There’re lots of ways to invest. There’s value in the easiest and simplest. Put your money in an S&P 500 fund with the lowest maintenance cost and leave it alone. The stock market will go up and down. Ignore the rollercoaster ride and over time you’ll come out ahead.
Don’t believe me, Warren Buffet says that’s what he’s doing with 90% of the money he’s leaving his wife.
Some “early retirement” websites tout this investment strategy. I like jlcollins, Mr. Money Mustache, or Early Retirement Extreme. Before they get to investing though, they devote a lot of ink to the preliminary stuff, like getting out of debt, reducing your expenses, and saving more of your money. Kant said, “We’re enriched not by what we possess, but by what we can do without.”
Most people don’t like working for someone else and they’d like to pursue their own agenda, so getting your finances in order means your livelihood will no longer depend on the demands of possibly irrational people. Unfortunately, most people have taken on debt, continue buying things they don’t really need, and save very little. That’s why all that has to be addressed first
Ultimately, happiness is the underlying sense of well-being you wish will continue indefinitely. High status and high income probably aren’t what you need for a happier life. If you think that’s true, why end up trading your precious time for things that deliver little value to you. Unless you want those things. Some people, successful or not, never label what they go through as bad, simply taking it as a given.
Circling back to investing, You’ll contribute to your happiness by not having to worry much about what your money is up to. The most basic formula requires:
figuring out what your yearly expenses are,
saving at least 25 times that amount,
all the while investing your savings in a low-cost S&P 500 index,
and then you can withdraw 4% every year for the rest of your life.
That’s the endgame in a nutshell.