The Highchair Millionaire Investing Plan
There are lots of options for your college savings — which is best? Lynn O’Shaughnessy takes a look at the best ways to save and invest for her kids’ education.
Any mom or dad can tell you that diapers aren’t cheap. Pampers and baby wipes can easily cost $40 a month. So when my son Ben
finally graduated to big boy pants, he got M&Ms and I placed a call to The Vanguard Group.
Part #1 Introduction
What does Vanguard have to do with potty training? Let’s just call it an investing opportunity. I’m just like lots of other parents, who worry that we’ll never set aside enough for college after paying for daycare, a new transmission, summer camps, the mortgage and all the other expenses that nickel and dime
us through life.
After buying the last bag of diapers, I decided not to let that savings get sucked into my checkbook’s black hole. I instructed Vanguard to take an extra $40 out of my checking account each month and deposit it in my kids’ college fund. I figured I wouldn’t miss it — and I don’t.
McNugget investing is my battle plan for college — I save a little at a time, and I invest it in the stock market. If the grandparents send the kids a birthday or Christmas check, half of it is
invested in their college fund. When my friends and I hold a yearly garage sale, the proceeds — after deducting for the Starbucks coffee run — goes into the college fund. And I have that automatic savings program with my favorite mutual fund.
I’ve chosen to invest in a mutual fund because the Armchair Millionaire’s cardinal rule of investing is that you should only put money into the stock market when you’ve got five years or more till you’ll need to take it out. That’s how the magic of compounding
can really work for you. When you start early, all those dollars have more time to grow.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of
, published by Macmillan.
WAY TO RICHES
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