I have a question. I am 24 and I just started selling commercial insurance. My wife and I have about 70 k in student loans which we plan on paying back asap. I am going to have an additional 10k on top of my salary next year which I plan on saving until the end of the year and allocating it as I see fit. Everything I read says “compounding interest is the bomb” but then says “don’t save, pay down debt”. Now, I hate debt but I want to take full advantage of our young age and compounding interest. What would you recommend I do with extra 10k if we already put and extra $200 towards debt a month and we have an emegency fund in place? Fully Fund our IRA’s for the year or pay down a loan? I feel like there is no right or wrong answer. Your thoughts?
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Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
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You're young. You have a lot of years ahead of you. Now is the time to take risks. Invest in higher-risk, higher-payoff stock opportunities. Consider quitting your job to start your own business. Jump on new ventures and new opportunities. If things go south, you'll have plenty of time to make up for it. Most wealthy individuals will tell you one of their greatest keys to success has been taking calculated risks. The majority of the population sticks with the safe route, so if you want to break away from the pack, you have to try something new, possibly something uncomfortable.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
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In addition, I've been talking about conditions to maximize productivity and creativity and moneymaking ability. There are other considerations in organized human groups, and there are conditions under which productivity is not the thing you're most interested in. There are conditions where more centralization may be appropriate. For example, during a war, you do not want your air force, army, and navy to be fiercely competing with each other, but instead you want during a war more centralized control than you do in peace time. And there are also human groups for which productivity and differential money-making ability are not the overriding consideration. I don't want you to go home tonight and each of you to say to your spouse or significant other, "Darling, I've just heard this guy Jared Diamond, who says that within human groups competition is what spurs productivity and innovation, and so I think we need to follow his advice in our household. For the next month let's see which of us earns a bigger income, and at the end of the month the bigger income-producer will keep on with the job, and the one of us who has lower income and is less efficient can turn to scrubbing the floors and shopping at the supermarkets." That just illustrates: there are other considerations in a marriage than optimizing productivity.

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When an airplane leaves from one city to the next, it has a plan. Its plan is called a flight plan. It's a massive action plan that involves speed, altitude, direction of travel and many other facets. But what happens when there's turbulence or air-traffic congestion or it needs to change course for some other reason? The plane changes its plan. But it doesn't change its goal of where it's going. Create and follow a plan, and don't be afraid to change it if you see something isn't working.
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