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By DoctorBombay
December 17, 2002

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

It has been five years since I first joined the virtual Fool community.

Back in the day when it was an AOL only event I went to Fool's School and monitored the portfolios.

I read.

I learned.

I understood.

I invested.

In the wake of recent market troubles I have abandoned the notion of significant early retirement but the Fool did change my life. I did make money when there was money to be made and when I decided I needed it in the next few years I pulled it out. Because of the Fool I can honestly say...

My family is debt free (except a mortgage).
We have a nest egg for retirement.
We were able to put 20% down on our home.
We were able to furnish our home.
We save 8% of my salary before it hits the bank.
We are able to afford private therapy for my daughter with special needs.
We don't live paycheck to paycheck. We don't fear creditors. We don't need a second income. We live within our means and we live well and we are generous to the charities we support.
We enjoy a high quality but modest life.

I could not say this 5 years ago. I did not understand money other than more is good and it needs to work for me. I did not know how to buy a house or how to refinance my mortgage or how to buy a car. I did not know about churning accounts and Mutual Fund fees. Now I am much better prepared.

Because of the Fool's boards I also learned about online communities. I have learned so much about so many things. I have even learned quite a bit about myself and hopefully can continue to make steady improvements and become the person I want to be. I have had fun with the Fool.

So to Tom and Dave and all those who have shared this virtual world with me (particularly those whose screenname begins "TMF") thank you.

I have been educated.
I have been amused.
I have been enriched.


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