Are You Making This Million Dollar Mistake?

I was about a year into working my first job out of college and had a friend at work who was curious about how to get started with investing.

They told me they'd opened a Roth IRA, but that something didn't seem right because their balance hadn't gone up or down.

So over lunch one day we took a look at the account and I immediately saw the issue.

What had happened was they got the account opened, linked their bank account, and even deposited the money -- but didn't invest the money.

So when you open an investment account, the money gets deposited but you still have to select what it should be invested in or that money will sit in a cash account, similar to a savings account, and never grow.

Had they never asked me, it could've been years or even decades before they did anything about it.

And that one small mistake - if they invested $6,000/year (the max contribution limit for a Roth IRA) for 40 years - would have cost them about $1.6 million, assuming 8% annual returns.

The takeaway: Don't be afraid to ask questions. No question is too simple when it comes to understanding your money, feeling confident, and making sure you're making the right decisions.

Essay #80 - 6.14.21


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