I was at a party outside Washington, DC, last weekend, and it only occurs to me now, I was one of just three natural born US citizens. There were South Americans, Russians, Ukrainians, Koreans, and more. Everyone had an American story.
The Land of Opportunity – You Can Make it Happen
I spoke with a 20-something Ukrainian who came here when he was 17. He was the son of a single mother, and she was frequently traveling for her work and they had little means. At 17 he had two jobs: delivering pizza and delivering Chinese food – both by bike. He was struggling, but earning money and saving.
Saving then Spending
He saved for community college and paid the tuition before taking a class. He saved for the University of Maryland and paid class-by-class. He attained a degree in a profession in demand. He saved for a home that he bought in a short-sale (here he did have a mortgage). He sold that first home and bought another fixer-upper.
Accumulating for Retirement
We were talking about stocks. He had lost an investment of a $1,000 after buying penny stocks. We talked about how owning a diversified portfolio with an appropriate asset allocation can help reduce risk*. Big risks in investments really aren’t prudent. Careful investing can help you work toward long term security.
Grateful for Opportunity
We live in a nation where you can get an education, you can work hard, and hopefully you can save. I feel grateful for the reminder of how perseverance and hard work are at the heart of a financial plan.
A Financial Planner
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*Asset allocation and diversification are risk management strategies designed to reduce risk but do not guarantee a profit or protect you from loss.