Setting up an emergency fund is something everyone thinks about after suffering the consequences of the pandemic. However, this self-made millionaire said: “Cash is not going to do you any good if it’s not growing”.
When it comes to financial priorities, most experts agree that it’s wise to save money and build an emergency fund before focusing on investing. However, Bernadette Joy, a financial advisor and founder of Crush Your Money Goals, says there are some people who will over-save.
Joy, a self-made millionaire who has paid off $300,000 in debt in three years and now has a net worth of $1 million, says some of her clients have saved more than they need. ” They are over-padding when they could be investing instead. Once they have enough emergency funds, consider redirecting them to investing to build sustainable wealth,” she says.
Save your emergency fund wisely
Most financial experts, including Joy, agree that it’s a smart thing to save on living expenses for 3 to 6 months. Suze Orman, author of the bestseller “Women and Money,” said that the pandemic has stressed that Americans may need to save more. “The truth of the matter is that it’s likely you should have an emergency fund for a full year right now,” Orman said at the height of the pandemic.
This is not easy to do. According to a Bankrate survey in 2021, more than half of Americans, 51% of whom have emergency fund savings, only for three months or less. Of those 51%, 25% have no emergency funds at all. To save enough money, you can automatically save and follow a budget or 50/20/30 rule where you allocate 20% of your income to savings and investments, 50% to fixed expenses and 30% for flexible spending.
However, this self-made millionaire says: “Once you have what is considered a suitable emergency fund, you don’t need to continue putting money into a savings account. Instead, focusing on investing, despite the risks that come with it, there are also potential benefits to building wealth. Money won’t do you any good if it doesn’t grow.”
Start as soon as possible
The market can go down as well as go up, so the best investment is a long-term investment. That’s why it’s important to start early. Mark La Spisa, a certified financial planner and president of Vermillion Financial Advisors, shares: “It doesn’t matter if you can’t invest a lot. Get started as soon as possible, right away. Even if it’s just a few dollars, it’s better than doing nothing or trying to wait until you’ve accumulated a substantial amount.”
This is thanks to the power of compound interest, which includes the interest you earn on your money plus interest that has already been accrued. A good example from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the power of compounding as follows: A saver who starts earlier will have a larger savings balance at age 65, even though his or her friend starts later and contributes three times as much. Another decade of compound growth has given this person the lead.
However, keep in mind that investing always involves risk, and examples like these don’t take into account the fact that markets can be volatile and that can affect the value of your investment. If the money in a savings account earns little or no interest, it cannot grow.