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Ramit Sethi: Financial Expert Profile

Ramit Sethi built himself up from humble beginnings to become a millionaire entrepreneur and best-selling author. The advice on his blog isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s his approach that sets him apart. He doesn’t hold back and tries to tell people what they actually need to hear in order to be successful. If other financial experts haven’t been helping you, Sethi might just be your guy.

Top Financial Advice From Ramit Sethi

A pillar of Sethi’s philosophy is to automate your finances. Automate your credit card payments so that you never have to worry about late payments. Automate your investing so that you don’t have to think about moving money into your 401(k). If you automate everything, you can use your valuable brain power and energy on other things that matter to you.

After automation, you can boil Sethi’s advice down to four big pieces of advice: start investing as soon as you can, save money for the future, cut costs on the things you don’t care about and maintain good credit. Sethi believes that doing these four things will put you ahead of 99% of other people.

When it comes to investing, Sethi recommends starting as young as you can. Even if you don’t have a lot to invest, you can build significant wealth simply by starting young. A good way to invest is with a diverse portfolio of low-cost ETFs. It’s OK to invest in individual stocks, but that’s more difficult for a beginner investor. The thing you don’t want to do is invest thousands of dollars and lose a lot of money like Sethi did when he was starting out.

Investing shouldn’t be your only goal. You should also save for your future. Create an emergency fund to protect yourself. Start putting away money for big events in your future like a wedding, the down payment on a house or a vacation. Not saving enough? Look for a side hustle. Yes, it’s more work but the way to save more is to make more.

You can also help yourself by cutting costs on things you don’t care about. Sethi doesn’t believe frugality is the answer to saving. People who focus all their energy on saving a few pennies are missing the big picture. It’s fine to spend money on the things you care about, but you should avoid spending money on things you don’t care about. Check your bills and find the places you’re spending money that you don’t want to be spending. Do you subscribe to a magazine even though you don’t read it anymore? Do you actually use all the phone data you pay for each month? Are you spending $100 each week to go out drinking with friends even though you don’t enjoy it? Ultimately, the goal is to know what you spend your money on. Then you can choose to spend it on the things you care about.

Another way to save money in the long run is by maintaining a good credit score. Always pay your bills in full and stop carrying balances. If you have credit card debt, you might be able to save money with a 0% balance transfer. But don’t just spend your whole life transferring balances without actually paying off the balances. You should also make your credit cards work for you. Pick a credit card that rewards you for the things you buy.

A Brief Bio of Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi: Financial Expert Profile

Ramit Sethi was born in 1982. His parents were Indian immigrants and he grew up as a quiet kid – much different from his current brash and over-the-top persona. When college came around, he got into Stanford. The only snag was that his parents couldn’t afford the tuition. Sethi wasn’t deterred. He would pay his own way.

Sethi says that he created an organizational system that allowed him to easily apply for 60 scholarships. His initial results weren’t great so he studied what was going wrong and made improvements. For example, he recorded himself practicing interviews and realized that he wasn’t smiling enough. He started walking into his interviews with a smile on his face. And his hard work paid off. Sethi won over $200,000 in scholarships.

He didn’t know much about money though. He learned a valuable lesson when he invested one of his first scholarships (a $2,000 cash award) into a single stock and lost half of his money. That’s when he decided to learn how money really worked. He read every book he could get his hands on and found some startling themes. To him, a lot of the advice from experts just wasn’t practical. The experts were all preaching advice that no one was actually following.

Sethi combined his study of psychology with his new money knowledge to create a blog that taught the money lessons he thought people actually needed. The blog, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, was a success and led to a book by the same name. He also created a series of online courses to help people with money issues.

Financial Focus and Philosophy

Ramit Sethi offers simple advice that, quite honestly, you will also hear from other financial experts. What separates Sethi from others is his approach. When he started his blog, he focused on education. He thought, for example, that people weren’t budgeting because they didn’t know how. This is what most financial experts do. What Sethi found was that many people knew about things like budget. They just didn’t do it. So he shifted his focus from educating to understanding the fundamental reasons why people handled their money the way they did.

Instead of sweeping changes to your life, he proposes small changes that will help you improve in the important areas. Sethi is known for his directness. He tries not to pander to his readers by telling them simply to believe that they can do anything they set their mind to. Instead, he shares his honest opinions while mixing in goofiness and jokes. His frank yet over-the-top approach has made him particularly popular with Gen Y readers.

Where You Can Find Ramit Sethi

You can find Sethi’s advice on the blog that started it all, I Will Teach You to Be Rich. There you can also find more about Sethi, his online courses and all his other projects. You can also read his book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”

Ramit Sethi’s YouTube channel includes educational videos and interviews with experts and successful people. It’s a good pace to start if you’re new to finance. You can also find him on Twitter at @ramit.

Current Projects

Nearly all of the content on Sethi’s website is free. He funds his blog almost entirely through his series on online courses. These courses cover things like boosting your productivity, improving your body language and finding your dream job. They sometimes cost over $1,000 but they are very popular and fill up almost instantly.

In 2015, Ramit Sethi launched GrowthLab. It is an online marketing resource that helps people to start and grow their online businesses. Like Sethi’s blog, most GrowthLab content is free and funding comes from online courses.

The Takeaway

Ramit Sethi: Financial Expert Profile

Ramit Sethi has gained a large audience overt the past decade with his blog and online courses. Gen Y readers particularly appreciate the way he mixes honest and sometimes antagonistic advice with goofiness and fun. Sethi doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear and he isn’t afraid to hurt peoples’ feelings. This approach is what separates him from many other personal finance experts. You should consider looking through Sethi’s blog if you have tried to improve your financial situation but still feel like you’re just treading water.

Tips to Help You Follow Ramit Sethi’s Advice

  • Ramit Sethi advises people to start investing early. One excuse that people for not investing is that they don’t have a lot of money to invest. Not a problem! Even if you only have $25, there are ways for you to get started. For example, $25 in a certificate of deposit will earn you more interest than you’d get from a savings account.
  • If you’re ready to start investing but you’re not sure where to start, consider turning to a financial advisor for advice. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can help you find an advisor who suits your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your financial situation and goals. Then the program will pair you with up to three advisors in your area based on your answers. You can then read the advisors’ profiles and interview them to choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.
  • A good credit score can help you a lot in the long run. It will increase your chances to get loans. It will help you qualify for credit cards that offer more rewards. A high credit score can also help with things like getting that dream home. There are simple things you can do to raise your credit score. For example, paying your bills in full each month will go a long way. Here are some other financial habits that can improve your credit score. If don’t have the best credit history, you can work to improve it. Make it a priority to improve your credit score and try to get just a little bit better every day, week, month and year.

First image courtesy of I Will Teach You to be Rich, Second and third images from IWillTeachYoutobeRich.com

Derek Silva, CEPF® Derek Silva is determined to make personal finance accessible to everyone. He writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, serving as a retirement and credit card expert. Derek is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®). He has a degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has spent time as an English language teacher in the Portuguese autonomous region of the Azores. The message Derek hopes people take away from his writing is, “Don’t forget that money is just a tool to help you reach your goals and live the lifestyle you want.”
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