Anxiety Issues – 5 Easy tips for investing when you have anxiety

Money can generate immense amounts of anxiety. We all depend on money to live. Food, shelter, electricity nothing is free. All of us, by whatever means generate income. Income is the basis by which you can obtain items you need to live and the luxuries that improve your quality of life. If you are like me, you are affected by moderate amounts of anxiety. You are functioning, likely have a full-time job and thus have to deal with all the regular poop that comes with life.

If you live in the states or in any other western culture, there is a large emphasis placed on retirement and saving. Putting your money in a bank account and collecting interest is no longer enough as bank interest is extremely low. If you are at a point in your life where you have enough income to invest, for whatever reason, it can be overwhelming and daunting.

Here are 5 easy tips that will help you.

  1. Have the money automatically drawn from your pay or your bank account: This eliminates the stress of you must transfer it yourself. Many employer plans will do this for you, and in many cases, it will be pre-tax money, lowering your tax burden.
  2. Determine what the money is for: Is this for income generation? Is this for retirement? For a new car? Decide what this money is going to be used for BEFORE you start investing.
  3. Where to invest, Large Cap Growth funds: I know your eyes are glazing over… These types of funds are normally comprised of strong companies that generate revenue and are considered very well capitalized. Companies like Apple, Boeing, Microsoft. These companies aren’t going to fold up over night if there are bumps in the economy.
  4. Time: Most investment vehicles have a return average over time. You can get this measure over 5years, 10 years etc. Look at mutual funds that have a 10-20-year track record. What was their rate of return? A 20-year avg return is a great measure because it accounts for ups and downs in the market.
  5. Trust yourself: There is no “trick” to investing. Consistent investment over years generates good returns. Don’t look for short cuts, you will regret it.

Money can equal stress, but it doesn’t have to. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. If you stick with a long-term consistent plan you will be a successful investor. Once every 3-6 months check your investments make sure they make sense. If you have an employer with a retirement plan, sit down with HR and ask your questions. This will help with your anxiety, and that’s their job.

Remember you have anxiety, this won’t be simple, you will worry, you will react, you will make mistakes. However, you can do this, and someday with a lot of persistence and patience you will have accumulated a nice chunk of change!

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One simple way to determine if you are healthy financially

Not a long post today. Remember the finance posts you see on my blog are opinion pieces and not meant as financial advice. When making financial decisions you should seek out several resources and do your diligence and research. Now that out of the way there is one simple way to determine if you are healthy financially.

Do you pay the full balance of your credit card every month?

If you pay your credit card balance every month and never carry a balance this means you have enough income to cover all of your expenses. Now this has to be consistent, you cannot do it one month and then the other 11 not do it, but if you are paying off your CC balance every month this is a clear indication that you are healthy financially.

You see millions, tens of millions of people actually cannot pay their CC balances off every month. This means they spend more than they make, and that is the simplest way to know you are unhealthy financially. Simply put, if you can pay everything month to month you have created a sustainable financial life. Now do not confuse this with being wealthy, that is completely different.

Cash is still king

It does mean that you are financially healthy, now can you be healthier? Sure. You see what happens ideally is after you pay everything off every month you have money left over to save. That is how you move into wealth building and that is another post altogether. Remember this is simple, do not over think it. If you pay off all your CC balances monthly it is highly likely you are healthy financially.

You are living within your means. Now if you are skipping car payments and mortgage payments to make these CC payments that’s a problem but generally people skimp on the CC payments because there is a minimum payment which enables them to retain the balance to apply to other non-minimum payment bills, like mortgages.

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Student Loan forgiveness

So if you pay attention to the news you know the President of the U.S. has issued an executive order to forgive up to 10K of student loan debt for U.S. tax payers who make less than 125K annually. This blog isn’t overtly political so we aren’t going down that rabbit hole here. I do however devote a portion of my blog to finance. I am a finance professional, and the finance posts I make on this blog are my opinion only, they are not financial advice.

So that out of the way, let’s say this off the bat. Reducing individual debt is the quickest way to wealth. When you aren’t sending your money to other people, you get to keep it and accumulate wealth. So that’s a net positive. There are however several issues with the loan forgiveness as announced. The first one is, the President does not have the ability to forgive debt, only congress can do that.

What that means is this will inevitably be challenged in court. A republican somewhere will file a lawsuit and if it goes to the supreme court, which it may it would likely be overturned. The other thing announced was another freeze on payments until the end of the year. Meaning you do not have to make your federal student loan payments until 2023. This has been in effect since covid lockdowns and its likely this will be extended again.

The fastest way to wealth, is being debt free

To be clear the President DOES have the authority to do this via executive order. There are all sorts of views on this issue. Some will say “why should they get a hand out and I don’t?” others will say “education is a right and it should all be free”.  The biggest issue I see here is the notion of loaning teenagers thousands of dollars in the first place. Who benefits from that exactly? An 18-year-old takes out loans to go to school, to obtain a job to pay off the loan?

I don’t want to be flippant here, education is fantastic you should pursue it. But doesn’t it seem dubious in the first place that the institutions giving the loans decides to forgive them later? Why give them in the first place? Some of these college kids are staring down hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. They were railroaded into the education industry and now sit on a pile of debt. Sure they will have a degree at the back end but how bitter must it be to go to work every day?

I worked full time and went to college, I cashed flowed both of my degrees. My kids each got 30K set aside for them to go to college, everything else they have to cover on their own. They chose state schools and are making it. I got the 30K for each by working, inheriting etc. and I am happy to do it. If they take a loan I expect them to pay it back. However, I would caution them both before ever taking a loan at such a young age.

Student loan forgiveness is a net positive if you are one of the lucky ones who qualify. Don’t be fooled here, this is political. The problem is all the people out there who don’t get it will be pissed off, and then there is the uncomfortable situation of “where does the debt go”? it just doesn’t evaporate, someone will have to pay it. Guess who? All of us, yes, you get to help pay off someone else’s debt.

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