Learning to save money is, of course, a valuable life skill to have, yet it's not powerful enough on its own — not by a long shot.
We need to invest. This isn't someone else's responsibility; it's ours. There are myriad excuses not to invest, none of which hold water. See if any of the following reasons have popped into your mind — and I'll add a rebuttal to each.
Pick a very modest goal to start, say $50 a month (or less if you can't afford that), which is $1.67 a day. Many plans will take very small amounts of money with no additional fees for doing so.
Saving for investment is a practice, a habit, you'll need for the rest of your life; it's really not a choice. When you start saving, you can start investing right away — that's where the real wealth-building difference is made. Over time, investing builds wealth.
Albert Einstein reportedly called compounding "the most powerful force in the universe." Compounding means making money on the money you are investing. It's a beautiful thing.
That's like saying, "when I am in good shape, I'll start to exercise." Start investing now. Develop that muscle and you'll want to keep flexing it. When you do start to earn more, you can add bigger chunks to your investments.
This is the youngest you'll ever be for the rest of your life — and you may live a lot longer than you think — so it's never too late to start. It will make you less scared — not more — about the future. Sticking your head in the sand is not a plan.
You don't need to be a stock picker; in fact, I'd advise against it for the average investor.
You'll be much better off in low-cost mutual funds, adding gradually, month after month and leaving the money there.
There are lots of user-friendly, easy ways to do this online: Acorns, geared toward smaller investors, Betterment, Ellevest, Wealthfront — all designed to make it easy for you to get started.
And when the market is in a downward trend, you'll be able to add stocks at better prices, which will reward you in the long run.
Always keeping an eye toward the future will keep you from the emotional roller coaster that the markets can be.
So, no more excuses. Let's go.
Karen Finerman is CEO & co-founder, Metropolitan Capital Advisors
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.