The Ladder of Personal Finance


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The Ladder of Personal Finance

  1. 1. “A unique voice on money, i w r d an do i l l ail d i wn fo ds, one singularly attuned to…his generation.” t e y t nt loa a c ac er I WIll h y tic act Vis u t o l tip e sp —San FranciSco chronicle o a iv it b e r s, b re i c on ads h . us h co m ee ts TEAch You by RAmIT SEThI founder and writer of ToBE No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works
  2. 2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich The Ladder of Personal Finance T worry. You can still feel great, since most people never even get to the system runs itself with just a few hours of work per year—but remember, opening these accounts and getting started is the most important step. Rung 1: If your employer offers a 401(k) match, invest to take full advantage of it and contribute just enough to get 100 percent of the match. A “401(k) match” means that for every dollar you contribute to your 401(k), your company will “match” your contribution up to a certain amount. For example, for easy math, let’s assume you make $100,000. A “100 percent match up to 5 percent of your contribution” means that you’ll contribute $5,000 and your company will match it with $5,000. This is free money and there is, quite simply, no better deal. Rung 2: Pay off your credit card and any other debt. The average credit card APR is 14 percent, and many APRs are higher. Whatever your card return. For the best ways to do this, see page 40 in Chapter 1. Rung 3: Open up a Roth IRA (see page 83) and contribute as much money as possible to it. (As long as your income is $101,000 or less, you’re allowed to contribute up to $5,000 in 2009.) Rung 4: If you have money left over, go back to your 401(k) and contribute as much as possible to it (this time above and beyond your employer match). The current limit is $15,500. Rung 5: If you still have money left to invest, open a regular nonretirement account and put as much as possible there. For more about this, see the next page. Also, pay extra on any mortgage debt you have, and consider investing in yourself: Whether it’s starting a company or getting an additional degree, there’s often no better investment than your own career. Remember, this ladder of personal finance only shows you where to invest your money. In Chapter 7, I’ll show you what to invest in. 76
  3. 3. Get the full book at About the book At last, for a generation that's materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi's 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds. A completely practical approach based around the four pillars of personal finance—banking, saving, budgeting, and investing—and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.