 3 mean? Seeking independence in your career

    • 1
Most Helpful
Feb 13, 2020

be irreplaceable. it's fine to start out as an analyst but you will financially ruin yourself if you're not independent. be a revenue generator, be able to tell your boss you quit without fear of finding another job. the easiest way is entrepreneurship, but not everyone has that, so consider being either a revenue producer via sales or being a creator.

let me put it to you this way. every IB/PE/ER analyst is replaceable, you can find gaggles of 22 year olds who will work on powerpoint sleep deprived. MD/VP level people have relationships which add value to the firm, they are irreplaceable or much less replaceable than their subordinates. a sales manager is replaceable, a sales leader is not. a compliance manager is replaceable, a hedge fund analyst who has a knack for risk management is not. a project manager is replaceable, a software architect is not. when you're irreplaceable, you're independent. sure, you can get fired, see your income cut, but if you have skills, you are independent. if you rent your time out for low value work, you're dependent.

    • 9
Feb 13, 2020

why not watch financial news?

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

because it's utterly useless when considering your personal long term investments. there are constantly strategists talking about their forecasts when no one checks how accurate they are, traders talking about stock ideas without disclosing the performance of their past picks, and analysts/journalists in their 20s commenting on geopolitical issues no one has figured out (middle east, russia, etc.). it's all nonsense and has no impact on your long term financial wellbeing. turn off the TV, invest in global stocks, and get to work on bettering yourself

    • 4
Feb 13, 2020

Your not to late, but realizing that you need to start now rather than later is the first step.

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

I'm gunning for a master's program, but that is because I want to progress my career in finance/consulting. I don't think a master's program makes sense for you. In addition, most top ones are extremely expensive, e.g. at MIT it costs $130k including living expenses for a 12-month program. It doesn't make sense to drop that kind of money, unless you are trying to gun for an investment banking stint...

As the brofessor said, reading books makes more sense. Go to Amazon/Goodreads and see what the best selling books in finance/accounting/economics/management are. If you have the aptitude, may be sign up for CFA Level 1 exam. It covers all the fundamentals in finance for a cost of $1k.

    • 2
Feb 13, 2020

You are right higher education is expensive, but I am looking at the long term benefits of the masters, like networking, working with like minded people. Here my target would be to get the best at the lowest cost possible. This could be getting scholarship or a good paid internship. Then applying the knowledge of investing to create and maintain my portfolio. If this is not possible then probably i would try to stick to the points mentioned by thebrofessor.
Thanks for your advice.

Feb 13, 2020

I understand where you are going, but getting scholarships for a MFin is kinda hard. This isn't a PhD in Finance where most folks get funded.

To be honest, networking is best when you go to a top program (where they admit people of very high caliber), but then again, you'll be paying top dollars for that.

A MFin is best used for people who want to break into investment banking/investment management/management consulting at the analyst level, but couldn't get those out of undergrad (like me). And to be honest, since the programs are usually fairly short, rigorous, and full of international students, you won't get much networking from that...

At your age, I'd recommend getting an MBA (with a concentration in Finance) instead, if you still want to get a degree. Otherwise, clear 3 levels of CFA and you can network with the folks at your local CFA Society.

    • 2
Feb 13, 2020

Don't get an MSF. If you want a "formal" finance education, look into the CFA (there are 3 levels). It is a very well respected designation across the industry and costs exponentially less than an MSF. If you have no background knowledge of finance or accounting the material may be very foreign to you.

If you are not looking for formal education and just looking to learn and invest for your own wellbeing, I recommend reading a book called "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton Malkiel.

Also, make a budget, review what you're spending on, and cancel unnecessary shit.

Feb 14, 2020

It is definitely not too late. I am guessing your company has some sort of match for your 401K? The power of compounding interest is insane so the earlier you start investing the better. Don't wait to get up to speed on investing just start with your next paycheck putting in what you can afford in a 401k then after that get acclimated to the change in spend and then start saving for a rainy day (3-6 months expenses) If you want to provide additional rough expenses and pay I would be happy to help you out. I personally started putting in 8% into my 401k with an 8% match and to see that growth is insane. I do live very cheap and my wife and I are used to it since we lived on one income when she was finishing up school so my salary pays for our house, groceries...etc and hers can all be saved/vacation. My advice is to look to anywhere you can cut expenses, max out your 401k match (don't leave free money on the table) and start a basic savings account with automatic transfers as little as $100,$200...etc (do not ever touch this money) whatever you can afford to put away and pretty soon you will train your brain to think that savings is just another bill and your 401k will go unnoticed. Now a year down the line after gathering a lot of knowledge in trading and having a few thousand dollars saved up, maybe go ahead and play around with investing it and see how that goes. It is all about training your brain to instead of spending to your current limit spending to your limit after savings comes out.

Feb 14, 2020
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