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Probably no other aspect of personal finance is as crucial as managing to scrape together some personal savings. That’s because, unlike many other fields in which one can enter based on experience or personal connections, finance requires money to play. One cannot participate in the movements of the stock markets, or the slight gyrations of the bond market – except virtually, which isn’t quite the same – unless they’ve got money.
It’s one thing to read the papers, and keep track of a ‘ghost portfolio’, one in which you imagine you’ve got a particular allotment of cash to be divided up amongst asset categories as you best see fit. It’s another thing entirely when your hard earned cash is on the line, as anyone who has put their cash on the line could tell you. That’s why it’s so essential to get some money together to begin making real investments, rather than imaginary ones. You’ll learn so much more when your actual money is on the line. You’ll understand the concept of second guessing oneself much more fully.
More than anything else, putting your money in the stock market or in other investment vehicles will teach you a lot about yourself. You’ll learn where your skills are weak. You’ll also develop an understanding that one action has a direct effect upon another action. It will quickly become apparent that developing a tax strategy is vital. This is not something that’s looked upon unfavorably, as, when one needs to develop their tax strategy, it implies they’ve been making some decent money!