Play the Game We Have

You unfortunately have to embrace the system we have for the game that it is. This is a system where they will take your house and you’re expected to play along amicably with real estate agents and other agents as if everything is fine. It’s just a part of the game. You’re losing your fucking house but it’s just the game, brah.

So here’s my not financial advice. If all your savings is currently in a savings account, you are losing money every year to inflation. Currently, inflation is extraordinarily high but even when it’s low, your purchasing power is going down every year because the dollar is inflationary by way of the system.

You can’t build wealth with savings. You can build wealth with assets. One of the easiest assets in my opinion is stocks. And if you don’t want to learn anything about or keep up with individual stocks then I’d suggest looking at VT (Vanguard Total World Stock ETF) or VTI (Vanguard Total US Stock Market ETF) and diverting some of your savings regularly into one or both of these ETFs.

With VT you own a piece of over 9,500 world companies and with VTI you own a piece of over 4,000 US companies. VT is up 37.28% over the last 5 years and VTI is up 65.91% over the last 5 years. These returns aren’t guaranteed (obviously) but as long as the world and the companies continue chugging along, these ETFs should continue to grow. You may be able to get better results elsewhere but I believe these ETFs are a place to start without having to use a paid service like Acorns which is what I started with.

Only put in what money you do not need right away because the market is volatile in the short term. One of Warren Buffet’s famous quotes is “the stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient." But Buffet picks individual stocks, I’m just saying look at buying the whole market. Buy with the mindset you're not gonna look at it for 20-30 years but you will keep putting money into it regularly, whatever amount makes sense to you.

My chemistry teacher in college (mid-2000s) told the class that we should open a Roth IRA and start putting like $20 in there monthly. I don’t know if any of the students listened then. I didn’t and I regret it every damn day.

I’m not trying to sell you on anything other than the idea that a savings account being the baseline to protect your money is no longer enough. It’s on you whether you want to and have the ability to act on any of this.