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What is the single most effective piece of financial advice you have ever received?

Realize the magic of compounding interest and put that realization into practice. Start investing early and regularly. Be consistent. At the beginning of each month, put aside a sum of money and invest it. Go for low-cost index funds. Arrange for the sum to be transferred automatically. Then forget about it. In 40 years, you will have a large sum of money stashed away.

Well, I can say that the most effective financial lesson that I ever learned is "know the difference between wants and needs".

I can say this is what most novice level of mistake that one can make. And the funny thing is most of us are not putting much thought before spending. There are some items that may seem necessary at that time but after you bought it you feel like you have made a mistake. So before making any purchase just have a debate with yourself. Know the answer whether it is something that you want or something that you need.

Take an example of the treadmill that my friend bought recently he spent 11000INR on that high-end piece of machine. When, I asked him why? I responded with "I need this, I barely do any exercise" and the funny thing is he has a big soccer field size park at a walk of 5mins from home where he can do the exercise. That is not the funny part, The funniest of all is he could have bought a hanger for hanging his clothes dry, for those clothes are now on the treadmill.

I am not criticising anyone here. But we all make the decision of buying stuff without much thought. Most of us are driven by what we want, That we often forget to ask ourselves "Do we need it?"

I was advised with just a quote which says "Let the man who spends his money lavishly be ready to borrow money from other people".

This means you should always have investments and be mindful of your ways or manners of spending. Always buy what you need and don't forget to invest!!!
Not just one a number of useful tips I have heard from my group of business men friends. 1.)You don't withdraw money from Banks you always deposit. You spend only the liquid cash you have. Bank A/c's are for deposits not withdrawals. 2.)If you are running a business you must understand the difference between Gross Receipts and Net Profit.Your Gross Receipts may be 100$ but your net profit may not be more than 8$. So all your expenditure must be within 5$. 3.)If you are making much more than you can spend always invest the extra money into an asset that grows like Gold,Land etc. If you hold on to liquid cash it will eventually be spent and you may not even realise how much you have actually spent. 4.)If you invest in speculative business i.e. Stocks or Crypto you don't count that as an asset. You write off that amount from your wealth. 5.)Keep your personal expenditure at a minimum unless you are a Billionaire. 6.)A single house or Home is not investment if your business needs capital don't think of buying a home. 7.)Sometimes you trade even though you are not making any profit just to stay or survive the time. Rotation of Capital is important to cut off losses. 8.)Don't make a habit of borrowing money from Banks or Relatives. 9.) Any business that does not return your investment in 3-4 years is not worth investing in.
I have received quite a few financial advice, but these ones stand out

1. Spend less than you make. Most of what you make isn't yours to spend, but is to be ployed back into your business.

2. Divide every money you make into three: one part goes back into your business, one into your savings, and the last to you.

3. Money should work for you, and not the other way round.

"Never catch a falling knife"!

Means you should never ever buy more of an asset just because it has dipped. Of course it could work out well, but it may as well be that you end up just having more of it and it still is down. By doing so, you just gamble that the price will go up again, but gambling is not investing.