From Steve Pierce, Business Contributor.

Investment in the stock market is the best savings plan for creating long-term wealth. The sooner you start the better you’ll do. The secret is: there is no secret. “Time” is the key. Whether you invest a lump-sum or small installments made automatically through a monthly electronic funds transfer-plan (EFT-plan) from your bank account, “the best time to invest” is always right now. The timing of your investment or investment-plan pales in comparison to “the doing” of it in the first place. It rounds-out a wholistic approach to life. It’s optimistic. It’s affirmation of the promise of your good future. It transforms you from renter, customer, or economic victim -to owner, who shares in the good fortune and profitability (or loss) of the companies that you patronize, since stock ownership represents fractional ownership in the companies whose stock trades on the Market. It’s an enlightened level of understanding, because our “economy” is people, like you and me and it’s likely that the population will continue to grow and need things.

What drives production and innovation is demand. “Demand” is what you and I want. “Production” is what’s made, or provided, in order to meet “demand.” Good news is nobody’s keeping you “out.” All you need is $25-$50, or even less to start, and, if you haven’t gotten “in,” now’s the time, because “now” is always the best time to invest. “The best time to invest is when you have the money,” and when didn’t you have $25-$50, or even less? If you want someone to get you in, let me know.

Stock Market investments are at the heart of all things “financial.” They’re what’s in mutual funds -which are the investment-alternatives in 401(k)- and 403(b)-plans, as well in pension plans aimed at financing retirements. They’re what’s in the endowment plans of non-profit organizations. Among the more famous are the University of Michigan- and The Harvard-Endowment plans. Most colleges and universities have endowment plans that depend upon the growth of the stocks that are inside of it. Foundations depend on stock investments as well, in order to finance the financial gifts (aka “grants’) that they make to causes for which they’re established… Foundations, Endowments, and Trusts are just investment accounts financed by donors and governed by legal agreements containing rules for the money’s use.

Without Stock Market investments, we’d be hard-pressed to finance expensive things, like retirements, and all types of insurance claims and keep ahead of inflation. It’s a fact that, in a capitalist economies, prices increase at an accepted average of around 3% per year. This means, every 24 years, more or less, prices double. It’s why your parents or grandparents paid 10 cents for a movie. If you put your money in a bank account that earns less than the inflation rate, it will immediately begin to lose purchasing power and it will fall progressively further behind ever-increasing prices.

So, starting an investment or systematic-, automatic-investment program is the most important ingredient in building your long-term financial security. It gives you a fighting chance. Once invested, it’s critical to have faith in the continued growth of our economy and a dispassionate, long-term perspective when confronted with short-term fluctuations in your investment value. When “the going gets tough,” when the economic outlook is bleak and your investments are not doing well, do nothing. “The best way to not lose money in the Market is to not sell.”

If nothing else, understand that, as our population grows, so will its aggregate demand, the aggregate profit of the corporations dedicated to meeting that demand, and the market value of shares of the publicly-traded stocks in which you can invest either individually or through a mutual fund, as either a lump-sum or as small and automatic monthly-installments. A well-known, broad, thus widely-representative stock market index, the “S&P 500” has averaged about 10% per year for the last 100 years. At that rate, your investment or each of your monthly investments doubles every 7.2 years. It’s a great thing. And, you know, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step (Lau Tzu), and, who would argue with Einstein, who said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” Transform yourself from renter to owner, from payor to earner, from economic victim to victor, simply by investing today.

Steve Pierce has been in the investment industry since he began in New York City in1994. He was born & raised in Ann Arbor, MI, and is an Investment Manager who practice under the auspices of Pierce Financial Ann Arbor (PFA2). He can be reached by voice or text at (734) 975-8750 and is represented by

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