Have you ever wished you could go in Doc Emmett Brown’s time machine and give your 20 -year-old self some advice?
We all remember how we felt when we were 20 or maybe you’re 20 now and wondering what you should know that you don’t know now that you should know. You know? At 20 we were invincible. The world was our oyster, the sky was the limit and every cliché “you can do it” phrase was our mantra. Maybe at 20 you were financially savvy or maybe you’re just figuring out how to budget or file your taxes – wherever you are on the spectrum, there’s always something we wish we knew then or now. Our very own, Financial and Tax advisor, Michael Menzies, dished his financial advice that he wish someone shared with him. Pull up a chair and listen up!
Dear 20 year old Michael…
1. Inevitable is not the same as imminent.
Changes can take a long, long time. Although you know something is going to happen and you’re willing to work for it, it may take some time. Be patient, follow your plan, and set your goals in stone but your plans in sand.
2. Just because you think it is a good investment does not mean enough other people will agree and make it become a good investment.
You may feel like you have the financial wits of Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street but you probably don’t. Take advice from financial advisors. No, you don’t have to hire some expensive Wall street broker today but find certified advisors or people who are a little older, wiser and have some investment “fruit on the tree” and ask them if they think others will invest in your “next big Apple” stock.
3. The most difficult and most profitable returns to obtain often come at the end, not the beginning.
There is no “get rich quick” or pot of gold at the end of any rainbows. Stick the course and most times the stormy ones are the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck – be it financial, relational or anything in between.
4. Luck and skill can easily be confused and very often are confused.
That basketball trick shot? Lucky. That sales deal you closed, skill and practice. Learn to decipher the two. One will win you gift cards to Outback, the other million dollar deals and returns.
5. Liabilities and assets can easily be confused and very often are confused.
Remember that some things are pretty to look at but aren’t going to get you anywhere financially. Classic example? Your car. It’s not an asset, as much as it can be a chick magnet or a conversation starter. There are times your home can even be confused as one or the other – this again is where seeking advice will help you in the long run. Speaking of run… running can be a liability, if you’re clumsy. Stick to power walking.
6. Investment strategies go in and out of fashion and fashion is fickle.
Bell bottoms, acid wash jeans, Crypto, Oil, Gold. Like fashion, investments make sense one day and make people laugh at you the next. Don’t hold on to your “investment mullets”… change is good – find someone that can help you keep up with the times.
7. Trying to keep up with the Joneses typically leads to financial ruin, but the Joneses tell you the opposite.
In the era of Kardashians, Insta Stories, and the final rose, we can be comparison junkies. The Joneses are everywhere telling you what you should be wearing, listening to, eating (or not eating), and investing in. Fight against the need to keep up with the “fake” lives of those around you. Keeping up with the highlight reel of others, will only dull your highlights and leave you financially, emotionally and relationally ruined. No one wants that for you – except for the Joneses.
8. Don’t quit until you are dead, by then you don’t really have a choice in the matter.
Failure isn’t final. Should we say it again for those whose ear buds were too loud? FAILURE IS NOT FINAL. So don’t quit. Don’t quit learning, don’t quit growing, don’t quit on your dreams and please don’t quit on YOU.
9. You are likely to both need and want more out of life than you think you do.
Your teenage dreams probably looked a lot different that your 20 year old dreams – well guess what? Your 40 year old dreams and needs will look vastly different so keep evolving. You’ll need more, want more and demand more out of life – and that’s a really good thing!
10. Everyone gets lucky, and you will too, but rarely do people make it on luck alone.
Remember that lucky trick shot we talked about (see point 4 for those only skimming)? We all have those moments of luck – the right place, right time kind of “luck” but please remember that is not how you’ll make it to where you want to be in life. Luck alone will only get you so far so hone in on your skills, find a hustle, a mentor, and advisor. And for Pete’s sake (it’s what we twenty year olds used to say) – when you’re no longer 20 and you learn a thing or two – find a twenty year old and help them along. Because afterall – #karma.