A small amount can have a big pay-off in the future. But it’s not all about the money..
Last year, for the first time ever, we considered ourselves financially secure as a family. I'm talking about the peace of mind that you have, when you are not worried about your income covering your expenses. About having an emergency fund. Being well on the way to building a college fund for your children and knowing you are building towards your pension.
Most people reach this stage in their late twenties or early thirties – this varies per country, but women generally feel financially secure at a later age than men. So, with this newfound financial security in our late thirties (we’re behind the curve, but hey, better late than never), and more disposable income than expected, we decided to start squirreling some away in an investment account. Only invest what you can afford to lose, is the general advice. And so, we have no expectations – but high hopes of course! – of what our investment accounts will look like in 25 years.
Investing is personal and complicated, and we are not financial wizards. After a few weeks of research, we decided to open an investment account with a low-cost and local broker that will buy and sell bonds and shares on our behalf. We decided against a starting capital – we are only pulling in a small amount of money every month. We’re doing this separately: although we share our finances, I suggested my husband and I each build our own, individual, investment account. That’s mainly because we could not agree on how much we’d pull into it each month, and we made different decisions on our risk profile.
What I love about our broker, is that we have the option to sell everything at any time – and the broker gives you a ‘live’ overview of what your investments are worth, should you decide to sell them on the spot. So, after a few days, I checked my account and saw that I had earned 10 cents. It was a small thing (and an even smaller amount). But the bigger pay-off? I felt triumphant and happy with our choice.
I'm sure that, in future, the worth of my investment account will go up and down. I may see less money in future than expected – although I hope that’s not the case in the long-term. But for now, it's a great additional tool in our financial 'arsenal', and this small victory has inspired me to keep investing for our financial future.