Top Tips For Investing In Your 20’s

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Everybody knows that investing your money is sensible if you want to have a healthy retirement pot. But you don’t need to worry about that until you’re getting close to retiring, surely? You could wait, but if you think about it, what real reason do you have to delay? The earlier you get started, the more money you can save up. Starting in your 20’s also means that you don’t have to put as much money into investments each month. When you’re young you probably don’t have much experience with investments so it can be a little daunting. Don’t worry though, just follow these simple steps and you’ll realize that investing doesn’t have to be that hard.

Get Some Help

This is the number one most important thing to remember. You can do all the research you want but you still won’t be an expert. If you make poor investment choices you’ll lose everything so it’s always sensible to get help from a professional. Hire a good broker that can give you advice on the markets and tell you where your money is safest. Check out this tastyworks review to get a better idea of what help they can offer you. It is possible to make investments on your own without the help of a professional but it’s not worth the risk.

Understand The Power Of Compound Interest

When you put money away and it earns interest, the rate at which that money grows will get faster and faster as the interest compounds on itself. If you started investing in your 30’s, you’ll make significantly less money than you would have in your 20’s because of that interest. The earlier you get started, the more money you stand to make and even a few years can make such a huge difference.

Clear Debts First

Thinking that investing is the solution to all of your problems is naive. It can help you to build wealth from a young age but you need to think about your overall financial health as well. If you’ve got a load of student loan debts or credit card debts, all of that money you build up is just going to go into clearing them when you’re older. Before you start thinking about putting money into an investment pot, get all of your other financial business in order as well.

It’s also important that you get a handle on your spending habits as well. If you’re reckless with your money then you won’t have enough spare cash to put aside each month.

Increase The Amount Gradually

When you’re younger, you’re likely to be earning a fairly low wage. If you put too much away for investment you won’t be able to save for a car or a house or anything like that. When you first get going, start off with a small amount. Then you can increase the amount gradually, in line with your income as you start to earn more. That way, investing isn’t going to make life difficult for you.

Investing isn’t just for people in their 40’s that are earning a good wage. The earlier you start, the better.

Stop Waiting Until You’re Ready

If you’re waiting until you’re ready to start a project, stop.

Technically you’re never “ready.”

There’s always more research to do…

There’s always more testing to do…

There’s always more planning to do…

Problem is, that’s what’s stopping you…the failure to act.

Take advice from someone whose started a number of projects that haven’t turned out successful: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Just like hurt is inevitable in relationships, failure is bound to happen at some point in business/your career. Deal with it.

What’s helpful to know is by NOT doing anything you’re making a choice:

Every action or inaction you take has a cost. Most of the time the cost of doing NOTHING is more painful.

Use the analogy of going to the gym. The hardest part is getting there, but once you arrive rarely do you regret it. The feeling of accomplishment after completing a workout should overpower not feeling like going.

Today monetizing a passion doesn’t mean quitting your job to start a business. It includes creating a side hustle. If you think of your career as a financial investment, doesn’t it make more sense to diversify than go all-in on one role?

Freelancing will soon pass up full-time employment in the job market. That means multiple streams of income is the future of survival. If you currently don’t love selling, get used to it.

You and I value mentors because of their experience. Without starting something you lack it. Trial and error is still the best teacher, so in order to grow stop thinking and start doing.

That’s how every successful company got to where they are now: they started.

Dreaming is overrated.

Execution is what counts.

3 Reasons Why Millennials Invented Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving officially became a “thing” on November 26, 2009 (according to the Urban Dictionary).

Scoffed at by older generations, the origins behind this growing annual event make sense. Here’s 3 to start:

1. Extra Feast 

Any reason to gather around food is a good one. Traditionally celebrated on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, it means at least back-to-back feasts before the weekend’s leftovers binge. Food is a trend that isn’t going anywhere. Potlucks means more people, more choices and more food. We live in a society that lauds gluttons and this just adds to the once a year madness. On top of that Instagram worthy shots are taken and shared with friends alike. Hard to not support it.

2. The New Definition Of Family

Thanksgiving does include foods we love, but it can also invite relatives we don’t. Besides some people who are forced to work on Thanksgiving, holidays can bring family conflict and uncomfortable encounters to a home. Friendsgiving is the alternative to extended family gathering by replacing it with people you actually want to be around. In defense, Friendsgiving isn’t meant to take the place of Thanksgiving, rather add a new event for those who may not have family close by, can’t make it home in time or just plain love events. The reality is nuclear families are disappearing so Friendsgiving is an adaptation to the changing times.

3. Lifestyle Fit

Millennials are getting married and having kids later in life. That means Friendsgiving is a more “adult” gathering than most. Insert alcohol and rowdiness to enhance pleasure, not numb it and problem solved. Millennials do live at home longer, so it’s not an escape from family rather a social feasting of sorts. Young professionals can and should take credit for creating this festivity. Plus since it appears on social media clearly it exists.

All jokes aside there’s definitely a method to the madness. Friendsgiving is about friends and food. Two of anyone’s favorite past times rolled into one annual event. Let’s give thanks.

Business Overseas Relocation: Where In The World Should You Go?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

The idea of moving your business can be a daunting one, but there are numerous upsides to consider. There are many countries dotted around the world with lower levels of corporation tax, meaning that you could save a substantial amount of money on your operating costs– even when you factor in the potential expense of such a move.

According to the Tax Foundation, the US has the third-highest corporation tax rates in the world, so it’s easy to contemplate the savings you could make. If you decide to make a move, where in the world should you aim to go?

Macau

With a top rate of corporation tax of just 12.0% — which is less than half the US rate — it’s easy to see why Macau has become such a business center in recent years. A former Portuguese colony, Macau has been under Chinese sovereignty for nearly 20 years, and has flourished in this time.

Singapore

A corporation tax rate of 17.0% and a low-regulation style system has meant Singapore has created a powerful reputation as a business haven. The top rate corporate tax is still nearly half of what it is in the US, and an established foreign infrastructure can help you make the transition with ease.

While there will be new laws to adapt to, the general low levels of regulation mean that there are fewer bureaucratic hoops to jump through, which is well worth taking into account.

The UK

The UK’s top rate of corporation tax of 20.0% is not the lowest in the world (though still lower than the US), but is noticeably low for a developed country. What makes the UK such an intriguing investment is the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote. The right wing of the (minority) governing Tory party have made it clear they believe the UK’s future involves styling itself as a “Singapore-style low tax, low regulation economy”. The center wing of the party disagrees, but it’s fair to say current Brexit negotiations are not going well, meaning that a “Singapore-style” economy could ultimately be born from the chaos.

There will be new-to-you laws and legislation to adapt to, meaning you may need help with key legislation, but there’s plenty of help around. If you need to figure out IR35 then expert advice and resources from Qdos Contractor will get you up to speed, while PAYE advice can be found from most accounts. Ultimately, if you prefer the idea of moving to an Anglophone country with a potentially lucrative future, then the UK might be a good bet.

Ireland

Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, at 12.5%. The downside is the country has a history of economic instability — the so-called “Celtic Tiger” that ultimately proved unsustainable — which may give you pause. The economy is relatively stable at the present time and notably business-friendly, so if you don’t mind the potential for future unrest, then Ireland could be a viable option.

If you want to cut your operating costs — and particularly your corporate tax rate — then any of the countries above are well worth considering.

Act Like A Boss, Not A Friend

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you have never been a manager before, you may feel as if you’ve been thrown into the deep end without a paddle. Becoming a manager for a group of people who you once worked alongside can be very stressful, it can feel incredibly awkward and first and you may feel guilty giving orders. The important thing to remember is that this is your career and you have been given a wonderful opportunity to spread your wings and prove what you are capable of as an individual and to grow your professional skills even further. If you don’t know where to start and how you are supposed to act as a manager, here are some tips:

Don’t become smug

The worst thing that people can do when they earn a position of slight power is to let it go their head and play it off as if they are better than everyone else. You are not better than everyone else, you have simply proven qualified and experienced enough to handle the responsibility of looking after a group of employees.

Act like a boss, not a friend

The important thing to keep in mind when you move up in the workplace is to balance your behaviour in a professional way. While you don’t want to buy yourself a crown and walk around the office calling everyone peasants, you also can’t have that same friend-to-friend relationship as you did when you were a lower member of the team. Now that you have found yourself responsible for the running of an office and you have to delegate tasks, you need to learn to distance yourself from the rest of the team in a way where they respect your authority without thinking of you as a dictator.

Discuss your new role

When you get promoted to the position of manager, make sure that you take some time to sit down with your boss and talk through the duties, responsibilities and actions you should be taking as a people manager. If you are worries about how to treat your staff and what to do in terms of talking to them and holding team meetings of your own- voice these concerns with your boss and they will be able to give you some advice on how you need to act in your new role. Take the time to also discuss what your goals are in terms of sales or KPIs within the office, and how best to delegate tasks amongst your team.

Learn the culture

Every company has a different way of working and different views. In order for you to find your place within the organisation and allow it to function well, you will need to take the time to work out how the body of the business works. Where is the brain, the blood and the heart of the business? What makes it tick and who are the key players?

Think back to your old managers

You may have had several managers in your time in the working world, and hopefully there will be at least one of those managers who you looked up to and saw as a good role model. Take on their ways and incorporate them with your own as you find your flow and get used to the role. Over the years you will develop your own way of running things- but when you start out it is helpful to have a role model to look up to.

Get to know your employees

If you have simply been promoted to the role of manager within the same team, then you will already know your colleagues pretty well; however, if you are moving to a new company to be a manager, you will need to take some time to get to know your employees. Make sure that you hold regular staff meetings when you first join and let each of your team members explain a little bit about the role they take on in the office and any projects they are currently working on. Continue to hold meetings each week or month to catch up and make sure everyone is happy with what they are doing and they aren’t struggling with anything. It may also be a great idea to take out some time to go on team-building exercises or even take the team out for dinner at the end of the month to get to know everyone on a more personal level. Although you do want boundaries, it is much easier working with people you know trust and respect.

Understand individual needs

You will be managing a group of people who are all unique in the way they think, work and who have individual personalities. You may find that you end up working with someone who suffers from dyslexia and struggles to read, or suffers with anxiety and struggles to talk. Making arrangements to accommodate and help these individuals will be what sets you apart as a good manager. Certain members of the team such as accounting may require a private office to work with sensitive information, so make sure that you cater to everyone’s needs.

Discuss your role with your team

When you are promoted to a level which is higher than your peers, it can be awkward and a little bit uncomfortable for everyone to get used to. Instead of staying quiet and beginning to act like a manager straight away, take an hour or so to sit down with your new team and talk to them about the new role you’ll be playing. They will understand that you have new duties and will be able to help you adjust to your new role with encouragement. Working with your friends is helping in this way because they can help you to air your concerns and feeling and reassure you that it won’t change anything with your friendship. You will then be able to transition to the role of manager with the full support of those you once worked alongside.

3 Requests From Millennials To Managers

Millennials get a bad rap.

Sure, some of the stereotypes are true, but what about taking an empathetic viewpoint?

Technology has changed the game forever, therefore management needs to step up accordingly.

Here are 3 ways managers can maximize Millennials:

1. Show me, don’t tell me

Coaching works. Micromanaging doesn’t.

According to research, auditory learning is the least effective yet traditional education teaches us otherwise.

Modeling correct behavior is more efficient than any handbook, Powerpoint presentation or lecture can ever be.

Millennials need mentors, not bosses. The difference between a leader and a manager is how they deal with people. The one size fits all approach is dead.

Managers need to approach supervision like a tutor. How to show the content is more important than knowing it. Customizing a message to fit the receiver is more work, but it also gets better results.

2. Learning is more valuable than perks

Free food, remote work and ping-pong tables are nice amenities, but they don’t increase retention.

Millennials care more about developing their careers by learning new skills than being enticed by external rewards. In fact, companies who base their culture around perks are promoting fool’s gold.

If you want to retain your best young talent, you need to invest in them. Similar to teenagers, if you want to teach independence you have to give them responsibility then respond accordingly.

The reason semi-annual and annual reviews don’t work is there’s too much time in-between feedback. Daily to weekly feedback may sound overwhelming as manager, but without it you risk quality control.

Leadership is about making those around you better, not priding yourself on being the best. Look no further than team sports to know your value increases as your team wins.

3. Listen, before judging

Entitled. Lazy. Narcissistic. Millennials have heard it all.

Before you judge a book by it’s cover, open it.

As a manager if you don’t get to know your workers, you default to believing stereotypes. That’s called ignorance.

Millennials may struggle with interpersonal skills, but peel back the skin and you’ll get down to the root of the issue.

People are people. Sometimes we over-trivialize that. The most effective thing any manager can do is listen.

If you don’t know the story, you’ll never be able to positively impact it.

In the end it’s the connection between the manager and Millennial that determines results.

People don’t leave companies they leave managers.

Sincerely,

Millennials

Millennials, Get Your Finances Under Wraps!

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

While most Millennials will have received a thorough education in various areas of knowledge, many will have complained about the same thing at some point or another: we aren’t taught enough practical things. Yes, we may well be able to do trigonometry, or analyze a short poem by Christina Rossetti. But when it comes to taking care of the must-do tasks that we face in adult life, many of us are left clueless. Finances and accounts tend to be a couple of these areas. Sadly, we are launched into the grown up world and expected to just know how to do these things. But not to worry. That’s where we can come to the rescue. Here are a few necessary pieces of information to help you get your personal accounts and business accounts under wraps in no time.

Business

Let’s start with business. Why? Well, because this area is generally where larger quantities of money tend to be involved, and you can consequently get into more serious trouble if things don’t add up properly. If possible, work hand in hand with a bookkeeping firm who will be able to keep on top of all of your internal and external reporting. This removes issues and ensures that someone who is fully qualified and competent is taking care of things. However, it’s always good to have a general idea of what’s going on. There are several types of accounts that you can have when it comes to business, so let’s quickly differentiate between the different types before we go any further.

Checking Account

A checking account will take centre stage when it comes to your business accounts. Profits from sales are deposited in here, wages are paid out of it, and expenses such as bills are taken out of it. You may have heard others talking about cash flow within their businesses and its importance. Well, this is where it all happens!

Merchant Account

If your company accepts payments by credit card, you’ll need to set up a merchant account.  This goes for those who deal with online payments and payments through third parties such as Paypal too! This is great for attracting more customers. After all, the more forms of payment you accept, the wider the audience you invite in!

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable are exactly what they sound like: a record of all of the money that your business owes out to others. This can include things like mortgages, company car payments and any other form of credit you may well have taken out. This is a purely informational account for the sake of keeping on top of your records.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable are essentially the opposite of accounts payable: this is all of the money that others owe to your company. If you have extended credit or let out a loan to customers these amounts will be included in this category. Much like accounts payable, this is again a purely informational account for the sake of your records.

Payroll Accounts

If you have employees, you will need a payroll account. All worker’s wages are deposited into this account, ready to be distributed out to individual staff members’ bank accounts.

Personal

Your personal accounts solely deal with your own, personal income. Anything to do with business accounts or corporate accounts shouldn’t overlap here. This is your personal banking. Essentially, you will open up one of these accounts at a local bank branch. To work out which to choose, take a quick look here. Different banks and branches will have different strengths and benefits, so be sure to compare around the market before choosing one. They will have different interest rates on savings accounts, will offer you different overdrafts and some will have extra benefits if you take up their own branded credit cards. Your personal wages or salary will be deposited into it and you will use it to pay for personal expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, bills, food, and entertainment. Your personal tax will also be paid out of this account at the end of each tax year. Make sure not to go over your credit limits or agreed overdrafts, as this will result in you being given fines and receiving charges. Keep your statements too. Nowadays this is a little easier, as most banks encourage you to have online statements, which are cheaper for them and more environmentally friendly.

So, there you have it. The basics of business accounts and personal accounts. If you haven’t organized your own yet, it’s time to get on top of things. The sooner you take action, the better, as it helps you to get organized and avoid charges or further problems down the line.

Employee or Firm Owner: The Big Choice For Law Graduates

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you reach the stage of finally being able to say that you’re a lawyer, called to the bar and able to practice, then it can feel like the end of a long road. This is the result of years of work, effort, and sacrifice– and your legal career can now begin in earnest.

You will quickly discover that your years as an early associate will make your student experience seem like halcyon days. New lawyers work hard; law firms in all areas of law push and test new employees to see if they’re made of the “right stuff”.

Or at least, that’s how it used to be.

Outside of the occasional midlife career changer, the majority of new lawyers are millennials– a generation that values a good work/life balance. While it may once have been standard to work yourself into the ground in the early years of your career, that might not feel acceptable to you personally– and you’re not alone. Millennials are a generation of entrepreneurs, with a “why not try it?” attitude; for new lawyers, now more than ever, that means they may be tempted to run their own firm as a sole practitioner.

This might be an idea you have considered, too. After all, why should you dedicate your life to making money for other people? You’re not afraid of hard work, but you want to be able to enjoy the rewards of that hard work… so do new lawyers really need to join a firm at all?

YES: New lawyers are inexperienced; you need the guiding hand of a reputable firm. You’re still learning the law, never mind learning how to run a profitable small business as well.

NO: There’s no more guarantee of success working for a firm compared to starting your own. You’ve qualified, so you’re clearly capable, and any advice you need can be obtained from the legal community, friends, and even mentors.

YES: You may be a qualified lawyer, but that doesn’t mean you know what goes into running a law firm. Do you know how to find clients? How to choose between cloud computing solutions for businesses of your size? How will you obtain offices? How will you fund your startup? Knowing how to practice the law is one thing; running a business is something entirely different.

NO: Everyone has to learn sometime. If you’re business minded, then why not jump right in and do it for yourself? There’s plenty of advice available for new businesses, and there’s almost certainly a venture capitalist out there who will see the potential of a young lawyer trying to make a mark on the world.

YES: New lawyers have always joined established firms. They may want to branch off into their own practice in the future, but that’s just not the way things are done.

NO: Why not break the mold and branch out from day one?

Ultimately, the choice is all yours. However, it’s important to remember that you do have a choice, and you don’t have to just do what everyone has always done. The way we work is changing, and while the idea of going it alone might seem outlandish now, it might be the new-normal in the future. Why not be at the head of the curve?

Practical Tips for How to Use Surplus Money

Guest post by Grace Frenson

Most people tend to be irresponsible when they have surplus money by buying things they don’t really need, believing that the money is never-ending. While some people are born into fortune, a lot of people are not.

Proper money management is one of the surest ways to secure one’s future and save for rainy days or anything unexpected. There are several things to do with extra cash–the list is unlimited.

Though you may feel the need to spend your money on whatever you want, it is important to have your priorities sorted out. If you consider some essential things you need in life, you can determine the best plan of action to take. Here is how you can use extra money:

Invest in a Business

Businessmen are often preoccupied with the best way to use surplus money to make more money. Investing in one or more business could be the best way to achieve this.

People who are fainthearted in taking business risks would prefer to leave the money in their savings account, but the money would seldom grow when left there.

Investments do not always ensure the safety of the money, but if it succeeds it will bring a greater return than when left in a savings account. If it is really surplus money, it may be worthwhile to take a risk on it.

Use a 10 Year Saving Strategy

You have been working to secure your future, and now you have extra money. it is time to put some mechanisms into place to keep you from overspending.

One way to keep tabs on future events is by creating a 10 year saving strategy. This allows you to save for predictable expenses for the next 10 years.

Such expenses could include predictable costs such as a house, a wedding, kids, and so forth. If you have enough surplus money, you could even set up separate accounts for each of the items.

Stash the Money in an Emergency Fund

Money is not an inexhaustible commodity–unless you are a multibillionaire, you may exhaust the “excess” money in just a few months. If you haven’t already, you need to consider stashing the money in an emergency fund to take care of emergency situations only.

The amount of money you chose to put in it is up to you. However, emergency funds may come in handy in situations such as unexpected and costly health care bills, home repairs, auto repairs, unanticipated travel, and so forth, so you want to save wisely. Besides helping you to deal with an emergency situation, emergency funds could help protect your credit record.

Job loss is one of the common reasons people end up needing an emergency fund. Say you get injured or sick and have to go on disability, you want to have those supplemental savings in place in case your career or livelihood is threatened.

Increase Your Health Insurance

This may seem obvious, you need to invest in as much insurance coverage as you can afford. If you really have a surplus cash, health insurance is paramount. Health is wealth, and wealth becomes irrelevant and meaningless if the health cannot be secured.

Opting for health insurance is one of the wisest investment decisions you can ever make. This is even much more critical with how high medical bills are today. Medical debt is the single biggest reason people end up bankrupt or in a huge amount of debt.

Putting the money toward health insurance is synonymous to saving it for rainy days.

Obviously, nobody plans on having a critical health condition, but it does happen and you don’t want to be unprepared when it does. Thankfully, you have the cash, and you could make a difference to be prepared for the unexpected.

Create a Budget

You may really be misconstruing the cash as being excess if you have not created a budget and mapped out all of your upcoming payments. A budget will help you keep tabs on your income and expenditures.

It helps you to manage the financial flows and see where your money goes or would potentially go. Creating a budget will help you to make a detailed plan on important necessities like insurance, utilities, food, and housing, as well as miscellaneous activities.

Even extremely frugal people would be tempted to spend money on unnecessary stuff when they have excess money. By making a list of preference and value would help you to know what to spend money on and what to avoid.

A list of preference and value simply shows you items that are worth spending your money on. Of course, the preference and value may differ from person to person but the bottom-line is that it details your highest level of priority and utility.

The highest scale of your value and preferences is the right place to begin spending your surplus money. However, if some items don’t really make it to your list but they are simply critical for life–you need to reconsider your budget and adjust it accordingly.

Be Careful When Spending

When having an abundance of money, it is easy to spend it all quickly. Be careful to not go down this path, and spend your money on what is prevalent in your life.

If you are in a bit of credit card debt, consider paying that off, or paying off your child’s student loans. You want to be sure you don’t spend the money and then not even know what you spent it on once it’s all gone.

Think long and hard about how you want to spend–or not spend the extra cash. You don’t want to regret the decision you make in the long run.

The Presidents Cup: Millennials At Their Best

Golf is an individual sport, but annually the best golfers in the world gather to play team competition.

Similar to playing doubles in tennis, team competition brings out the best (or worst) in you.

This year Team USA dismantled the International Team so badly at the Presidents Cup it was over before the last day of competition.

Strategy can be debated, but what was clear is this team dominated by Millennials showed what happens when personal strengths are unleashed.

Chemistry and connection trump competence.

The US team was heavily favored, but in the Ryder Cup (played alternate years from the Presidents Cup vs. Team Europe) the Yankees have struggled in a similar scenario. Talent provides a huge advantage, but without camaraderie you can get beat by lesser foes.

What’s evident in sports and business is Millennials thrive in teams. Whether a professional athlete or young professional, Millennials are better together.

Team USA has struggled for several years in team competition where their individual talent did not match their team unity. The difference this year was the off-the-course friendships were the foundation for victory.

Millennials take a beating from the media (mostly from other generations) and even if some of the criticism is justified, you should choose to focus on the positives.

Veterans can play the mentor role in any setting, but results not style, should be emphasized.

Age shouldn’t be a prerequisite for leadership roles.

This year’s US team led with enthusiasm, togetherness and execution.

In sports or business to maximize Millennials focus on creating a strong, team culture based on accountability then step back and let them go to work.