Ken Julian is an experienced portfolio manager, having been with Halsey Associates since 1997. Ken knows the ins and outs of investment management and spending your hard-earned money.
One area Ken thinks is often overlooked is investing strategies for younger people, especially those in their 20s. So we asked him for some tips to help young people start building their wealth.
“A lot of people don’t realize they are spending half their income on housing,” Ken says. Your rent eats up a big part of your paycheck, which can make it difficult to save money for anything else.” Ken recommends finding ways to decrease your living costs first before you start investing. Your 20s is a critical time to save money and build your wealth.
The first thing Ken recommends is building an emergency fund, which should be equivalent to 3-6 months of income that you can tap into if an unexpected expense comes up. While it’s not the most exciting investment, this money will make a big difference in your peace of mind later on.
Making sure the basics are covered in the first step. But investing in a mix of stocks and bonds can help build your wealth over time as you enter your 30s and beyond.
“A lot of younger people think they can invest 100% in equities, but that’s not how it works,” Ken says. “There are limited periods to take higher risk and make the biggest gains. Then, as you get older, risk tolerance and goals change.”
Ken also had some opinions on the current Crypto investing craze, “Crypto is a very trendy thing, but it’s in its infancy, and the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned. There are too many risks involved that aren’t being addressed.”
He goes on to say, “I don’t know enough about Crypto to feel comfortable recommending any of my clients put their money into it, even though there is a lot of speculation. I wish I could say get involved, but at this point, it’s too much of a gamble.”
One thing that Ken is very bullish on is tax-free bonds. “They pay about a 1% interest rate right now, which isn’t great in terms of investment returns. But they do come with certain tax advantages, and there are no worries about capital gains with these bonds. So they’re a great way to invest money for a rainy day.”
Ken also recommends contributing as much into retirement accounts as possible and waiting until the last minute to file your taxes, so you can get any tax credits you might qualify for. “If you owe back taxes, having that taken out of your paycheck is a good thing because you don’t have to pay the money in April,” he says.
Finally, Ken believes the best investment anyone can make is investing in themselves. “Educating yourself and developing new skills will allow you to meet your career goals and earn more money,” he says. “That’s the best way to save for a comfortable retirement.”