Let's talk about the most important thing first. I am not financially successful. Not even close to the consensus definition/metric. And that's why I am addressing these to myself. What if, I had to do my youth all over again, this is a list of things I would have loved to know back then. We all are different but here's a hoping that you would find something applicable.
If you're continuing to read it, read it with a bowl of salt.
Continue optimizing for the lowest recurring cost of living (e.g., living in shared apartments with “good enough” people and privacy).
You’ll know when it is time to be on your own but now is not the time.
Get an additional health insurance. No, the one that came with the company isn't enough. And no it's not simply throwing away money every year if you don't end up claiming it.
Next, build a corpus of at least 6 months' expense and keep that in your savings account. Try maintaining it.
For god's sake, start investing. It seems complex at first but it's not really.
Pick couple of Index Funds with low incurring costs and invest routinely like your life depends on it. Don't put too much effort into finding "the best" fund because there is little to no correlation between investment effort and investment results.
There might be a lot of other funds that seem to have done wonders in the past but past performance is no guarantee of future results.
You might see that investing in Index Funds is not exciting at first. And that's exactly the point. Stay away from “all that excites or affrights us,” as Seneca says.
Have patience (a lot!!) and let compounding do its magic. Always remember: Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn't … pays it.
At the time of writing this, Warren Buffett’s net worth is $101 billion. Of that, $84.2 billion was accumulated after his 50th birthday. $81.5 billion came after he qualified for Social Security, in his mid-60s.
You don't know enough about stock picking. You just "feel" like you know enough.
Don't buy cryptocurrency... yet. Because you don't understand it either. It will feel like you're missing the bull-ride and in comparison with other peers you will feel like an old uncle who is apprehensive of new tech.
But... sometimes it's just easier to avoid stupidity instead of aiming for excellence.
Manage your money in a way that helps you sleep at night. It is different from saying you should earn the highest returns. Generating and maintaining wealth require different strategies.
Sometimes the market will go down and you have every right to freak out because you are losing your hard-earned money. But consider that as a price to pay to be in the market.
Explanations of why the market is going down will always be grim and extremely negative. But, pessimism just sounds smart and more plausible than optimism because we are humans and we have asymmetric aversion to loss.
Progress happens too slowly to notice but setbacks happen too quickly to ignore.
Don't sell just because the market is going down. The first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily.
Don't time the market either. Time in the market is more important than timing the market. Drop of few points will not make you significantly richer if you're in here for the long term.
You're in it for the long term, right? i.e., At least 5-10 years? What?! I can't believe you are already planning to "book" your profits. Don't sell anything unless you absolutely need the money. I repeat, don't sell anything unless you absolutely need the money.
Time is the most powerful force in investing.
Don't think twice about splurging on things that you value. i.e., self development courses, coffee equipments. Actually even better, don't think of them as splurging but as "investments."
And finally, no one is impressed with your possessions as much as you are.