"In a world where financial advice geared toward Millennials is rare, Jason Kirsch breaks down the market for young investors in a tell-all book that cuts through the nonsense. He shares both the bad news and the good news, giving you a realistic understanding of the market, and hope for building a bright financial future."
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What is the millennial advantage?
When I was thirteen, I received gifts from friends and relatives that totaled roughly ten thousand dollars. Since my parents insisted that I place such a then-lavish sum (or so it seemed at the time) into long-term investments, I set about teaching myself the principles of investing. Soon I became fascinated by what I was learning. As young as I was, I already knew that I wanted the financial means to be in charge of my own destiny, and that I had been given a valuable asset, one that could help me move toward that goal – if I used it properly.
Because my family lived around the corner from the vacant offices of Stratton Oakmont, whose founder Jordan Belfort chronicled his rise and fall in the book The Wolf of Wall Street (also the film of the same title starring Leonardo DiCaprio), I had some notion early on of the stock market’s volatility and the value of personal integrity. But I had no inkling of even the most basic investment terms. What, I wondered, was a mutual fund? I didn’t know the first thing about tax deferred growth, fundamental analysis, compound returns or any other investment concept.
Wanting to learn how to turn my coming-of-age windfall into a far greater amount, I turned first to family members and older friends but their advice was, more often than not, confusing. The popular internet search engines of the day offered only slightly more valuable information. Eventually I found and read more than a hundred books on the topic – some good, some not so good – and distilled three key truths from my studies:
1. Investing is completely about the future.
2. The future is uncertain.
3. The skill of an investor is almost completely based on how that investor manages uncertainty.
A couple of years ago, I began writing down what I had learned in my youthful studies, and ever since. At first, it was only a pastime: I never imagined that I would write enough to publish a book. It seemed like a daunting task.
Nonetheless, six days a week I wrote, even when I didn’t feel like it. Finally, when I had a 70,000-word manuscript, another truth hit me: Time is a vastly underrated force.
Just as, over time, I was able to complete a book by writing a little every day, so too can wealth grow over time. Take the principal of compound returns, which Albert Einstein once dubbed one of the wonders of the world. A penny invested so that its worth doubles each day will be worth sixteen cents in five days. While that may sound like much, give that penny thirty days to grow, doubling in value each day, and one penny can eventually be worth more than five million dollars.
This simple truth surprises many people, and it’s easy to understand why. When we are working toward a goal, we only see the progress we’re making on a short-term basis. Whether we’re writing a book of investing small amounts of money on a regular basis, our progress can seem glacially slow. It’s only when we stop to look at how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished that we can begin to appreciate what a value commodity time can be.
Time, therefore, is a consistent theme of my book. It is the most powerful MILLENNIAL ADVANTAGE. Time, in partnership with consistency, allows for accomplishment in any field, including the effort to generate substantial wealth and build long-term financial security.
Our generation (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) have a peculiar relationship with time. We have the advantage of time on our side, but the disadvantage of bad economic timing. My book is very much written with that in mind—focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities our place in history presents.
In The Millennial Advantage, I have tried to provide some clarity about the economic context within which we all live, so that no matter what year you were born, you can move forward and take real charge of your financial destiny. Money is just a means toward an end, and financial freedom is ultimately the freedom to lead the life you want to lead, to build your own American dream. It is my earnest hope that this book brings you closer to realizing that dream.