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Subject:  Re: In persuit of wisdom Date:  11/13/2000  12:30 PM
Author:  GliderGuy Number:  5552 of 20609

I always amazed by the quality of responses here at on the Foolish boards. You've received lots of great ideas already, to which I might add only a couple.

First of all, a very Foolish congratulations on having the right frame of mind and asking these questions at you age. I'm sure I speak for many of us when I say, "Why didn't they teach me this BLEEPIN stuff in high-school!"

I too fell victim of the "by it now, pay for it later" mentality (didn't we all) and bought an MGB sports car just after landing my first real job. I paid off most of the car and then just had to have a motorcycle - you guessed it, again on credit. Needless to say, my bank loved me. As we sometimes say here in Fooldom, a few thousand here, a few thousand there and pretty soon were talkin some serious investment capital.

Over the years, I came to dislike my job and this cause me to take a financial look further than tomorrow. Today, with the exception of a 6.7% mortgage, we buy nothing we can't pay off in 30 days or less. I'd pay the mortgage off but we're doing so much better investing the money in equities. We buy 1 year old rental cars at a steep discount to new car prices and drive them 200,000 miles or so.

Both my wife and I are fortunate to have employers who match up to 50% of our 401k contributions, so we both max out those accounts. I recommend you do the same, as it's hard to beat tax advantaged returns.

We keep our checking account balance down around zero by transfering any extra $$ into either our interest bearing brokerage account or 3 month CD's, depending on who's paying the best rates that month. I've found that if the cash isn't visible, I'm much less likely to get a pocket fire over something. Works great and makes a low-risk return too.

A few books that entertained me while opening my eyes: The Wealth Barber - simple financial planning, The Motley Fool's Investment Guide - great starter and you may never need to read further, and the already mentioned Richest Man in Babylon. You've already found one of the greatest resources in personal finance right here at the Motley Fool.

Fool on!

GliderGuy (aka Rick Lafford)

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