The Saver

Getting on the path to financial peace

Profile Overview

This is a beginner investor between 20-48 years old with a net worth between $0 and 999K. This person has above average income with goals of becoming financially independent. They have begun to read books and articles on personal finance and may have attended a seminar or met with a financial planner. Most of these savers have a mortgage, car debt, and possibly some student loan payments. Their job offers a 401K/403B, and they are contributing at least enough to capture the company match. The rest is going to debt and living expenses. The level 1 saver has a rough budget and uses or to track accounts and net worth.

“In order to be financially independent, you must get into a high paying profession or own a business. Most people will never jump from a saver to an aggressive investor due to consumption habits, low income, and small thinking. Level one activity is more like modest savings, not true investing.”

Suggested Plan

  1. Fund an emergency fund with 3-6 months using an online bank
  2. Use the Debt snowball to knock out all debt outside of your low-interest mortgage
  3. Contribute to your 401K/ HSA accounts- capture at least the company match while you are paying off debt.
  4. Do not start step 4 until steps 1-2 are complete.

  5. Your first investments
    • Increase your contributions to your 401K plan. (or SEP or SIMPLE IRA)
    • Max out your Health Savings account if applicable. (7K for families)
    • Open online savings account for short term goals- (home, car, vacations, etc)
  6. Choice (You can choose paper assets or real estate for step #5)
Paper Assets

Open a non-qualified brokerage account. Start funding this account using a Robo-advisor tool or index fund strategy. (Utah millionaire recommends this because it’s passive and doesn’t require time.)

Real Estate

Purchase a rental property. This requires capital, leverage, time and expertise. This is a great option for non-wallstreet people or for those in the trades.

Please consult with your CPA or attorney before making specific investments.


  • Maximizing your income is the most important step to achieving millionaire status.
  • Living within your means/controlling your spending is the next most important step. Use a budget.
  • Automate your savings and investing – Steps 4-5 need to automatically fund. Pay yourself first.
  • Don’t try and time the market and don’t pick individual stocks.
  • Invest in things you understand and start as young as possible.
  • Buy a term life insurance and disability insurance if you have dependents.
  • Create an “If I die” spreadsheet- list of all accounts with points of contact.

Tax Strategies

  • HSA: this money isn’t taxed ever when used for qualified medical expenses.
  • 401K: Qualified account that allows you to defer taxes until you withdraw.
  • Roth 401K: Qualified account where you elect to pay taxes now but enjoy tax-free withdrawals in the future.
  • Tax deductions (property taxes, mortgage interest, tithing, credits)