“Be Modest With Money” – Read Typesy’s Exclusive Interview With Jeremy Biberdorf

Categories: Ergonomics |

Jeremy Biberdorf

INTRODUCTION: Financial management isn’t just something that happens on the 20th floor of an expensive downtown office building in Manhattan. You’ve got to keep an eye on your own personal finances in order to make the most of your money, especially if you own and run your own business. Unlike other websites that concentrate on hedge funds, offshore investments, and international commodities markets, Jeremy Biberdorf’s shows you how financial management happens in the “real world” of Main Street instead of Wall Street. We asked him to share some advice.

Typesy: First of all, it’s great that you credited your high school English teacher as a source of inspiration, something that we don’t see very often on a financial website. Who are you looking to for inspiration these days?

Well I think my English teacher would be disappointed in how little content I write on my blog these days.  I have migrated to more of a multi-contributor model where I focus on managing and marketing the blog.  So my inspiration more comes from fellow finance bloggers and my business partners.  Hearing about the success of other online entrepreneurs is very inspiring.  After all, if they can do it, why can’t I?

Typesy: Business news shows focus on big investors and transactions involving millions (if not billions) of dollars, but most people have much smaller amounts to invest in savings accounts and retirement plans. Do the same rules apply, no matter the amount?

No the rules are definitely different.  Those big investors can manage to deal with a massive loss and keep rolling.  Meanwhile most people could not handle such a loss financially or emotionally.  Your risk tolerance certainly factors into how you manage your investments.  That’s not to say we should ignore those big players though.  Their actions can have big impact on the market.  Also some of their reasoning could be applied towards your own investments.

Typesy: We’ve all heard about the keyboarding mistakes that send markets around the world into free-fall regularly. Whether it’s accidentally typing in an extra zero or two or three, or holding down the “sell” key a bit too long, computer error often starts with the person sitting at the computer. How much do people have to worry about their own typing skills when it comes to investing – especially if they want to get into on-line trading?

While we should all double check numbers when making any kind of investing transaction, the risk is not significant.  It’s not as if your brokerage account is going to let you buy more than the cash in your account can cover.  If you did somehow manage to sell more of a stock than you wanted to, it’s a very small hit to turn around and buy more of that stock.  For those people who are extra cautious many brokerages offer broker assisted trading.  If your portfolio is properly diversified any single transaction can’t be very significant.

Typesy: The United States doesn’t have a “gold standard” any more, for all practical purposes, but almost every Sunday newspaper has a full-page ad recommending that people buy gold coins as a sure investment. Is stockpiling your own miniature Fort Knox at home a good strategy, or not?

With any investment you generally don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.  Precious metals are a great addition to any portfolio though.  As their price does not match drops in the stock market they could act as a good insurance policy.  They are more of a long term investment.

Typesy: What’s your top piece of advice for young people who are just starting out in the workforce? Not everyone will be working for employers who offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan, but are there other options that people can put into place on day 1?

I’ve personally never been lucky enough to have any kind of retirement plans at my previous jobs.  So I can definitely relate.  That shouldn’t stop you from investing money for retirement though.  Obviously the earlier the start, the easier it is to save a lot of money. Too often young people procrastinate with the assumption that they can catch up when they are making more money later in life. You never know what the future holds.  With that in mind, they should be getting in the habit of putting aside a set amount of every paycheck.  When it’s a habit they won’t be missing that money.  Ensure that extra cash isn’t just going to a savings account where it can be raided at a moment’s notice.  Instead lock it up in a basic investment such as index funds or mutual funds.  Later as they learn more about investing they can expand to investing in specific stocks or other kinds of investments.

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