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TSI #12: When is it too late to start investing?

Sep 04, 2022

One of the most common concerns of investors in their 30s - 40s is that they missed already the opportunity to make money investing.

Common questions I hear are:

  • I am 45, I am still on time to build up my retirement fund?

  • I am 35, is it too late for me to to start investing?

  • I am 30, can I still make it to Financial Freedom?

What's fascinating is that no matter your age.

When you start to learn about investing... It always feels too late!

However, does that mean that there is an age in which it's too late to invest?


It depends.

(Yeah, I know you were expecting the classic formula "It's never too late to start investing!")

The reality is that "investing" is a very general term.

And most importantly, it's just the tool we use to get something else: freedom, wealth, psychological safety, ... You name it.

The first thing to do is to actually understand WHY we want to invest.


First define your investing goal, then decide if you are too late

Based on my experience, there are three main purposes for people to invest.


Goal 1: Create a passive income to substitute your 9-5 job

Living off your investments is the dream for many investors.

How do you reach this life?

You need to build a big enough portfolio, so that you can take out your passive income from it without risking to drain your fund.

In practice here is what you need to do:

  1. Define how much money you need per month to live comfortably and calculate the annual amount based on that.
    You can do this with my free budget planner here.

  2. Multiply this amount times 25. The number you will have is the target size of your portfolio to be able to sustain your monthly passive income

  3. Invest every month until you reach your target amount


Let's clarify this path with an example:

  1. Maria needs $2,000 per month to sustain her lifestyle or $24,000 per year

  2. Maria needs to build a $600,000 portfolio to enjoy $2,000 as passive income per month

  3. By investing $800 every month at the average market return (10%), Maria will need 20 years to reach her target amount

If you want me to cover this topic more in details in another issue, reply to my newsletter to let me know you are interested!


Goal 2: secure enough wealth for retirement

We can adopt a similar approach to the previous goal and define what amount we will need.

There is one key advantage: we are likely to have more time to build up this retirement amount.

  • If you are 25, you have 40 years to grow your wealth

  • If you are 35, you have 30 years to do it

  • If you are 45... You get my point


The more years you are willing to wait, the more money you will make.

Let's take the same example of Maria, assuming that now she invests for 30 years instead of 20. Here is the result:

Yes, it's not a typo. Waiting 10 more years lead to 3x Maria's wealth (from 600k to 1.8M).


Goal 3: Keep up with inflation

This goal is the simplest one to achieve and can be done at any age.

The assumption is that you don't expect to make the majority of your wealth from your investments.

You just want to know that what you are earning (from your job, business, etc.) is not destroyed by inflation.

To do this, you just need to "beat" inflation.

In other words, get a better return on your investments compared to inflation in the long term.

Why do I specify in the long term?

Because right now inflation is a hot topic.

And it's easy to believe that we are going to have such a huge inflation forever.

But in reality, inflation is on average around 3%.

The inflation rate in US from 1960. You can check more data here.

So that's your annual number to beat to maintain your purchasing power.


Adjust your investing strategy based on your timeframe, not your age

As investor, you should stop worrying about your age.

It's up to you to decide whether it's too late to start investing.

To decide that understand first why you are doing this in the first place.

If you are 55 and your goal is to make work optional through a $5,000 passive income per month starting from zero...

It's likely it's too late for that.

But it may be not too late to build a great fund for retirement.

Or even to build generational wealth for your kids.

However, even if you feel that it's too late to build your dream wealth, you need to ask yourself another important question:

"What's the alternative?"


It's a matter of cost of opportunity

Let's imagine that you realize it will be too late to reach all the investing goals that you initially planned.

Or that maybe, based on what you can contribute every month, it will be not feasible to reach your target lifestyle.

You have two choices at this point:

You can drop the investing topic once and for all.
Your initial goal is not feasible, so let's say goodbye to investing and live day by day.


You can readjust your goals. And make the best from where you are right now.
Stop blaming yourself because you didn't start 10 years ago.
And start to see what you can do FROM NOW ON.

Let's take Maria example again.

She wanted a €2,000 passive income per month and for that she will need to build a €600,000 fund.

Let's imagine that Maria did not have 20 years to wait for this result.

She can adjust her plan to reach HALF of that amount (€300,000).

In that case, she will have a €1,000 passive income per month through which she will need to work only part time to earn the remaining €1,000.

Not bad at all.

This is just an example of how flexible your investment goals can be.



It's true that it's never too late to start investing, AS LONG AS you have reasonable expectations of what you can gain in your timeframe.


See you again next week.


Whenever you're ready, here is how I can help you:

1. Take advantage of all our Free Resources and start your journey as Stoic Investor 

2. Book a Free Consultation to ask your investing questions and we will point you in the right direction

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About Me

I am Vittorio Rigato, the Investing Coach behind Stoic Money.

I invested for more than 8 years, both for myself and by managing the 7-figures retirement account of my family.

After my¬†Master Degree in¬†Finance & Management,¬†I worked in the FinTech industry in Frankfurt (Germany) and managed financial products with value up to ‚ā¨100 Millions.

In 2021 I have founded Stoic Money to teach employees and professionals worldwide how to invest to reach $1,000,000 Net Worth and beyond. Many of them reviewed Stoic Money service with a video testimonial here.

Multiple Finance News Websites like Yahoo Finance and Euronews talked about Stoic Money mission and services.

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