Save or Invest – Either or, or Both?


Save or Invest – Either or, or Both?

Building wealth is a process. It takes time, knowledge, intelligence, and sometimes even a bit of luck to build true wealth. There are plenty of ways and methods to build wealth. If you ask most high net worth individuals how they got wealthy you will get numerous answers. But for the most part, their answers will include two common factors: saving and investing.

Some people wonder which strategy is better: Saving or investing? Which option leads to wealth? The answer is both. In fact, it’s difficult to build real sustainable wealth without implementing both strategies. The trick is to know when to use each strategy. Knowing when to save and when to invest will make all the difference.

Why They Differ

Both saving and investing are designed to make you wealthier. But there are significant differences. Saving is low risk. It’s safe and it’s best for short-term goals. It can also give you immediate access to money. But it’s also a low return “investment.”

On the other hand, when you invest you have a higher risk, but also a much greater potential for return. Investing is not as safe as savings because there are no guarantees. It can take longer to get your money when you invest, but it is better if you’re saving for long-term goals.

When to Save Your Money

So when should you save? If you have a short-term goal then saving is the way to go. In other words, if you want to cash out your returns in less than three years, put your money into savings. If you’re not really a risk-taker and you don’t want to put your money at risk, that’s when it’s time to save. When you need quick and easy access to your money that’s a good time to save. Lastly, if you like the idea of FDIC Insurance or principal protection that’s another sign it’s time to save.

When to Invest Your Money

If you have more time and you’re focused on a long-term goal, like at least three years to five years, then investing is a good option. If you’re not afraid to take some risk and put your money on the line in hopes of a greater reward, then it’s time to invest. When you invest your money it has a better chance to grow. It will take more time, but it will grow much more than it will in a savings account. Unlike the safety of a savings account, the stock market can be all over the board. If you don’t mind the volatility of the stock market then go ahead and invest.

How to Do Both

The other option is to actually do both at the same time. The key is making a financial plan that best fits your needs. You can then determine how much to put into savings and how much into investing. Your financial goals will help you make those choices.

If you’re ready to build some real wealth then get the best of both worlds and make sure you start saving and investing.

We hope you found this article about “Save or Invest – Either or, or Both?” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business. Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most. They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

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In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges. Our mission at is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

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