I’m sure that all of TWJ readers have checked out the popular post from Ron on 12 lessons he wishes he knew at 22. Today I wanted to write my own reflective post. It’s going to be a bit different though. I turned 22 last year. Admittedly, there are MANY things I learned at 22 that I wish I learned only one year ago. Outlined below are a few things I wish I knew only one year ago.
1. Phantom mortgage.
When you buy a new property (usually a condo) there will be a period where you live in the unit but you don’t technically own the unit. In essence, you’re leasing the unit from the contractor. This is not so bad if you purchased the unit for the location. It becomes absolutely horrible when you’re a real estate investor. You usually can’t put a tenant in the unit. Therefore, you’re stuck paying fees for a while (there is no set time limit for a “phantom mortgage”). I wish I knew this one year ago. I hope that all of you potential young real estate investors take a lesson from this. What’s the lesson? Have lots of money saved if you want to do anything related to real estate!
Just talk to people! I wish I read Never Eat Alone much earlier than I did. You need to learn how to network ASAP. The bright side is that networking is much easier than everyone makes it up to be. In fact, I can boil it down to a few key principles:
- Everyone loves talking about themselves. So if you ask someone why they’re so successful, it’s highly likely that you’ll get them talking.
- Show genuine interest. Call everyone their birthday. Ask questions. Offer to help. Offer to connect friends. Do anything you can to be a helpful person and people will respect you for it.
- Remember that you have nothing to lose. Saying “hey, what’s up?” to someone is not the end of the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s the CEO of a well established corporation or the prettiest girl in the bar. You never have anything to lose.
3. Driving is so expensive.
Gas prices suck, but you can bite the bullet, it’s not that bad, right? Wrong. Factor in gas prices, insurance, tickets (you will get them), car maintenance, etc. and driving becomes VERY expensive. I do understand that driving can save you hours a day and that some people live deep in suburbia. For those of you that live in a major city, with a half-efficient transportation system, please consider this option instead of driving right away.
4. Don’t be so greedy, just sell.
If any of your investments increase in worth and you’re happy with the return, just sell. Don’t hold on expecting to quadruple your money. One of the companies that I own shares in doubled within a few months. Awesome! I sold the stock and went to a 5-star resort in the Bahamas– or not. I wish I could tell you that I sold the stock and enjoyed the profits. Instead I held on, out of sheer greed, and my investment is back to square one. No profit, no loss. What a waste of time, stress, and risk. Trading stocks is very risky. Set upper and lower limits, and follow them religiously.
5. Everything CAN and WILL Change.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the classic quote– “There’s only two guarantees in life: taxes and death.” This is 100% true. Nothing is guaranteed in life. If you’re earning lots of money, this could turn around and you could be unemployed. If you’re unemployed, you’re only one job offer away from earning more money than you ever have in your life. My best advice in this field would be to never get too comfortable with any situation because you never know when you’re going to have to switch things up.
I hope that all of the young readers of The Wisdom Journal learned a thing or two from this article. What else do you guys wish you knew in your early 20s?