|Prince - Courtesy of Microsoft Office|
When I graduated from college, I was in pretty good financial shape. I had around $20,000 in assets and no debts. I appeared to have a bright financial future ahead of me; however, I did not take advantage of my good fortune. By the time I turned 29, I had few assets and had amassed over $30,000 in loans.
Suffice to say I made a number of poor financial decisions during my 20s that turned me from a prince into a pauper. I am now almost 40 years old; however, I am still dealing with the repercussions from these youthful mistakes. I could have avoided a majority of these pitfalls by eschewing risky investments, by spending more time honing my negotiating skills, and by creating a financial game plan.
Undone by Risky Investments
When I was in my 20s, I felt like I would live forever. I assumed that I would have plenty of time to overcome any financial mistakes. Investing for me became a game, and I wanted to hit the jackpot. As such, I put a significant amount of my earnings (and most of my savings) into high risk stocks and questionable business ventures. Worse, I invested in these companies without fully researching them.
I paid a high price for these errors. During my 20s, I lost tens of thousands of dollars due to failed investments.
Hampered by Poor Negotiating Skills
|Pauper - Courtesy of Microsoft Office|
Looking back on my 20s, I regret not spending more time developing my negotiating skills, which were subpar. As a result, I was never able to obtain the best salary, to maximize my return (when there was one) on a business venture, or to get a superb deal on a high priced item. Each time I entered into a negotiation, I would make a key mistake, such as starting the price to high or accepting an offer too soon. I lost a lot of money as a result of these errors.
Stymied by the Lack of a Financial Game Plan
When I look back on my 20s, I most regret not creating a financial game plan. If I had taken the time to carefully plan out my future, I might have eschewed risky investments and put more time into honing my negotiating prowess. I almost certainly would have made better career decisions. For instance, I likely would not have chosen to work for a company that barely paid a living wage when, with a little effort, I could have located better paying jobs.
-- Anthony Hopper