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blue chip stocks
harsh reality
young ones
living expenses
coca cola
good time
credit cards
How I Could Have Been A Millionaire – But I Didn’t And You Can!
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It hit me after 50 years of living. I wish it had hit me when I was 24 years old, the time I started working. In fact, it is so simple. Anyway, at least let me tell you all the mistakes I made, so you could be wiser. Especially you young ones who are in the prime of your life.

I didn’t save: If I had only saved $10 a day, I would have had over $58,400 dollars under my pillow 16 years later. That’s the problem. When we are young, we don’t think about the future. We spend and spend and spend. Of course, I am not saying that you don’t have a good time but just put away that $10 a day.

I didn’t invest: I just learnt about the power of compounding. That is if I had put my money in an interest bearing instrument, I would have made more than $58,400. For example, if I had put away my first $3650 a year in a 5% yielding paper every year, I would have made $90,667 by now. The second $3650 would have yielded $82,700 today. That is the power of compounding. It’s a simple formula. If you invest $100 dollars at a rate of 5% per cent , you’ll receive $105 a year later. The next year though you will receive 5% on $105, that is $110.25. This rapidly multiplies your money especially if you hold the investment for a number of years

I didn’t take risks: That 5% is a hypothetical risk averse instrument. Imagine if you had put that money in blue chip stocks like IBM or Coca Cola. They would have given you a minimum of over 10%. Hypothetically, your first $365 would have become $127,567 today. You can do the rest of math. I would have covered the costs of your PC and all the Cokes you had, by a zillion times.

I took debt: It’s the biggest pitfall of all. I borrowed money to fund my expenses. In other words, I spent way too much. Yeah, it’s harsh reality. I used credit cards as if I had hit oil in Texas. Till the oil ran out. Then the creditors came, and took back all that money at over 15%. If you have to borrow, use it to fund a house or an education. Not for living expenses. Just spend what you earn, no more or no less.

There’s much more to learn. I just wanted to point out a few things I could have done differently. It’s easy to spend especially when you’re young. It’s when you become old, that you realize the follies. Surprisingly, one needs more money when one is older. And when you are not earning.

This is all based on personal experience. Where that $10 a day becomes the thin line between living comfortably and survival. But it’s still not too late to learn. I still have another 10 years of working life. And it’s never too late to learn.

Street Talk

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