What should one do in their 20s to avoid regrets in 30s and 40s?

Timing can fuck you obviously. Historical equity market is 7% return and 15% volatility, so you can easily lose money in the initial period and the “power of compounding” gets delayed by years.

Investing is a pretty trivial exercise for retail folks, especially now with all sorts of tools and instruments that make it easy and hands off.

Instead of obsessing over how much your $2k is going to be worth if you save it today versus 5 years from now, my advice would be to focus on increasing income. If someone spends four years putting themselves in a position to put away $100k per year, they’re going to crush the the guy putting away $2k.

Ask yourself: How many years are you willing to forgo $2k per year to eventually save $xxx,000 per year? For any reasonable x the number of years is quite high, meaning your priority should be getting there. This dynamic is amplified when you realize that you can’t use a linear model to estimate 6% return - you have to contemplate the scenarios where you lose money initially.

Saving money is a crucial habit to have but the path to prosperous retirement is primarily income.

TLDR: focus on increasing income. If you do, you’ll crush the results of the losers jacking off over how much their $2k per year is going to be worth one day.

/r/AskReddit Thread Parent