Dear Financial Voice Reader,

Tuesday 19th May 2020 15:30 EDT

Did you know if you have £10,000, and it compounds through investments at 20% (the rolling best 20 years in the US markets product 17% pa) and you add £500 per month, then in 15 years (time flies), you will have over half a million pounds?

Why isn’t everybody rich then?

Lazy – people have the money but don’t get around to it

Spenders - £10k – let’s blow it on a holiday than invest is the attitude of many

Ignorant – no one told them how to buy a stock

Buy British – they buy UK companies – whereas, as I wrote in my first ever FT column – US ones have rarely underperformed the UK markets

Excuses – catch all excuses I can’t even begin to imagine

£10k is a lot – true. Fair enough

Trust experts – they pay someone to buy Microsoft, Amazon, PayPal, Netflix for them – who charges them 10% over 5 years in fees typically. And that’s the cheap end

Confidence – they’re afraid to go online and buy £100 of a stock – fair enough

I sympathize with some of the above more than others. I also get that saving is boring. At times like the crisis now of course we wish we started a long time ago. As the old saying goes, you are sitting in the shade today because a long time ago someone planted a tree.

I have written in my books on getting children interested. There are few greater satisfactions than a nest egg from someone else working for you – which is what happens when you own shares. Of course on Facebook there are the Marxists who say if you have money to invest you should give it to the poor. And they are right – if you’re a Marxist.

The most patriotic thing you can do in the UK in investments is to have foreigners paying you rent. Helps the UK balance of payments too. So buy some shares in say Apple and those clever people will work night and day to earn you a living. That’s what Marx hated – that capital gets rent and the poor millionaire tech entrepreneur gets a mere salary.

Well, if you can’t beat them – join them. The US S&P 500 of the major 500 US companies rose 75% of the last 100 years. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out you’re onto a winning thing. One third of the time ie 35 years it rose more than 20% in a year.

We Indians like our money working for us. I think of investments as a second business. Get your kids investing with just £500. It at least gets them thinking about the world, how hard money is to earn in a salary and in business!

By Alpesh B Patel

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