Personal finance seems annoyingly slow a lot of the time:
- save 20,000 yen a month and invest it in the stock market, and thirty years later it might be worth 8 million yen
- pay your mortgage every month, and in 35 years time you'll 'own' your house
- max out your NISA account every year, and in ten years time you might have over 15 million yen
- work hard and be helpful at work, and you might end up earning more eventually
- wait fifteen minutes, and get a second marshmallow
On the other hand, sometimes things happen blindingly fast:
- Ten years ago, my family managed to save nothing, now we save and invest over 60% of our income
- Five years ago I knew nothing about personal finance, now I run RetireJapan and know a little bit more
- Three and a half years ago this site started with no readers, now we have a fantastic community in the Forum and on Facebook
- Two months ago I had no intention of buying a house: now it seems like we'll be building a two-family home next year so we can live with my in-laws
The key is to get started. Do one thing today. Do you have an emergency fund in a separate bank account? No? Then open a bank account and pay in a certain amount every month. Do you have an iDeCo account? If not, send off for the application pack from one of the main providers. How about NISA or a robo-advisor? If you are feeling intimidated by investing, read Millionaire Teacher.
In five years time you'll be amazed at the progress you've made.
How about you? What have you found fast or slow about personal finance? Any success stories?