I couldn’t disagree more. The concept of systematic saving and hoping for a solid average return in the markets isn’t something that I believe in anymore. I’m 32, and have been investing in the markets since I was 18, under the assumption that if I set up automatic contributions throughout my life I would ultimately be “rich”. I started by maxing out my SEP-IRA and then by maxing my Roth. I invest monthly in a range of products, again, all with the goal of cost averaging the market to my benefit over time. Fast forward 14 years from when I began, and I have accumulated less than $60k. My invested dollar amount exceeds my current total, as it did even at the recent market highs in 2007. In other words, investing for the long haul doesn’t work like it used to, particularly for my generation. The first decade of wage earning is the most important in terms of compounding interest, and we have just experienced a completely lost decade. The hopes for recovery to make up for that lost decade (14 yrs in my case) do not appear reasonable. David
There is a simple fact that many people miss: you will never grow wealthy if you spend everything you earn. Regardless of how much money you earn, you need to put some aside in savings. Having a cash cushion is nice because it helps you prepare for unexpected expenses and helps you avoid debt. But there is another reason that saving money is important – because of taxes and other factors, money saved is worth more than money earned!
When an airplane leaves from one city to the next, it has a plan. Its plan is called a flight plan. It's a massive action plan that involves speed, altitude, direction of travel and many other facets. But what happens when there's turbulence or air-traffic congestion or it needs to change course for some other reason? The plane changes its plan. But it doesn't change its goal of where it's going. Create and follow a plan, and don't be afraid to change it if you see something isn't working.