by Kimberly Rotter | Updated Aug. 13, 2021 - First published on July 25, 2021
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The money moves that made Bezos rich look a lot like the moves anyone can make to create their own financial security.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos didn't become the world's richest man by accident. He may have had a lot of help along the way, but more importantly, Bezos gained his wealth by making smart money moves.
You don't have to be the world's richest person to be successful. But thinking like Bezos could help you achieve a number of goals, including:
We can't promise you'll become the next tech billionaire, but following some of Bezos' guiding principles can help you achieve a nice level of financial security over time.
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When's the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago.
When's the second best time? Now.
The same principle applies to improving your financial health.
When Jeff Bezos quit his day job to start Amazon, he did it because he knew he wanted to avoid regrets. He imagined himself at age 80, looking back on his life. Even though he knew he might try things and fail, he knew he would never regret making the attempt. On the other hand, if he were too afraid to try, he felt sure he would look back and regret giving in to his fear.
How you can do it:
Start focusing on your goals now so you can minimize any future regret. If you want to get out from under the burden of credit card debt, ask yourself what you can do today to start making that dream happen. Even if all do is make a plan, now is the time to get started.
It's true that the potential payoff is bigger if you start younger. But there never comes a time when it's too late to live a smarter financial life.
Jeff Bezos was working at a Wall Street hedge fund firm when he had the idea to start an online bookstore. He knew that in order to launch and scale a successful business, he needed to give it his all.
The trouble was, the people around him didn't think it was such a good idea to quit his job and focus on his dreams. His boss advised against it. Even his mom asked if he could limit his entrepreneurial adventures to evenings and weekends.
Bezos -- a true entrepreneur -- disagreed. He knew he was taking a big risk, but it was one worth fighting for. And his parents must have agreed. When he quit his job, he didn't just put his own money into building Amazon; he also used most of his parents' life savings.
How you can do it:
You don't have to give up everything or drain your parents' bank account to take a chance in something you believe in. If you feel passionate about investing for your future, use whatever resources are available to you, no matter the amount.
If you believe cryptocurrency is a good investment but have been too intimidated to take a chance, you may be regretting that decision. Bitcoin has risen in value to more than $63,000. Those who weren't afraid to take a chance are clearly coming out ahead right now.
If digital currency is too risky for you, try a safer investment strategy. Stick with traditional and time-tested investments. These can include:
You can also invest in a managed fund and let the pros handle the details. And as your confidence grows, review your accounts and allocate your investments in a proportion that matches your risk tolerance.
In any case, an investor's best friend is time. Time gives you the chance to recover from losses if one of your investments doesn't work out.
Jeff Bezos has never been afraid to invent, experiment, and try new things. At the time, Amazon Prime was a radical idea. Many people inside and outside the company believed that unlimited free 2-day shipping for a $79 membership fee (later $99, and today $119) would bankrupt Amazon. Instead, it has helped to make Amazon the internet giant it is today. And although Amazon does lose money on shipping, Bezos does this intentionally. He wants loyal Amazon customers, and what better way to make that happen than to make things free?
How you can do it:
Believe in yourself. To achieve your goals, don't be afraid to try new ideas.
If you're having trouble getting out of debt, think outside the box. Try using a budgeting app. A big benefit of these apps is that they can help you see and track where your money goes. They can provide reminders about spending limits, when payments are due, and when you may be overspending. These features could empower you to make better financial decisions. That's a huge step toward making changes.
When it comes to investing, if you want more bang for your buck and haven't yet tried using a robo-advisor, maybe now is the time. Robo-advisors are an affordable alternative to hiring a professional financial advisor. The best robo-advisors have low fees and low deposit requirements, will automatically reallocate your investments according to your risk tolerance, and offer human support when needed.
Since the company's inception, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has continued to invest in growth. He has purchased companies that he thought would complement Amazon's services and offerings, like Zappos and Whole Foods. Bezos also invests heavily in technologies that he hopes will ultimately benefit all of mankind. He funds a space exploration company called Blue Origin and an organization called the Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change.
How you can do it:
Invest in yourself and the things that are most important to you. If getting out of debt is your priority, invest any extra dollars you have in that goal.
One great choice you can make to invest in yourself is to build up your emergency fund. Having money set aside for unexpected situations can help protect you from going into debt or having to make poor financial decisions. To help build up an emergency fund, use a budgeting app that will automatically round up your purchases to the next dollar. That way, you can put that spare change into your savings. The following apps are just a few that allow you to round up your purchases:
And to help you maximize your retirement, set up an automatic contribution to your retirement savings. Contribute at least as much as is required to get the full company match if your employer offers one. Also, when you get a raise or bonus, put as much of it as possible toward savings. Don't start spending more money just because you have more coming in.
You don't need Bezos' fortune to be intentional and purposeful about how you choose to use your money. By following the principles that helped make him successful, you'll not only build your financial knowledge, but you'll also find ways to invest in yourself and your goals.
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