Saving and investing regularly is a habit you need to form if you want to determine your own standard of living rather than let circumstances or the State determine how you will live.
There is an old computer saying from the 1950s, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ (GIGO) or as we prefer in the UK ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’ (RIRO).
How will your obtain your wealth?
We cannot expect to have sufficient wealth to be able to decide on our own standard of living if we don’t make it a discipline to save decent amounts of our income regularly as early in life as we possibly can. Of course, there will be some who through fame, fortune or inheritance obtain great wealth but that is not something that most of us can realistically rely upon.
We could win the lottery, but at odds of one person in just over 45 million for the Lotto jackpot we are more likely to be struck and killed by lightening (one person in 19 million) and even if you hold £50,000 in Premium Bonds the odds of winning one of the two main prizes of £1 million in any year are still just one in 1 in 70,748.
For most of us our future financial prosperity will come from setting aside money regularly now, investing it according to a sensible plan and then letting the wonders of compounding of returns work their magic. Albert Einstein is reported to have said that ‘Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world’.
This does not have to be hard work, we simply need to decide how much we can afford to invest and let the direct debits whisk it out of our accounts before we have a chance to spend it. It is well known that we all live up to our incomes and so putting money aside regularly for our future financial security (and giving to those less fortunate) will leave us with less spendable income but our lifestyle will soon adjust to reflect that.
Long before direct debits were invented the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, ‘On the first day of every week each one of you is to put something aside, in proportion to his prosperity, and save it’. Paul was encouraging the members of the church in Corinth to save up for a gift to provide relief to the church in Jerusalem but the same instruction is right on if you want to invest for the future – put your savings aside to be invested before you do anything else.
To get you started I have provided the following
This information does not constitute personal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for specific advice based on your circumstances.
Information given relating to tax legislation is based on my understanding of legislation and practice currently in force. Whilst I believe my interpretation of current law and practice to be correct in these areas, I cannot be responsible for the effects of any future legislation or any change in interpretation or treatment. In particular you are warned that levels of tax and tax reliefs are subject to alteration and, in any case, the value of such reliefs and benefits may depend on an individual’s circumstances.
If you are in any doubt as to whether any course of action is suitable for you, then you should discuss the matter with a suitably qualified independent financial adviser or other specialist.