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Today, people like you and I, are demanding more from our investment portfolios. It’s not enough to just make a return on our investments. We want purpose-driven retirement accounts that offer great returns while investing in sustainable companies.
I am a huge advocate of the Roth IRA because of its huge upsides. To learn more about the difference between a Roth and a regular IRA you can read my prior article called “ Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire! “ and”Tax-Free Money: The Secret of Buying Gold Inside of a Roth IRA”.
One of the biggest benefits of having a Roth IRA is that there is no RDM (required minimum draw). So what is an RMD you ask?
Let’s fast-forward to your 70th birthday. Six months after you blow out the birthday candles on your cake, you’ll be subject to a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRA.
Remember, Uncle Sam allowed you to take a tax deduction for all those years when you were funding your traditional IRA account. Now, he wants his cut. The IRS is still waiting to tax all that money it has left alone for so long.
Benefits of Having a Roth IRA:
Taking an RMD is not a big deal if you’re already retired at age 70½ and are living off your retirement savings.
But if you’re a financially flush member of the silver-haired set who doesn’t necessarily need to withdraw funds from their IRA, the requirement is less appealing. Especially if your income bracket is high from your other streams of income.
If you have a traditional IRA, there is a 50% penalty on the amount that you should have withdrawn, if the RMD is not taken.
Traditional IRA’s aren’t the only accounts that have the RMD provision. Other accounts subject to an RMD are 401(k) plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
Another benefit of having a Roth IRA is that the IRS provides for an automatic spousal rollover if the spouse is the sole beneficiary. That means the surviving spouse automatically becomes the new owner of the Roth IRA upon the death of the original owner.
Saving is the Core of Investing:
Remember “The rule of 184”.
If you save $100 a month and invest that hundred dollars at 8%, then in 10 years you’ll have $18,444.
Which means that the opportunity cost of every $100 spent per month is $18,444 in 10 years.
You can apply this to any $100 increment, like cable, shopping, dinners, etc. This is similar to the $5 a day rule that I talk about in prior blogs.
Remember, you should run your personal finances like it were a business. Just like a business, you have income and expenses.
When you are itemizing your monthly bills, ask yourself is it really worth it?
What if you put $100 per month in an ETF that invests in sustainable companies? You would be supporting sustainable companies by allowing them to produce healthier and better products.
Capital allows sustainable companies to invest in research and development which leads to newer/better materials and products.
“How the Economic Machine Works” by Ray Dalio
Ever wonder why we have economic boom and bust cycles? Well, Ray Dalio does a fantastic job of explaining how the economic machine works.
Ray Dalio is the founder, co-Chief Investment Officer and co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates. In 2012, Time Magazine named him “One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World”. Bridgewater Associates is a global macro investment firm that is currently the world’s largest hedge fund.
Ray is an active philanthropist with an interest in oceanographic research and conservation. He is a participant in The Giving Pledge (a commitment to give more than half of his wealth to charity). Ray created a fantastic short film which explains why we have business cycles.
In my Increase Your Financial IQ Course I break down his investment portfolio so that you too can use his strategy. For now, let’s watch an awesome 30-minute video that will help explain how the economic machine works.
You can read Ray’s most recent economic update article here.
To get Ray Dalio’s “All Season’s” stock portfolio diversification percentage numbers, read Stocks: A Diversified Portfolio.
How to Invest in Sustainable Companies:
Recent reports show that socially responsible ETFs now have over $10.63 billion assets under management. The size and power of these funds prove that ESG investing cannot be overlooked. With an incredibly low average expense ratio of 0.42%, sustainable ETFs are becoming hard to ignore.
The largest socially responsible ETF is the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF DSI, which has around $1.38 billion in assets.
In the last trailing year, the best performing socially responsible ETF was the LRGE fund which reigned in a whopping 20.23%.
ETFs are the way to go, due to their incredibly low cost. According to Nerdwallet.com, a 1% fee could cost $590,000 in retirement savings over 40 years.
So now that we have covered how you can make money by investing in sustainable companies, let’s talk about how you can save money by being green at home.
How to Save Money by Going Green:
Here are a few easy actionable steps that can help you save money by going green:
- Run your appliances at night…Energy rates are usually higher during the day, so run your dishwasher and washing machine before you head to bed.
- Typically you spend less per unit when you buy things in bulk, and it helps reduce the amount of packaging you use per item.
- Freezers with top opening doors release less cold air that ones with doors that open outwards.
- Remember to stock up when an item is on sale! I buy non-perishable items in bulk (careful not to purchase perishable items in bulk unless you have space in your freezer).
- Warning: Don’t be fooled by buying too much of a perishable item unless you can freeze it.
Saving the environment and preventing climate change is the most important issue we face today. This challenge impacts every individual on this planet, regardless of social economic status or physical location.
I find it odd that schools don’t teach children about sustainability or how to manage their finances. These two topics impact everyone, yet we don’t teach our student about personal finance and sustainable living.
Meaning that people grow up and go out into the world without the proper preparation to handle their finances or what it means to live in harmony with the planet.
It’s no wonder why so many people are in debt or live month to month. Every person on this planet is impacted by the monetary system, and everyone has a financial report card so why isn’t it part of the mandatory school curriculum?
My goal is to help as many people as possible make smarter financial decisions and live a more sustainable lifestyle!
This is the main reason why I created the Increase Your Financial IQ Course.
The Increase Your Financial IQ Course:
I teach the course as if I were talking to a friend. You, most likely, are busy with a million things… So I give it to you straight and try to get to the important points as quickly as possible.
Does this course contain EVERYTHING I know about finance? Heck no!
It goes over the critical things you need to know to build a stable platform that will give you confidence in your future.
I talk about personal finance from a holistic point of view. Many authors only talk about one or two subjects, but I cover the topics that I would go over if I were trying to teach a friend how to set themselves up for a secure future.
What the Course Covers:
The first course that I will be releasing (soon) is called the “Increase Your Financial IQ Course”. It will cover the following topics:
- Starting small by having $1,000 in savings
- Budgeting (The 50%, 30%, 20% rule)
- 5 methods of debt payment
- Managing your credit
- Roth/Regular IRA’s and 401k’s
- How to create a diversified stock portfolio (ETFs)
- A macro view of the economy (the Federal Reserve)
- Purchasing your first home (the process, down payment assistance plans, PMI, etc.)
- How to save for your children’s college fund (529 plan, Education IRA, UTMA/UGMA)
- Long term care insurance
Like what you see? Stay a while!
- How to Invest in Socially Responsible Companies while Timing the Market
- Financial Planning: Tax-Free Benefits from a Life Insurance Policy
- 8 Ways to Save for a Down Payment on a Home and a Roth IRA
- Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!
If you have learned anything new, please remember to share so that I can continue to provide you with more free content!
Feedback is always welcome, so feel free to comment below!
Latest posts by Lynzee Lai (see all)
- How to Create a Sustainable Circular Economy - March 24, 2020
- How Big Investors are Coming Together to Create a More Sustainable Planet - March 20, 2020
- Saving for Retirement by Investing in Sustainable Companies - May 6, 2019