I always wanted to invest but the barrier to entry into the investing world always seemed too high for me. Investments were complicated and I thought I needed thousands of dollars that I didn’t have to get started. I put off investing as something I could figure out when I was older and had more money.
Then a year and a half ago, at 25, I stumbled upon personal finance blogs that encouraged me to get out there and invest. It turns out that I didn’t need thousands of dollars to get started with investing. I didn’t need a degree in economics or a fancy financial advisor to tell me what to do. I just needed a little guidance and the motivation to go do it.
It was around this time that I found Jim Collin’s blog and his famous stock series. Jim’s stock series covers the A to Z of investing. It explains the basics in a way that is easy to understand and is actionable. For example, I probably read about traditional and Roth IRAs many times before I really understood them from reading Jim’s posts. It was after reading his posts that I took my first step of opening a traditional IRA with Vanguard and buying VTSAX (if you don’t know what that is, keep reading).
Beyond just explaining the how-to’s of investing, Jim also explains the why behind investing. I really connected with his message of having what he calls “FU Money” which basically gives you the flexibility to walk away from a bad situation at work. I’ve thankfully never had that bad of a situation at work that I needed to walk away but I have felt the shackles of a less than perfect job situation.
By 25, I had already purchased a bigger home than I could afford and a new car. I needed my job to keep up the payments on my expensive lifestyle. I also got engaged and was in $90k of debt due to combined student loans, car loans, and a bad 0% interest credit card habit.
From the outside, I was living this great life but on the inside, I felt trapped.
I have since paid off the $90k of debt, now max out my IRA, 401k and HSA, and additionally invest as much after tax money as I can. I went from being a total newbie who was intimidated to invest to someone who now blogs about personal finance. It’s been a huge transformation for me and has eliminated so much stress in my life now that I have some financial security.
A Simple Path to Wealth
I had the pleasure of meeting Jim when I attended the Chautauqua in Ecuador this past October and can say that he is as great of a person as he seems on his blog.
Lucky for all of us, Jim has transformed the stock series into a well-organized and knowledge-packed book, “The Simple Path to Wealth.” I received an advanced copy of the book and can tell you that it is a must-read for not only millennials but all generations.
I decided to go on Amazon and gift the book to my younger sister. She is 25 now, the age I was when I started investing, and is going through some of the same things I was going through at the time (student loan debt, keeping up an expensive lifestyle, etc.).
Spending $10 to gift her a lifetime of financial knowledge and security is a bargain in my mind and something I would gladly spend on a friend or family member. Plus, the book is filled with entertaining stories and anecdotes that make it much more interesting to read than your average finance book.
I don’t want to make it seem that the book is only for beginners though. This book is for everyone. It explains the basics very well (which is why I recommend it for millennials or first-time investors) but it also goes into complicated investing topics that might teach an expert a thing or two.
The best part is that Jim has been financially independent for over 20 years and has time-tested all of these approaches. I really like his low-cost, passive method of investing and know that it aligns with the lifestyle I want to live.
I did not have to write this review and am not getting paid for writing about this book (Although, I did go out and get my first Amazon affiliate link below which means I am paid for any purchase of this book through the below link #realbloggernow). I truly just feel that the book is a good investment and the ROI on this book will be tenfold once you get going.
I’ll have a more detailed post on my investments at a later time but for now, get this book! You won’t regret it!
Do you invest? Did you ever feel there was a barrier to entry with investing?
Millennial Boss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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Biglaw Investor says
Agreed, Jim’s book is fantastic and a good read for all investors.
I imagine you’ve seen this Julie, but if anyone has 2 mins to decide whether or not to buy his book, this video should do it:
No – I haven’t seen that. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!
Nicole @Audaciously So says
ehhh i actually asked a financial advisor to help me set up my retirement plan. Probably a little frivolous but he really helped explain everything to me, and I felt confident that I was making the best decision I could. On one hand, I feel guilty that I didn’t take the time to learn enough myself (major props to you). But on the other, I wouldn’t end up knowing as much as my financial advisor does anyway, and I also don’t mind paying extra for convenience in some situation (like the convenience of knowing where to invest without spending hours researching options, or the convenience of taking a cap the airport instead of public transportation hah).
Yeah deciding what to insource and what to outsource is a totally personal decision. I love reading blogs about finance so it was a no brainer for me. Props to you for getting your retirement plan set up though! So many millennials don’t even create a retirement plan at all!
Michael @ Super Millennial says
Great post, I was very intimidated at first as well…why didn’t they teach us this in school!?? A few other books that were amazing were “I will teach you to be rich” & “Millionaire next door”…the 1st is super entertaining and would be my equivalent of the one you mentioned here. I really like low cost index funds as well, all my accounts are through Vanguard too, no question the lowest fees out there.
What’s your investing strategy now?
Same with Vanguard. Friend of index funds for now.
Frugal Millennial says
At 27, I have not started investing yet and I’ve been very hesitant about it. My plan was to wait until my massive student loan debt is paid off because I know that my debt has such a huge psychological impact. However, I might change my plan. Most of my income goes to making extra payments on my debt, but I still keep a cushion in my checking account in case of emergencies (in addition to my emergency savings fund). Realistically, I wouldn’t notice $50 or $100 missing from my account each month. Lately, I’ve been thinking that my hesitation is less about my debt and more about my lack of knowledge about investing. I have a fear of giving up money (especially when in debt) when there’s no guarantee that I will receive a positive return on that money. Thank you for this helpful article! I will have to check out that book!
I contributed to tax deductible retirement accounts when I had debt because I wanted the tax savings. Interest on the loans for a few months versus tax savings might be something to calculate.
Claudia @ Two Cup House says
Other than low-fee index funds selected in our respective employer plans, we’ve had almost no investing experience. One of the first blogs we stumbled across was Jim’s! 🙂
His blog definitely motivated me!
You bet we invest! Everyone in the world over 18 should get into investing, it’s the best way to become wealthy 🙂
I’m glad you’re passing on some of the great things that you learned, to your sister. That’s some family financial love.
Millennial Moola says
Congrats on your first affiliate link, let me know if you end up getting affiliate sales haha, I feel like my link is broken, or maybe I’m just not as naturally gifted at selling things like other bloggers
Thanks! I bought the copy for my sister through this link so I could test it!
The more I experiment with investing in individual stocks and trying to out-smart the system, the more I agree with the notion that you should just simplify, invest in stock and bond indexes, and put your effort into something else.
It’s easiest for me to just focus on the percentage I’m putting into the market than focus on picking stocks and keeping the money afloat. Jim lays out some convincing arguments on indexes so I feel comfortable letting that money sit in indexes for years.
Steve Reed says
I’ve given away two copies and made another 3-5 people buy one. It’s so simple and good!
Yup! I’ve started resorting to educational gifts. People are loving it 🙂