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My dad began teaching me to invest even before I was a teenager in the late 80's. As I entered College in the mid-late 90's, there was enough money because we invested consistently in a UGTMA account.

THE BIG MISTAKE: There is an old rule that says "If you need the money in 5-10 years, don't put it in the stock market." I didn't heed that warning, casually assuming I was smarter than others...and I made some good, some lucky decisions. Remember the tech bubble in 2000-2001? Global Crossing? WorldCom? Tyco? Yes, they all were great growth stocks until reality/fraud caught up with them. I lost money in all of them. Pennies on the dollar. What could have paid for so much of my wife's college debt (think 2nd mortgage size) is now a vapor.

My dad's rules were, 1) don't mess up the account (inferring reckless investing of or spending from the acct), then it's not yours anymore 2) invest the same for your kids to pay for school.

TAKEAWAY: like a previous poster said in this thread, when we are within a couple years of college, I will start backing out of stocks and putting money in to cash, CD's or U.S. "I" bonds, where the proceeds are not taxable if used for college. Much more secure than stocks. Do this no matter the market condition.
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