If you're a young investor, the best time to invest is nearly always, well, now. investing is a long-term game played over the course of a lifetime. "The greatest money-making asset anyone can possess is time," says Ed Slott, publisher of

Each of these three investors earns a conservative annual return of 7% per year. One starts investing at 22, one starts at 27 and the third starts at 32. Slott's assertion relies on a couple of important assumptions. One is that the broad stock market will rise in value over the course of your life.

The S&P 500 returned an annualized 10.25% from 1926 through the first half of this year. Financial pros generally recommend building a broadly diversified portfolio. By spreading your proverbial bets, you better position yourself to take advantage of the market's historical upward trajectory.

Starting now means you'll need less cash to achieve the same results. The investor who started 10 years late would have to more than double their monthly contribution to $217. A lot of financial literature refers to the "magic" of compounding interest, but really, it's just math.
Posted by RU rumbleshark
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