Michael on July 8th, 2008
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Although I am often asked to speak to recent grads, I have never been asked to speak at any graduations. But if I were, I imagine I would deliver something along the lines of this speech.

Today is part 9. To see the entire speech released so far, click here and read from the bottom up.

Rule 8: Maximize Your (Investing) Performance

The performance of your investments and the size of the amounts you save are of critical importance when it comes to achieving your financial goals. And while your financial goals may be fuzzy today, they won’t be for long. Let me give you some insight of your first goal about money, one that will hit you in about one week: The first financial goal of your life will be: You’d like to have more money than you actually have and ideally you’d like to have that money delivered to you before 5PM.

You’ll also have longer-term goals. Would you like to know your first long-term goal? Your first long-term retirement goal will become crystal clear to you by about 11AM on the first day of your first real job. Your first long-term financial goal: You’d like to have enough money to retire. Retire early. Like at age 29.

While I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to retire that young, I can tell you the two most important factors in determining when you will be able to, from a financial perspective, choose whether to go to work in the morning:

The first is how much you save every month.

The second is how you invest the money you save.

The more you save, the more you have working for you (remember rule 1?) The better you invest, the faster your money can grow. That’s why rule number 8, maximize your performance, exists.

[To be continued]

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