I wanted to highlight several of the points made by earlier commenters. In no particular order,
1. Excel - learn it, it is such a useful tool for everything, especially open-ended explorations of mathematical problems or models. While slow sometimes, it's much friendlier than coding "software" in that you can see everything that seems going on so it's much easier to "debug". In many jobs, this is very useful and an exact answer is often less important than the right intuition reached more quickly.
2. No excuses. There's never been a better time to find the answers to your questions / problems online (here among other places), so if you have an issue, get out there, find some good solution or advice, and follow through.
. That last part is where many fail.
3. Save. Investment success doesn't matter much until you've saved enough to matter. This goes together with living below your means so you can save some of your paycheck, ideally in retirement accounts.
4. Investment skill / discipline. Find a good investment strategy and follow it. The Bogleheads "index, buy and hold" is an easy one, but the hard part is you have the fortitude not to get scared and sell at the bottom during a market crash, and this will be especially hard as a young person who hasn't seen panick in the markets before. Even if you're not able to hold your nose and buy more, at least don't sell everything to cash just because you're down a lot. Having a portfolio with an appropriate risk level makes it much easier to "stay the course". The Bogleheads investment strategy is not the only one out there, but when you start looking for active strategies and outperformance, there is a LOT more work, false leads, expense, and uncertainty.
5. Marry wisely or not at all.
VictoriaF wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:03 am
minimalistmarc wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:55 am
It is 95% luck, 5% skill.
We are all very fortunate people, and it is a mistake to think we got here because we “deserve” it.
Born in most over world locations with the same heart/mind/soul/body it wouldn’t happen.
Never think you are special.
I agree that luck plays an important role. I strongly disagree with the percentages you allocate to luck and skill.
I was born in the USSR where I faced discrimination in education and career. I came to the U.S.A. as a single parent of a new-born girl. I credit my ability to define professional goals and persistence in pursuing them despite many difficulties, distractions, and others' skepticism for achieving professional and financial success.
I do think that I am special.
I wanted to support Victoria's reply in response to several very "lucky" earlier posters. Sure luck may play a role, but so much of our lives is a product of our own making - thousands of financial/health/relationship choices, good or bad, compounded over decades. Compounding early makes such a huge difference in financial outcomes.
More than that, I think such a fatalist / deterministic philosophy that attributes so much to chance is a bad bet along the lines of Pascal's Wager
(about believing in God "just in case"). Believe in your own free will and taking responsibility for your life will likely lead to very good financial outcome IF luck isn't the overriding factor, and if it is, well, your fallback is hoping to be lucky but in that case there's not much you could have done anyway. Might as well try in case it matters.