Five years ago now, I graduated from Eastern Illinois University. Upon leaving, I went to work for my family’s business, Weiss Insurance Agencies. An insurance agency started by my Great Grandpa over 100 years ago.
Since I decided to go to the cheapest in state school to get my degree, I was fortunate to graduate with no debt. Besides having no debt, I also lived with my parents for over a year. On top of living with my parents, I had a second job as a high school basketball coach.
With little monthly expenses and two jobs, it wasn’t long before I accumulated a nice amount of cash for someone my age.
Of course the first thought that came to my mind is that I should use this cash to get rich in the stock market.
The first place I went was my dad’s investment adviser. I went to adviser’s office one day and we talked investing for 30 minutes or so. At the end of the session, I wrote him a check so I could get started.
I had graduated with a finance degree and had read a few books on beating the market, so I thought I knew what I was doing. The adviser recommended a mutual fund or two, which I put about 50% of my cash in. The other 50% was my get rich fund, earmarked for individual stock selection.
I actually didn’t do that bad. I owned Apple, Costco, Google, Amazon, Whirlpool and a few other individual stocks.
The problem was that even though my stocks and mutual funds were doing alright, my account balance wasn’t really increasing. After a closer look, I saw that taxes and fees were taking away all my returns.
Thinking back to when the adviser explained to me the fees when we first sat down, I thought this was just what to expect. After all, I was referred to this adviser through my dad.
Lucky for me, I continued to learn about investing, after I made my initial stock selections. One day, I think it was reading a post on The Simple Dollar, one of my favorite personal finance blogs, I heard about the work of John Bogle. More specifically, I heard about this book called The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing.
I saw that it had had some good reviews on Amazon, so I ordered it.
After it arrived, I couldn’t put it down. It opened me up to a whole new world of investing. A much simpler and better world.
The Bogleheads taught me about index funds, Roth IRA’s, mutual fund turnover, taxes, different types of investments, the power of compound interest, the benefits of having a net worth mindset, etc…
It really opened my eyes, as to what investing really is.
Soon after reading, I moved my assets to Vanguard and started investing in index funds. Not surprisingly, after the making the switch I noticed that my portfolio was actually going up.
In the next year or two, my sister, brothers, and friends seeing how passionate I was about this subject, started calling me and asking for help. So I sat down with them and explained investing, 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, index funds, etc…
It was that time that I knew there was a market that was in need. My feeling was that if people got the right advice when they’re young, they wouldn’t need it later.
So I started Gen Y Wealth.