Investing Advice for 20-Year-Olds

CATEGORIES: Investment Viewpoints

Investing advice for 20-year-oldsLooking for investing advice for 20-year-olds?

Jemstep recently asked 7 personal finance bloggers a simple question: “What investing advice would you give your 20-year-old self?” Here’s what they had to say.

“I would tell my 20 year-old self not to wait to invest for retirement. While retirement to a 20- year-old is four or more decades away and seem like an eternity, now is the time to start. Waiting even one year to begin investing for retirement can have devastating consequences decades down the road thanks to the power of compounding interest.

For example, if you were to invest $5,000 per year earning 8% annually from the age of 22 until 65, you would have a nest egg of over $1.78 million. But, if you were to skip the first year and only start investing at the age of 23, you’d only amass $1.64 million in your nest egg. That’s over an $114,000 mistake.”

– Hank Coleman, Money Q&A (

(Do you know how much money you’re on-track to have in retirement? Jemstep’s Portfolio Manager service can show you. A basic account is free, so sign up now!)

“If I were to give my 20-year-old-self an investing tip, it would be to start now! (At 20, I mean.) The sooner you begin investing, the better and the less you have to invest monthly. The later you start, the more “catch-up” has to be done.”

– Jennifer Jennings, Little House (

“If I could go back 13 years and give my 20-year-old self a piece of financial advice it would be to spend less and not take out student loans.  I worked during my four years of college but I still took out student loans because I didn’t live on a budget and I shopped a lot. I paid my student loans off 8 years after graduation. That was $200 per month for 8 years that could definitely have been better spent. If I wasn’t busy paying off my student loans I could have spent my time traveling the world and learning about new cultures.”

– Tahnya Kristina, DinksFinance  (

“Invest for the long-term, and ignore most short-term market fluctuations. Don’t entirely forget about your investments — they do need care and review. Just don’t make the mistake of checking performance every month. Take a look at them once every six months, and make any appropriate or necessary changes.”

– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers (

“What investing advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Start saving now! I didn’t get really serious about saving/investing until I was in my late 20′s.”

– Lion, Wealth Lion (

“Before I even spoke to her (my 20-year-old self) about investing, I would cut up all her credit cards, explain how harmful her excessive spending is and show her how to budget money. Then I would tell her to make investing and saving automatic.

Set it up so the money is directly deposited into investment accounts each pay day. I would encourage her to increase investments each time there is a pay raise and to remember the importance of leaving that money alone until retirement.”

– Jessica, Debt Princess (

“I would tell my 20 year old self two things — #1. Put 10% of your pay in a Roth IRA every month. You’ll be so glad you did when you enter your 40s. #2. Don’t get a credit card until you get your first good paying job, and then only use it a few times a month to pay for regular expenses and pay it off each month.”

– Melissa Batai, Moms Plans (

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About the Author

Jemstep’s The Better Investor Blog is created with the goal of helping investors make the best decisions to reach their long-term goals. This blog presents readers with insights and tips from the leading experts in the investment field.


4 thoughts on “Investing Advice for 20-Year-Olds

  1. I learned about trading during the market collapse….If I had to make one suggestion, it would be “Do not..ever..ever…listen to Jim Cramer”.

    • That’s funny, John! We at Jemstep are not fans of day trading and stock speculating, which is what Jim Cramer seems to indicate. I hope you fared the market collapse well, and I hope you recovered well!

  2. Thanks for your article. I truly wish I had started investing earlier and that seems to be the consensus. I truly hope that I can help my family and friends to understand that getting started now is better than not starting at all.

    • @Jeremiah — I like to say that the best time to start investing is when you’re young … AND, you will never be younger than you are today. So “now” is always the best time to start. :-)

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