I recently got this concern from an Australian reader of mine who was in his sixties so I thought to answer this for others who have the same concern as well.
To not embarrass anybody, I will just call him Bob.
Bob had read one of my recent posts on Trader Planet ‘Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom’ and he was very relieved because he said that no one had ever made him think that way before in regards financial freedom being as simple as being able to create passive income to cover your expenses, not some big arbitrary number.
Because Bob’s living expenses were actually quite low, he realized with the capital he has already saved through his 40 years of hard work, he could potentially create a self-funded retirement upon immediate retirement in a couple of years.
This excited him but led to anxiety because he then asked himself whether he was too old to learn how to invest and trade and finally look after his own money.
I mentioned to him that I have seen people as young as 15 with the help of their parents all the way to someone in their eighties begin their journey so age was actually not a physical barrier but an emotional one.
After exchange of a few emails, I learned that it wasn’t his age but the pain of regret he had for not starting earlier in life.
I ended up congratulating him because he indeed had gotten into a pretty good financial situation without learning and knowing a thing about investing so imagine what it would be like if he did and began where he is now?
True, the younger you start, the more time and less pressure it is for you to grow your investments though the natural power of compounding.
However, the older you are, the more life experiences you also have and likely conservatism which is a great attribute you can bring into your investing career.
Just look at me. When I learned all this in my late teens and early twenties, I thought I could walk on water and do no wrong and since ‘I had plenty of time’, so I could afford to take extreme risks to get the returns I wanted, but didn’t need.
Well, as you know, it didn’t’ end pretty. I blew up my account and went negative over one hundred thousand dollars and I had to start from scratch again with a much bigger mortgage on my home.
In fact, I had squandered that so called age advantage because I didn’t’ have life experiences which taught me the power of conservatism.
For Bob, with his myriad of life experiences which I will never have yet, he has the life experiences of going through multiple economic recessions during his working life and knowing how that felt, yet survived in those trying times.
For most of us, we would probably have only gone through three market corrections at best, the 2000 dot com crash as well as the most recent 2008 global financial crisis and later the 2010 European crisis.
So it really is never too late to learn anything including trading and investing.
Opportunities are limitless and they keep coming, no matter when you decide to begin, as long as you do.
It is up to you to decide if you would like to finally look after your own money because no one else will care more than you do, not your financial planner, not your fund manager and certainly not your employer.
I always live with the following saying which has served me well through life; If it’s to be, it’s up to me…
by Terry Tran
If you have enjoyed this post, can you do me a favour and click the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons on this page!