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By far the greatest investment I have ever made (or ever will make) was the $500 investment I made in an Education IRA for the co-love of my life, my four year-old daughter, Sally. For anyone who has children, and hasn't opened a similar account, you're cheating yourself of incredible feelings of joy, hope and self-respect, and I hope my contest entry keeps you from making this mistake.

An investment is defined as “the investing of money for profitable returns”. I can't think of a more profitable return than a secure education for my little girl so that she can more fully understand, relate to, experience and one day even improve the world. While this is the most important reason I would give for picking this investment as my favorite, there are other personal reasons as well.

The first is that scraping together this $500 outside of mortgage and car payments, etc. was difficult for my wife and I in 2001. This is because we both suffered the trauma of losing our jobs. But still, we fought hard, took odds jobs – I worked as the Beer Man at the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas and lugged and sold over 1,500 beers! – And we scratched and clawed our way into coming up with the money. Opening that account felt like a mighty, mighty victory.

It's also my favorite investment because it symbolizes a great deal for me. When it comes to money, I've mooched it, squandered it and wasted it on more nonsensical things than I can count. Sweet Lord, I even once purchased something from an infomercial! (They were vacuum hooks that claimed to be strong enough to hold a bowling ball. The ones I bought couldn't hold a ping pong ball and came crashing down, along with everything I'd hung, all over the house right after I'd suctioned them to our walls. Is that a perfect metaphor for a dumb-ass purchase or what? Hoo Ha!) Unlike this impulsive, immature, idiotic, jackassian waste of hard-won sheckles, investing in my daughter's education is all about delayed gratification, fundamental human generosity and basically, all that's good and right about money.

Though I have invested in things that made me significant financial gains, those “profitable returns” pale in comparison to the deeply personal ones I made on this one. That's why I pick opening an Education IRA for my little girl as my favorite investment, and passionately encourage others to make investments just like this one.
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