A top in­gre­di­ent in the recipe for fi­nan­cial free­dom

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - BY JUSTINE OLIVIER

The sooner you can start in­vest­ing the bet­ter you are,” says Suze Or­man, US a ut hor a nd fi­nan­cial ad­viser. “There’s the tim­ing of the mar­ket – when to buy and when to sell – but the most im­por­tant time in ev­ery sin­gle one of your lives is the time to start in­vest­ing. Time is the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent in any f inan­cial free­dom recipe.”

Ev­ery­one wants to be f inan­cially free. How­ever, a large per­cent­age of con­sumers wait for the ‘per­fect mo­ment' be­fore sav­ing and in­vest­ing. What you need to un­der­stand is that there is no ‘right’ time to start in­vest­ing. The more time you let pass while you're sti l l de­cid­ing, the longer you’ll take to reach your f inan­cial goals.

How­ever, there is one thing that con­sumers need to keep in mind be­fore they de­cide to start sav­ing or in­vest­ing: set­tle your debt f irst. Matthew Marais, Ful­crum Cap­i­tal found­ing part­ner and CFP, says that pay­ing down your debt is the safest in­vest­ment you can make. “It protects you f rom the risk of ris­ing in­ter­est rates, gives you back more in­come to­mor­row to in­vest more ag­gres­sively, and the re­turns are ab­so­lutely se­cure,” he ex­plains. Marais f ur t her adv i s es pay i ng off your short-term l oans fi r st, fol­lowed by your credit cards and store ac­counts – pay off the most ex­pen­sive debt in terms of in­ter­est charged f irst.

Un­for­tu­nately, one of the ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tors that put peo­ple off in­vest­ing – es­pe­cially with re­gard

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