Perhaps we can draw a lesson or two this ghoulish season and look at how one of my favorite monsters handled his finances. Few investors have been as successful as The Mummy. He managed in life to accumulate a sizable nest egg and then got to watch his fortune grow until it became -- well -- priceless.
We all have to save for our retirements. A handful of you will need to worry about those additional undead years as well, but since expenses tend to be low in the afterlife, let's focus just on the retirement part. Saving for your golden years requires that you begin to put that gold away as soon as possible.
Managing your money doesn't need to be frightening. Investing today is very different than back in the days of ancient Egypt. We have advantages today that simply weren't available on the banks of the Nile thousands of years ago. The Mummy had to build pyramids to protect his life savings. Today we have discount brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade
History has shown that pyramids are lousy ways to protect your investments. A good insurance plan can prove to be far more practical protection. After all, one of the most prudent investments an individual can make is to maintain good health. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like to keep the embalmer at bay as long as possible -- something The Mummy really should have given better consideration to.
To be fair, The Mummy had some key advantages, too, that you and I do not. One component that can eat away at savings and investment returns is taxes. When you're Pharaoh, high taxes can be a good thing (unless you have a slave rebellion, but let's not go there). But as investors, we want to take advantage of deferring or avoiding taxes as much as practical. To this end, our government has provided some advantages to us investors, including tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s. I doubt the average ancient Egyptian had those options.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that you don't have to take it with you. Who really wants to worry about their investments in the afterlife? Should you find yourself surrounded by the riches of the Pharaohs, or just have a few extra dollars, consider charitable contributions like those represented in our reader-driven Foolanthropy campaign.
So maybe we can't really invest like The Mummy, but with a program of saving and financial planning, perhaps more investors will find it easier to rest in peace.
Ideas designed to assist with financial prudence are discussed each month in The Motley Fool's GreenLight service. Programs to assist in the later years with financial and other matter of concern to the living can be found in The Motley Fool's Rule Your Retirement newsletter. Risk-free trials are available on both services.
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Fool contributor Ralph Casale has placed a curse over his portfolio, just for some added protection. He has no present financial position in any firm mentioned.
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