Under 30? Time is on Your Side. Don’t Waste It.

Nicholas Hopwood has an article in Investopedia (& Business Insider) that says your best asset is your income, not your home or savings. He makes a good point for millennials. (It doesn’t apply to those of us with fewer earning years ahead.)

A home ties up a lot of income and actually increases your expenses. Plus studies show the real return to real estate is negative. For savings, Hopwood is referring to 401(k) balances. There’s not much there for younger workers, but higher income allows you to make the best use of a 401(k) (to reach the $18K maximum contribution).

For young people, time is on your side because of the power of compounding. Anything you do to increase future earnings will be amplified by that extra time. Hopwood says your early income will be tied to your degree or technical expertise, a polite way of saying you should study something that will actually get you a job. Over time, he says attitude, personality and communication skills are most important to income growth.

Just make sure you save at least 10% of that income… and increase that percentage with each pay raise.

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