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Finance

Money Should Work Harder Than You Do


One of things that I’ve always understood about investing is that money works harder than people are able to. Money never gets tired, sick, distracted, or unmotivated. It literally works around the clock once it has been invested. People can’t do that. People need food, rejuvenation, sleep and time with loved ones. Those items are vitally important to being a healthy person and to living a good life. They also take people away from doing their jobs.

The trick to being healthy, living a good life and earning lots of money is to send your money out to work. Go back to the title of this post and believe what it says. Money should work harder than you do.

There are a few ways around this particular fact, but most of us have to do the initial work to get money. We exchange our labour (aka: life energy) for a paycheque. The paycheque may be from an employer, from our clients, or from our own business. It doesn’t really matter. We give away our life energy and receive money for our efforts.

The purpose of this post is to remind you that you can work towards a situation where you still earn an income to support your lifestyle without having to earn a paycheque. I’ve written before about how your income and your salary are not the same thing. Your salary is part of your income, but it’s not the only element. There are ways to fund your lifestyle without having to earn a paycheque. One of the ways to do this is by increasing your dividend and capital gains income. Dividend income and capital gains income are what I like to call passive income. As far as I’m concerned, passive income is wonderful.

Dividends and capital gains are monies paid to shareholders when companies make a profit. Your goal, should you wish to increase your income, is to invest in companies that pay dividends and capital gains. There are a number of ways to do so, but I strongly recommend exchange-traded funds and index funds. If you want to do individual stock-picking, then more power to you. That’s not my cup of tea because I don’t know how to do it.

Sadly, there is no way around the fact that you likely won’t earn life-changing amounts of dividends and capital gains at the start of your investment journey. Let me be clear. Your invested money will earn passive income. However, it will take some time before your passive income is enough for you to live on. This is one of the reasons why it’s important that you consistently invest each and every time you get paid. Secondly, you should aim to increase the amount you invest. Start with whatever amount you can commit and increase that amount over time.

You have to invest your money in order for it to work for you. The simple idea of investing has never generated a single nickel for anyone. Ask me how I know this. One of my biggest money mistakes was to not start investing my former mortgage payments as soon as that particular debt was gone. Instead, I spent years thinking about starting a dividend-heavy portfolio. I earned nothing while I was, in effect, procrastinating. The month after I stopped thinking and actually started doing, I earned my first dividend. I haven’t looked back since.

Remember how I said that your money should work around the clock? I wasn’t kidding. I set up a dividend re-investment plan, often called a DRIP. This way, my dividends are automatically re-invested into more units of my chosen ETFs and index funds. The dividends don’t sit in my bank account, and I’m not tempted to spend them. They are immediately put to work for the sole purpose of making even more passive income for me. It’s a highly lucrative feedback loop.

If you wanted, you could do the same thing.

Now, even though I’m a big fan of the Financial Independence Retire Early (F.I.R.E.) movement, I’m a super-huge fan of the FI part. I firmly believe that everyone who earns a paycheque should be working towards financial independence. If you part ways from your employer, or are otherwise unable to earn your keep, having a cushion of cash that’s funded by passive income is your safety net. The passive income can replace your earned income, if you choose to go back to work, or it can fund your retirement if you decide that working for a living no longer turns your crank.

Early retirement is not everyone’s goal. Some people love their jobs. There is no reason why they should stop doing what they love. The same cannot be said for financial independence. The best of both worlds is loving what you do and having financial independence. Most of won’t have the former but all of us can work towards achieving the latter.

However, the money won’t start working for you, nor be there when you need it, unless you start investing part of your paycheque today. So start today – stay consistent – increase the amount you invest as you’re able to – achieve financial independence – live life & be happy!



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