In Scott Alan Turner’s book 99 Minute Millionaire, he introduces investing in a simple, easy-to-understand way. Turner keeps the book concise and interesting as he uses many food analogies linked to investing. One of my favorites is where Turner describes how the money spent ordering pizza once a week could be invested and in 25 years it would turn into $64,000!
Background information on Turner: I have been following Scott Alan Turner for almost a year on his podcast, Financial Rock Star. Turner provides excellent information regarding various personal finance topics, and I really like his motto, “Trust, but verify”. Even though Turner does not have a former CFP title, I value his input on finances because he shares real-world experiences – he doesn’t want people to make the same mistakes that he made. Check out his podcast here where he releases two new podcasts each week that discuss personal finance topics. Now back to the book…
Part one of the book starts out discussing what does having more money actually mean?. In part two, he explains the basics of investing. Part three of the book examines low-cost index funds that are available to invest in. Part four provides some basic concepts on managing money (e.g. do not try timing the market). Finally, in part five Turner explains where to put your money. If you are new to investing, this book will help you get started. The earlier you start focusing on your finances, eliminating debt, and investing – the earlier you can achieve financial freedom and pursue the goals that really matter to you and your family.
Continue reading for three of the key takeaways I had from the book.
1. To invest, you need to open accounts to invest in.
IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k)s are examples of accounts. Next, you need to determine how to allocate what is inside each account: stocks, bonds or cash. Additionally, you need to understand what your risk tolerance is because each investment option carries a different level of risk. You allocate stocks, bonds, and cash based on what your risk tolerance is. A higher percentage of stocks means more risk but potentially more return.
Turner describes mutual funds by thinking of them as a way to buy into many different companies that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford on your own. An index fund is a type of mutual fund, but a mutual fund is not an index fund. Confusing! If the fund contains the word INDEX then it is an index fund.
2. Once you understand the basics how do you become a successful investor: KISS!
Turner uses the acronym KISS to remember: Keep it simple, stupid! Smart investing is boring investing, and Turner argues that simplicity always beats out complexity. Boring investing means weathering the ups and downs of the market and staying in the market for the long haul. Additionally, being a passive investor means that you shouldn’t change investments based on what the market is doing on a particular day.
To become a successful investor follow Turner’s basic principles of investing:
- good asset allocation (e.g. 60% stocks/30% bonds/10% cash as a young person or 30% stocks/ 50% bonds/ 20% cash when you are older)
- passively managed index funds with low fees
- good diversification (e.g. not having all of your money tied up in a few stocks or in a company pension plan)
3. Get Started
Turner recommends three options for getting started:
- Use a target date fund. With a target date fund, you select the year in which you plan to retire and the fund automatically adjusts your risk/reward level based on how close you are to your retirement age. Target date funds are easy to use, and they do not require you to pay someone in advance for a recommendation.
- Robo-advisers. These advisers are online resources that provide recommendations and a platform to begin investing. Betterment and Wealthfront are examples of Robo-advisers. Turner recommends Robo-advisers if you are setting up a Roth IRA, IRA, or a regular investment account.
- Three -fund portfolios. The three funds consist of total bond market indexes, stock market indexes, and total international stock market indexes. To start, follow these two steps:
- Choose an investing company like Fidelity or Vanguard
- Pick your investments
Here is a table comparing the three options:
Additionally, there are some high-level considerations you should take into account to help formulate your plan:
- how much will you invest over time
- how many years until you retire
- how much risk are you willing to take
- how long will you take to withdraw your money
Here is a link to buy the book on Amazon:
How did you start investing? I would love to hear your story!