Fribble Financial Advice for the Young Jedi

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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.