Picture this: There are two groups of people who are in their golden years. The first group enjoys a lavish lifestyle because they invested early, while the other one is barely scraping by since they had no investment at all. What is their difference? Investment.

Before you even think of investing, have you asked yourself if this is the right time to start investing?

Some people will tell you, "It does not make sense to invest," "Investing is for the rich people only," and "Why invest? Your pension will take care of you when you retire." First and foremost, it is sensible to invest, unless you do not want to be financially secured. Second, investing can be done by everyone as long as they have patience, perseverance, discipline, and capital. And lastly, it is not advisable to depend on pension because the money you will get from that won’t take care of your lifestyle when you retire.

Therefore, if you delay investing for say, five years, you will not miss the first five years of your investment value, but rather its last five years. Moreover, you will not fully experience the power of compounding or the asset’s capacity to generate earnings from past earnings. In order to obtain its full value, one must begin early.

Besides, where should a person get the money to invest, especially if he is still earning money at his young age? He must be spending less than he earns. That’s the only way to jump-start investing. It is way better to pull in your belt when you still have several choices than when you no longer have a choice later on.

How to start investing? Be guided with this principle, "Pay yourself first." Meaning one needs to allocate an amount to be invested before paying anything else. Below are some ways to do that:

  • If you have a job with a matching 401(k) or the same retirement plan and the employer offers to match a particular portion of your contributions, start by giving the maximum amount the employer will match. Take advantage of the "free money" because it will double the growth of your investment. Passing up the free money will end up costing you a substantial amount of money over the years of investing.
  • But if you do not have an employer matching plan, you may want to consider opening an IRA. Although most accounts have a modest starting balance, most online brokerages offer these for free. If the employer offers online deposits for your paycheck, they will normally pay the amount you set aside directly into your retirement account.
  • Open a savings account and deposit all the unexpected monies you have earned or received. Plain and simple. You will be amazed at the amount of money you get from these. One more thing: Once you begin searching for breadcrumbs or little bonuses, they increase.

Be consistent. That is the key to a successful investing. Of course, you will experience failure along the way. Nevertheless, be consistent. Even veteran investor Warren Buffett confessed the secret to his success is he mastered the art of doing nothing, which refers to doing simple things and being tenacious. Let also compounding do its job. Even though you start with small investments, it will grow to a significant amount if you give it some time and stay on the course.

So, when is the best time to start investing? Start early. Start now as soon as you have your first job. Remember that investing is not a rocket science. And it is worthy to pay yourself first each month.