investing put on a different lens

5 mental hacks that make investing “click” for financial beginners

For some of you, the word “investing” can conjure up all sorts of feelings.

You might think of sleazy finance bros…

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Or think of the corrupt banking system…

Or maybe the numbers of investing lead to a feeling of confusion.

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Here’s what my friend feels about investing. Can you relate?

“I don’t know why but I just start tuning out when people talk about investing. It just seems so boring…”

For better or worse, your beliefs influence how you behave with money. I consider outdated beliefs a form of financial baggage that unnecessarily weigh you down, preventing you from living a fully rich life.

My special sauce as a financial educator is helping people see money in a different light.

I’ll introduce 5 different “lenses” to understand – and start – investing.

#1: Investing is making money without working

Do you like making money without working for it?

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That’s basically the goal of investing: Investing is the act of using your money to make money.

This happens because of the magic of compound interest. If you invest $100 into the stock market every month for 40 years, you’d have contributed about $48,000. At an annual rate of 8%, you’d have earned more than a $250,000 dollars for doing nothing. (This compound interest calculator that shows what’s possible)

To many people, “passive income” sounds sexier than “investing.” But they’re pretty much the same thing: investing can produce passive income (or returns) that didn’t require you to lift a single finger.

And speaking of lifting fingers…

#2: Investing is giving yourself a raise.

If you work a corporate job, the way to make more money is 1) get a raise and/or 2) get promoted.

How easy is it to get a 8-10% raise every year from your job? It’s probably not that easy.

But if you invest in the stock market over the long term, you’ll get ~10% annually. That’s like giving yourself a free raise.

Then there are other special opportunities like earning interest using stablecoins. Using a platform like Stablegains (read my review), I’m effectively giving myself a 15% raise.

No extra effort, salary negotiation, or promotion needed. Boom.

#3: Investing is leveraging other people’s time and energy

Are you smart enough to start the next Apple or Google? Not me.

I’ve worked at startups before and certainly don’t want to deal with sleepless nights and endless rounds of reviews. I’m pretty sure I lost a year of my future life from the stress.

Imagine all the time, effort, hiring, company-building that some of the smartest people in the world do…and all it takes to participate is buy stock and it gets you ownership of that company without doing any of the work. (Well, besides some initial research).

In this way, stocks are magical levers other people’s time and energy.

That’s why I invest in the S&P 500—the 500 largest public companies in the United States. Effectively, by investing money into the highest caliber companies, I’m betting on the innovation of America. I’m betting on some of the smartest people in the world to do the work and make money for me.

#4: Investing is building your army of dollars

Inflation is coming after your money. $100 today will be $93 next year. Inflation decreases the purchasing power of your money. So how do you defend it?

So I think of my dollars as soldiers that are fighting to grow my pot of money. And those soldiers can’t fight until they are deployed into investments. My soldiers “win” when they recruit more soldiers – dollars – into my portfolio.

Uninvested money is a stagnant army that’s slowly being defeated by inflation.

Now, every fight carries a risk. You want to put some soldiers on the bench (savings) who are ready to stand guard. But for the rest, you want your soldiers to go out and make you some damn money.

Once your army is big enough, it’s easier to win. As I illustrated in this post, 10% on $1000 is just $100. Maybe that’ll cover 1 week’s worth of groceries. But 10% on $100K is $10,000…and that can pay for a LOT of things.

It sometimes helps to think of finance not as a sophisticated activity, but a game you can win. Now, if thinking of your dollars as soldiers doesn’t motivate you to play the game of investing, maybe thinking of your future self will.

#5: Investing is taking care of your future self

There will be a time when you don’t want to work for your money. You may have energy now, but you don’t know what life will be at 40, 50, 60, 70…

I’m in my 30s and even now I’m starting to feel that my energy is different than my 20s.

Personally, I don’t want to be beholden to any 1 entity for my livelihood. That’s why I made it a priority to become financially free. Investing has helped me reach this freedom so that I can choose how to trade my time and energy for money—or even opt out of the game altogether.

In this way, investing is insurance. “I’m young and able and can work hard to make money now. But what if life changes? What if my interests, motivation, career, or life circumstances change?”

Don’t rely on an older you to figure out finances. Invest today to ensure that your future self not only gets rich, but stays rich.

Now, read my guides on investing

If you’ve been resistant to investing, I sincerely hope that one of these 5 “lenses” has shifted your perspective.

Did something shift? Then you’re ready to read for my most comprehensive guides to investing:

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