02 April 2015

Tactical and Strategic Investing: Part I of IV

One of the biggest challenges for any Soldier, especially junior enlisted Soldiers, is thinking strategically.  Junior Soldiers are told what, when, where, and how to do things, but the “why” is almost always left out.  Additionally, the requirements a Soldier has are accomplished for the “now” – not the future… Sure, we know that winning a battle over the long term and with repeated winning battles will usually mean winning the “war”, but we don’t get the longer term – the winning of peace for future generations, economic success, and freedom for others.

This leads to what I believe is a major problem among today’s Soldiers and civilians: the inability to think about “strategic investing”, or saving money for the long term!  Sure, we get training in Basic and AIT that covers investing, saving money, not going into debt, avoiding the credit-drain cycle, but we just don’t get it!

I know this because I went through that same cycle for nearly 16 out of my 26+ years in the military!  I loved that I could get the latest cell phone, the newest TV, a new car, and tons of electronics I almost never used!  I didn’t think about retirement, disability, death, or the other “big-D” word: divorce. I was living “tactically” – for the now, not “strategically” – for the future.  And I wasn’t investing at ALL – not tactically and not strategically.

Let’s start with the end question:  Where do you want to be financially in 10, 20, 30, or 40 years?  Do you want to be broke?  Do you still want to be working that dead-end job as a PFC (Punk Frying Chicken) at KFC?  Do you want to be in a war with your ex-wife over how much of your income she’s going to get?  And what about your eventual death?  Yeah, I said it. You’re going to die; we are all going to die…That’s hard to say and to accept.  It could be today, tomorrow, or 60 years from now but eventually, the Grim Reaper is going to come knocking, and you will answer that door… no matter how hard you try not to!

So, back to my first question:  Where do you want to be financially in 40 years?  If you’re like me, you’d love to be rich with about one to two million in the bank! Guess what? If you’re younger than 40, you can have that much money! Perhaps more!  If you’re older than 40, you might not get to a million, but you can hit $500,000 or so!  At 60?  Well, depending on how long you live past that age, and how much you can invest, you might be able to hit $200,000 – a nice inheritance or donation to your favorite person, charity, or church. It can be done!

In Part II, I’m going to explain how to start thinking about “tactical investing” and how that relates to “strategic investing”.  Once you start thinking along that line, we’ll hit Part III, and cover “tactical investing”.  Finally, in Part IV, I’ll tell you how to invest for specific, and significant events.

Comment below or start the conversation here and connect within the military community.

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