Your Investments: Harry and Meghan, You can achieve financial independence

I am a firm believer that setting goals is imperative to achieve sought-after milestones.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (photo credit: REUTERS)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(photo credit: REUTERS)
If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you’ll be going, “You know, we’re alright. We are dang near royalty.” – Jeff Foxworthy
For many, the big news of the week was US President Donald Trump ordering the drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani. Gloating to the press about the assassination, Trump said: “He’s no longer a monster, he’s dead.” The geopolitical implications of the hit have been discussed ad nauseam in the media, and many are on edge waiting for more Iranian retaliation.
Okay, so the world may be heading to a major war. Regardless, the really big news of the week was the announcement that shook the world was when Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, declared: “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
In their quest for final independence, I’d like to help them out with a few tips that are sure to help. Now before I get started, it’s important to note that their definition of financial independence may be different than those who are reading this column. The happy couple may not be starting off with student or car loans, and they have a bit of a head start over most with a few bucks in the bank.
Lianne Kolirin writes on “Media reports have suggested that Meghan was independently worth around $5 million prior to marrying Harry... Besides his income from the Duchy of Cornwall, Harry inherited several million from the Queen Mother, and a few million more was left to him in trust by his late mother, Princess Diana. His personal wealth is estimated to be around $40 million.”
It won’t be easy with at least $45m. in the bank. But you have to do whatever it takes to increase your income. Maybe the prince could start off like many successful people did and get at job flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.
It’s as if the royal couple read an article of mine from a couple of years ago. I wrote: “It’s incumbent on each and every one of us to take care of our own future. As the government continues its prohibitive tax policies and attempts to redistribute wealth, it’s clear that you can’t rely on the government for your financial independence. You need to take care of your own financial future. It may feel like you are swimming against the tide, but you have no choice. No one else will do it for you.”
It’s tough, but you can do it. Here are three tips that can help you become financially independent.
Set goals
I am a firm believer that setting goals is imperative to achieve sought-after milestones. If you want to effectively lose weight, you set a goal of how much you want to lose. If you say to yourself that you want to just lose weight, without any goal of how much, you will end up gaining weight!
Set a realistic date for when you’d like to be financially independent. As a guide for how much money you will need in the future, I tell clients they need about 20 years’ worth of this year’s expenses to make it. For example, if you spend $40,000 a year, you will need $800,000. For the prince and duchess, $40,000 a year may not be quite enough. That’s what I am thinking.
You need to make investing a priority. Make a habit of paying yourself first every month. Whether you invest in real estate or the stock market, focus on a slow and steady approach to building wealth. While it’s quite tempting to try and find a home-run stock that will make you an instant fortune, far more often than not, investors end up striking out. When it comes to building assets, slow and steady rules the day.
Don’t wait
Individuals often wait to begin investing because they think their accounts are too small. Don’t think that the nearly $50m. in your net worth is too small. Just get started. There are a few (uh hum) financial professionals out there who will be happy to service your “small” portfolio. The sooner you start, the sooner you will become financially secure. It’s that simple.
I am so happy for you both. Just follow these tips and you can take control of your financial future.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group or its affiliates.
Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel and helps people who open investment accounts in the US.