The biggest advice I would give to anyone about to start a career, would be to get into self-help or personal development. This type of education would beat any degree and I’m going to try and convince you with my experience and knowledge.

Disclaimer: this is not advice. This is information only. The title might be confusing but it is what I would advise my younger self. This blog doesn’t offer any professional advice. It is meant to be informative and the intention is to help other investors with anything relating to personal finance. 

The industrial age is over. The schooling system still thinks we are there as it still teaches you the same subjects and gets you prepared for that lifetime job or career. Like working at British Steel for 30 odd years and retiring on a final salary pension. This system is flawed as things are moving fast and this type of employment doesn’t exist anymore.

The digital age is here, and information is coming at us from every angle you can think of. And ultimately, you are on your own.

My hump and dump education

Another issue with school is there are no lessons on learning how to learn. I humped and dumped my way through secondary school. And I repeated this process in my late 20s as I started working my way towards an expensive degree. I haven’t got the answers when it comes to the education system, I’m just highlighting a few issues from my experience.

At the start of 2019, I got myself into learning about money and personal development. This was after years of being miserable about money. I got to the point when I decided to do something about it.

Listening to the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, he has issues with the current education system in the United States. It’s the same in the UK and one of the biggest issues is that we are not taught about money. Too many people struggle with personal finance and get themselves into bad debt. Bad debt like loans and credit cards that they can’t afford to pay off. Is the system set up that way? This blog isn’t about the way the system is set up but the lack of education around finances does get you thinking …

I have 2 issues when I look back on my degree. 1st of all I can’t remember much about it as I humped and dumped. The 2nd issue is the cost as I paid £15,000 for a degree that hasn’t done anything for my career. I thought that when I got my degree, the job offers would come rolling in, but it hasn’t been the case.

Knowing what I know now, I would have been better off investing that £15,000 into property or my SIPP. If you’ve read duffmoney, you will know that I am convinced that you can earn a conservative 7% if you track the stock market with index funds. For more on index funds, you can read how I invest by reading my 1st book.

Using a compound calculator, I am going to see what that £15000 would have been worth if I would have invested it a few years ago. By 2014, I had paid £15000 for my degree. See below, for how that money would do if it was left in a SIPP:

  • £15K invested into SIPP (low-cost index fund) in 2014 (age 31)
  • The £15k is left in SIPP for 26 years (until I am allowed to withdraw money in SIPP at age 57)
  • Interest earned is 7% pa on average
  • Future value of money is £87,110 – that is £72,110 interest earned by just leaving the money in your SIPP

This is a good example of compound interest. To further illustrate the point, I’m going to imagine, I put £500 pcm into the SIPP for the 26 years:

  • £15K invested into SIPP (low-cost index fund) in 2014 (age 31)
  • The £15k is left in SIPP for 26 years (until I am allowed to withdraw money in SIPP at age 57)
  • £6000 pa (£500 pcm) is added to the SIPP – Total deposits of £156,015
  • Interest earned is 7% pa on average
  • Future value of money is £528,013 – that is £371,998 interest earned by just leaving the money in your SIPP

This example doesn’t even consider the government tax incentives. Look into the benefits of having a SIPP. Especially if you have spare money in your Limited company.

Benefits of self-help

Understanding money and things like compound interest, is one of the benefits of self-help and self-education. Personally, I’ve gone from being the expert on how not to invest, to someone who invests with confidence.

My investing strategy is long-term buy and hold with property, index investing and crypto assets. Reading books, watching podcasts and attending training courses (eg Creative finance with PIN) has contributed to my investing knowledge and my mindset around investing. In previous years, I was chasing the pot at the end of the rainbow and was very impatient. This isn’t the case anymore as I am happy to stick with long-term buy and hold.

Long-term buy and hold mean’s I’m not checking my investments every 5 minutes like previous years. And this strategy is much better for my mental health.

The biggest benefit is mindset. I am happy in the now and am getting better at being present in the moment. This is in combination with pushing towards my goals. Life is about balance after all. If you are just focused on future goals, you miss out on what’s happening now … like spending quality time with your family.

Most people are not bothered about future finances as they just live for today. Each to their own as they say. These same people won’t be interested in the compound interest from the above examples. But getting into self-development, helps you to look at the bigger picture. You develop the patience and discipline to become a serious investor. And when you look at successful investors like Warren Buffet, they are all about long-term buy and hold.

What to do

Have a look into personal development and let me know what you think. It might not be your thing and might just think I’m talking shit.

But it might just change your life for the better like it has me. With trial and error, I have become less anxious and am much happier in the now. I am not worried about money like I was and am working towards FI (financial independence). And most importantly, I am happy during the process of getting to FI.

DUFFMONEY is all about FI. FI means living life on my terms so that I can spend more quality time with my family and friends. It means more holidays and in general, quality experiences spent with my loved ones. And it means more time doing things that I love like Brasilian Jiu Jitsu. With personal development, I will get to FI much faster and am much happier while I’m in the thick of trying to get there.

Book of the week: 7 strategies for Wealth and Happiness, by Jim Rohn. Anyone into self-development will have no doubt heard of Jim Rohn. This book is designed to help you achieve your full potential with discipline and action.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: Imagined Things.

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