Want more wealth in 2015? Most of us do, but we’re not sure how to get there. To help us figure it out, the finance site GOBankingRates compiled one piece of advice from 11 top financial wizards for the coming year, and invited readers to vote for the best. If there’s a consensus among the experts, it seems to be this: Invest in yourself and your own smarts; be conservative everywhere else.
That makes a lot of sense. This is the age of the entrepreneur, but with continuing economic uncertainty this isn’t really the time to splurge. You can see the full list of expert tips (and vote for your own favorite) here. Meantime, here’s a look at the high-profile experts’ advice:
1. Keep it simple.
The best places to invest are in the things you know best, according to legendary investor Warren Buffett. “If you don’t invest in things you know, you’re just gambling,” he told CNBC. It’s one reason he’s never invested in the tech sector, for example.
In his 2014 shareholders letter, he explained more fully: “You don’t need to be an expert in order to achieve satisfactory investment returns. But if you aren’t, you must recognize your limitations and follow a course certain to work reasonably well. Keep things simple and don’t swing for the fences.”
And don’t be misled by lofty promises, he added. “When promised quick profits, respond with a quick ‘no.'”
2. Get back to basics.
Many people want to improve their financial outlook but aren’t sure how to go about it, according to Jeanette Pavini, two-time Emmy-winning consumer reporter. Many of her viewers write and tell her that they’re overwhelmed by the numerous options and resources out there. “They feel as if they are never going to dig out of the hole, so they become discouraged and simply give up.”
Don’t let this happen to you. Improving your finances isn’t rocket science, Pavini says. It begins with understanding exactly where your money is going, writing it down, keeping track, and looking for opportunities to cut costs. “Learn what areas in your budget you actually have control over,” she says. “Have a plan and keep it simple.” And don’t be fooled into thinking only major changes make a difference, she adds. “No savings is too small. They all add up.”