Market Wrap-Up for Jan.14 (JPM, PNC, STT, GS, NEM, MEE, GE, more)

As I progress through my early 40′s, I like to think back to how I approached money in my earlier years. Being an entrepreneur, there is always a constant need to invest in your business and in yourself. That said, I still regret not being more proactive when it came to thinking about long-term wealth and financial security. The beauty of compound interest (which dividend stocks are great at providing when you re-invest those dividends) is something to marvel at when you start tabulating the numbers. You can use our Compounding Interest Calculator to measure your hypothetical rate of return, based on the number of years and amount of money you invest. Of course, getting married, having kids, and buying a home can put quite a dent in your best-laid plans. What was Mike Tyson’s famous line? I believe it was “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Now I’m not trying to liken a boxing match to your family life, but the fact remains that the expenses you incur in adulthood can take quite a toll on your financial goals. Some investors are now in a position of making up for lost time, scrambling to start or build their retirement nest egg at a later stage in their lives than they’d prefer. The way I see it, the solution to this problem is simple: put more money each month to work for you. Some things you learn with age, and when it comes to money, most of us don’t start to really appreciate the power it has in our lives until we look up at the scoreboard and realize we’ve lost some initial ground. The key word I used there is “initial”, because it is NEVER too late to come back and make a difference. My dad had a barber friend who bought his first house at 77 years old! That’s the way you have to look at life. Never stop trying to achieve your goals, no matter how late you are in the game. I don’t care if all you can afford is $25 a month to start investing. Pick an online broker and get an account open if you don’t have one already. If you’re employed, set up an IRA and fund it with the maximum contribution you can make every year. And if you have kids, get a Coverdell Education Savings Account started for each of them and fund those as well. If your employer matches your 401k contributions, then do that too! Do whatever you can to make it happen. In time, you’ll look back …

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Market Wrap-Up for Jan.14 (JPM, PNC, STT, GS, NEM, MEE, GE, more)

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