Financial Advice for the Young Jedi
October 13, 2000
The investment "Yoda" of my life was an elderly, overweight pharmacist named Don. He would sit happily each lunch period munching away on his usual diet of a bag of microwave popcorn, and watch the market report on CNN, mumbling to himself all the while. Finally overtaken with curiosity, I sat down next to Don and listened to what he had to say.
"Investing for retirement, are you?" he asked.
"I don't really know much about that kind of thing," I replied.
"Youth and compound interest, friends to you these are."
Being that I was in the military, and making about $13,000 a year at the time, I didn't think I had the income for investing.
"Credit cards have you that charge 22% per year? Imagine, can you, money working for you at 22% per year? Hmm?"
With the simple subtlety of a Jedi master he showed me how easily money invested can work for you instead of against.
Over time I began to learn more and have built up to investing 25% of my humble take-home pay in several mutual funds as well as buying a house in San Diego, which we have as a rental property. I'm doing this while keeping my debts to less than one month's pay.
"Credit cards, payday loans, savings bonds, these are friends of young investors not!"
I have been investing for six years now and thanks to that strange old guy with the love of extra-butter on his popcorn at midday, I'm well on my way to a quiet, comfortable retirement.