- A growing net worth is a good sign of financial progress, and it might not be as hard to accomplish as you think.
- Automatically putting money in a high-yield savings account, increasing your retirement contribution, and opening a brokerage account can all boost your wealth.
- By making smart choices with even small amounts of money you have today, you’ll set yourself up for big changes over the long term.
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If you’re starting 2020 with high hopes for your money, consider this: Building wealth is about making incremental progress, day after day, year after year.
Big wins — like getting a raise — are wonderful, but small wins — like choosing the right investment or savings account — are even better, because you have total control. The seemingly tiny habits you start and decisions you make today determine where you’ll be in the future.
With just $100, you can set yourself on a path to a rich life almost instantly. Here are a few ideas to get started increasing your net worth:
A good savings account can do much more for your wealth than you may realize. Even though interest rates are down compared to early 2019, a high-yield savings account can still help you earn up to 20 times more on your cash than a traditional savings account. That means you could earn hundreds of dollars in interest for simply storing your money in the right place, completely risk-free.
Now, just opening a new savings account won’t make you rich. You need to save regularly to meaningfully boost your wealth. Consider an account like CIT Bank’s Savings Builder, which helps create momentum by rewarding you with its top APY if you set up an auto-deposit each month.
2. A meeting with a financial planner
Most fee-only certified financial planners charge between $100 to $300 for a one-time session, but many offer an initial no-cost consultation. Whether you meet once or set up an ongoing engagement, you’ll be able to get specific guidance on any aspect of your financial situation, including budgeting, retirement, investing, education planning, and estate planning.
According to a Northwestern Mutual survey, people who work with a financial adviser are more likely to know how to balance spending now and saving for later; set specific goals and feel confident that they will achieve those goals; and have a plan in place to weather economic ups and downs.
3. An increase to your retirement contribution
Retirement may be decades away for you, but the best time to start building a nest egg is today. Whether you contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k) or tax-advantaged Roth IRA at a robo-adviser or brokerage, increasing your monthly or per-paycheck savings by $100 can have a big impact.
Of course, there’s no guarantee your investments will gain value in the short term. It’s nearly impossible to predict where the market will be a year from now, but waiting on the sidelines until the “right” time is a mistake none of us can afford to make. As long as you’re thoughtful about your asset allocation, risk tolerance, and time horizon, you don’t have anything to worry about.
4. An investment in a brokerage account
If you have money you want to grow for goals that are closer than your golden years and you’ve paid off any high-interest debt, it could be a good time to invest in the stock market.
Despite popular belief, you don’t need a ton of money to get started. For beginners, an online investing app like Betterment can keep your costs low and guide you toward investments that match your risk tolerance and your goals.
Again, there’s no telling whether your investments will gain or lose value over the next year, but if you don’t invest at all, increasing your net worth is going to be a far more difficult task.