One of my readers, in his sixties, recently sent me this question.
To avoid causing any embarrassment, I will refer to my reader simply as “Bob”.
Bob had seen one of my posts on Trader Planet “Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom”, and he had felt very relieved as a result of the fact that the post had led him to think in a way that no one had ever fostered in him before, with regard to financial freedom. This new way of thinking was the concept of financial freedom being simply as having a passive income that will cover your expenses.
As Bob already had quite low living expenses, he came to the conclusion that using the capital he had already accumulated through 40 years in the workforce, he had the capability of setting up a self-funded retirement in a couple of years.
While he was very excited about this revelation, he also felt anxious because he was worried he was too old to learn all the ins and outs of trading and investing.
However, I explained to him that I have witnessed individuals as young as 15 years of age (with their parents’ help) learn trading and investing, as well as people in their eighties! The main message I conveyed to him was that age is not a barrier to learning how to trade and invest.
Once he and I had exchanged a few emails, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t his age that was the barrier. Rather, it was the sense of regret he suffered from with regard to not making a start earlier on in his life.
I assured him that he had no cause for regret, but rather for congratulation! I thought it was very remarkable that he had put himself in such a strong financial position without knowing anything about trading or investing.
While it is true that the younger you are when you make your start, the less pressure and more time you will be afforded to make your investments grow by means of compounding’s natural power.
However, it is also true that the older you become, the greater number of life experiences you have accumulated. You can bring your life experiences and wisdom to your trading and investing career.
I’m a good example of how youth can sometimes be a barrier to success. When I started learning about trading and investing in my late teens and early twenties, I believed that because I had so much time ahead of me, there was no mistake I could make that would have a meaningful impact on me. I believed that I could afford taking great risks in order to get the returns I desired.
My actions at that time led to the decimation of my account, which descended into the negative by over one hundred thousand dollars. I was forced to start again completely from the beginning, with a larger mortgage hanging over my home.
As you have probably gathered, my actions did away with any of the advantages my age afforded, and my actions were caused to a large extent by my lack of life experiences and wisdom.
Bob has a large number of life experiences and probably a great deal of wisdom. He has made it through several economic recessions in his life, and knows what it is like to go through such difficult times.
The majority of us have probably experienced only around three market crises at the most, including the 2000 dot com crash, the global financial crisis of 2008, and the European crisis in 2010.
You are never too old to start learning about trading and investing.
There are a limitless number of opportunities, and they will continue to arise regardless of when in your life you decide to begin your trading and investing journey.
The decision as to whether you would finally prefer to look after your own money because there is no one else in the world who will care more about its success than you would, is yours to make.
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me” is a motto that has done me a great deal of service in my life.