Once you calculate your annual spending requirement, you can start focusing on your saving and investment “money jars.” When you at the beginning of your career and just entering a “self-sufficient life” phase, you, understandably, may not have a lot of moneys left after your “spending jar” allocation. I get that. However, you must make every effort to have some moneys left to put aside for your SAVING “money jar.” Not only it will teach you to be more disciplined with your SPENDING, it will also help you develop a healthy “money habits.”
Your SAVING “money jar” purpose is to provide you peace of mind while you grow your wealth. You don’t want to be stressed out about your “Must Have—Must Pay” commitments and needs in case you lose your main source of income due to job loss, sickness, divorce, etc. The idea is to put aside a portion of your current earnings to cover your needs in case of two scenarios: a financial adversity and short-term up-coming obligations.
Therefore, I suggest that you start putting aside funds to achieve the following:
Your “911 Fund” must be absolutely safe – your objective with this fund is to preserve the capital, not to grow it. You must not take any risk with this fund and keep these moneys in super-safe and very liquid assets (easily liquidated) that will not go down in value. Given today’s economy, it could be
The best strategy for your super-safe “911 fund” would be to allocate equal amount of funds in several assets. Consider 50%/50% if you choose only 2 kinds of assets or 33% if choose all three. Allocating your super-safe fund across different kinds of assets called diversification and it provides an additional safety factor to your “911 fund.” Diversification of your money across different asset types (e.g. cash, notes, bullion, bank CDs) allows you to decrease the risk of losing the value of your money at the same time. An old saying “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” is an adequately stated reason for diversification of your assets.
Having “911 fund” is extremely important. Imagine for a brief moment that you lose your job and want to liquidate your stock portfolio to cover your “Must Have–Must Pay” expenses and suddenly you realize that your investment portfolio significantly lost its value because of bad market performance…or worse, a market crash. Unfortunately, a scenario like that is very real and has burned many people in the past. I don’t want this to happen to you. Your super-safe “911 Fund” will allow you to cover your expenses until you find another job or come up with a new source of income.
Your “Short Term Fund” can be invested in safe, fairly conservative investment vehicles that would yield a small interest. It could be
However, when your timeline for using these funds gets close to 2 years away from now (you expect to retire within 2 years or have a debt obligation to fulfill)–reallocate this “Short Term Fund” capital into safe investment vehicles, similar to the one for “911 Fund.” Your objective with Saving “money jar” is absolute, positive risk aversion. You can compensate low ROI (return on Investment) in this fund by riskier but higher ROI investments in your Investment “money jar.”
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