So I just spent the last half hour signing forms to consolidate my stocks into a single brokerage account – what a way to start off the week!
I don’t own a lot of stock, mind you. Only two different ones right now, actually…
The first is stock in the energy company where my Grandpa worked for his entire career – he gifted five shares to me when I graduated from high school and it’s just sort of grown from there.
The other is stock in Disney because I figure that way I get a little financial return from the scads of money that we seem to spend over there pretty much constantly!
I haven’t really been very good at investing outside of my 401k plan lately because there’s always something else to spend the money on, but I know that now is the time to be doing it because I’ve still got a solid 30 years until retirement and time is your best friend when it comes to long-term investing. Plus, admittedly it’s kind of fun to know that you own a small piece of these companies and prosper when they do well as the global economic engine continues to churn!
I think more so, however, it’s a habit that I want to be able to pass down to Christopher because being financially responsible and conscious of your financial future is something that I don’t think you can learn early enough. On one hand, it’s neat that those initial shares – along with some contributions of my own – have since grown to be 78 shares in the 17 years that I’ve owned them, but still, that’s with only a few hundred dollars in contributions here and there over the years…
Looking at just the quick, five minute spreadsheet numbers – if I had thought to invest just a little bit every single time I got paid – say one hour’s worth of pay every two weeks … or $10/check when I was just starting out – today those 78 shares would be something more along the lines of 640 shares and worth close to $25,000!!!
The value of time is something that’s tough to teach a kid because they’ve got such a limited view to base it on, so even now starting with Christopher’s college fund long before he’s even old enough to know what it is, I’m trying to start putting those tools in place so that when we are ready to begin teaching him about compound interest, we’ll have some real world examples we can point to that will directly affect him that can hopefully help him to understand how important even just a little bit can truly be in the grand scheme of things!