Invest in yourself
O’Leary, 69, is a staunch proponent of investing in oneself.
In an Instagram post back in May, he wrote: “Never feel selfish for investing in yourself. Never apologize to anyone for trying to create a better life for yourself.
“The biggest reason I say to invest in your own future: no one else is going to do it for you. No one is coming to just hand you millions of dollars”
Fellow business and investing juggernaut Warren Buffett issued similar advice in 2022 when he said: “The best investment by far is anything that develops yourself.”
That could mean getting a college degree, completing training courses or working with a mentor to improve your skills and advance in your career.
It could also mean trying new experiences, reading more and educating yourself about different cultures, languages, innovations and so on. The opportunities to invest in yourself are endless.
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Save and invest early
It is important to start saving and investing your money as early as possible if you wish to find financial freedom, according to O’Leary.
During an appearance on Lewis Howes’s “The School of Greatness” podcast in 2021, O’Leary said he believes both high schools and parents should teach children about personal finance. He encourages kids to set aside a fraction of any monetary gifts they receive and learn to invest. The earlier you save and invest, the more money you will have for your future.
One easy way to put your money to work — without the risk of investing in the stock market or other alternative investments — is to stash some cash in a high-yield savings account (HYSA). With a HYSA, you could earn more interest on your money and benefit from greater compound growth than you would with a traditional savings or checking accountt.
If you do want to invest, you don’t have to put a lot of money in at first. You can invest your spare change and easily generate passive income through dividends without having to lift a finger. There are also investing apps and digital tools that can help you get started.
Finally, if you’re a working adult seeking financial freedom, tax-friendly investment vehicles like a 401(k) account, if your employer offers one, or an individual retirement account (IRA) are great tools to get ahead.
While it’s favorable to start all of these things sooner rather than later, O’Leary told Howes it’s never too late to change your behavior. Saving at any age can still be beneficial.
Ditch the emotions
Try to keep money and emotions separate, O’Leary says.
In another Instagram post in April, he wrote: “If emotions are involved in a money decision, be very, very careful. No decision fueled by emotion ever led to long-term value.”
According to O’Leary, even rational people can make “horrible financial decisions when emotions are involved,” with long-lasting consequences. This is true in a business setting, but also when making financial decisions with your family.
“People spend money because they're happy, sad, angry, scared, excited, insecure, or driven by emotional triggers,” he wrote. “If you can draw a clear line between how you feel and how you manage your finances, you're much less likely to hit the shops when you're stressed or upset.
“Sounds easy to do but it’s not.”
If you can keep your emotions out of your financial decision-making, O’Leary says that “could make a huge difference with money management.”
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