Sharon Bloodworth was honored to be interviewed by Forbes Magazine for an article providing advice on how millennials should manage their finances. Below are Sharon’s thoughts along with a link to the full article.
You are an incredible generation. You have already experienced seeing your own come back in coffins from wars in far-flung places. World business is being disrupted by the software innovation of your peers. You are a kind generation with a strong interest in preserving the environment, and you lean toward companies that share profits with those that need a helping hand.
I can help by sharing my experience and addressing those things that you are not yet thinking of. The baby boomer generation is not prepared for retirement and will rely on tax money paid in by Generation X and millennials to support their healthcare and social security income. With expected longevity, this is going to be an expensive undertaking. It will result in less money being passed between generations because much of the boomer wealth will be used for end-of-life care. So your future financial stability and flexibility is up to you.
I advise and invest for almost exclusively millionaires and multimillionaires. I have a front seat to the behaviors that build and destroy wealth. There are three routes to wealth: (1) You need to live well below your means, (2) you need equity in a company, or (3) you need to get lucky with an inheritance.
Only one of these do you have most control of — and that is your spending. Most Americans live well above their means. You rush to buy something, but then you pay by credit. Assuming you only pay off the minimum required (if that), you are probably paying about 35% more than the cost of the purchase, assuming a 17% APR type of card. If people saw the price tag of what items cost with poor credit card habits, I think they would walk on by many purchases. You need to save 10-20% of your income now and invest it for the future.
In our parents’ and grandparents’ formative years, if you were ill you went to the doctor or if you needed investment advice you went to a bank or a financial advisor. Today your generation is blinded by information and encouragement to self-advise. Seek out the purest sources of information, and seek professional guidance for the most important financial decisions in your life.
Sharon is CEO of White Oaks Wealth Advisors, Inc. and has been with the company since February 2001. Her experience in the financial services industry dates back to 1993, and includes positions at American Express Financial Advisors as a Financial Advisor, and the investment management firm, Lord, Abbett & Co. in New York City, as Client Liaison.