Why do so many of us have such poor attitudes toward money? There are a few convincing cases you can make: Not enough education, too much information, confusing messages from the media or simply a lack of interest.
Whatever the reason, it's clear that young people aren't doing the single most effective thing that will make them rich: Investing in the stock market.
According to a recent Gallup poll, only 37% of young Americans ages 35 and under said they owned stocks between 2017 and 2018, compared to the 61% of people over the age of 35 did own stocks.
Opening an investment account gives you access to the biggest money-making vehicle in the history of the world — and you don't have to be rich to do it. Many account providers will waive minimums (the amount required to open an account) if you set up an automatic monthly transfer.
What if you had started investing $10 per week five years ago? Assuming an average return of 8%, you'd have thousands of dollars today— all from investing a little more than $1 per day. Think about that $10 a week. Where did it go, anyway? If you're like most, you probably spent it on Uber rides and Frappuccinos.
Despite wild rides in the stock market, the best thing you can do is to think long-term and start investing early:
Although most people are limited by circumstances, most will never get rich simply because they have poor money practices.
If you're in your 20s or early 30s, there's still time to set aggressive investment goals. The first step is to understand what your excuses (or what I call "invisible scripts") really mean.
Ramit Sethi, author of the New York Times best-seller "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," has become a financial guru to millions of readers in their 20s, 30s and 40s. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his website (which he started as a Stanford undergraduate in 2004), book and personal finance courses.
This is an adapted excerpt from "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi (Workman). Copyright © 2019.
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Correction: An earlier version gave the wrong amount of money it would take for a weekly investment to total $1,082 after one year. The correct amount is $20.