The House Money Fund
I don't gamble - not in casinos, nor with my investments. I am a Vanguard ETF guy to fund everything from my retirement to my daughter's education.
I am only willing to make aggressive bets when I genuinely feel it's money I can afford to lose.
About 12-15 years ago, I started making enough money to afford a very nice car - any car I wanted, if I did.
Yet, in the last twenty years, I spent $25,800 on cars - always buying in all cash. I have sold previous vehicles for $11,500. Let's say that my total investment in cars has been about $14,000, and I could probably sell my current car for $8,000 (NEVER WOULD). That's a net cost of $6,000, which doesn't consider maintenance, gas, insurance, etc.
Still, compared to the average person, I underspent on cars. And when compared to the average person in my income range, I look stupendously frugal.
The average American had a $500 monthly car payment about a decade ago.
I obviously never did.
But I have been treating that $500 every month like money I can lose.
I call it my "house money" fund - like if you walk into a casino and they let you play on the house. At that point, you might as well take some risks and aim for outsized returns.
So I started investing my "house money" in the most perilous investments, ranging from individual tech stocks to crypto. Mostly crypto, actually. Every month, I dollar-cost-average my way into the kinds of bets that fiscally conservative Mario would never allow himself to make.
I still do. Even though now that number is a little bit higher. I roughly peg my investment to what leasing a top-of-the-line BMW would cost me, and that's what I invest every month into my house money fund.
And even though crypto has taken quite the fall recently (which I love because I can buy for cheap) - this strategy has delivered a very high return over the last decade.
Enough to buy a cabin in cash, send my daughter to college, pay off my mortgage if I wanted to (I don't). Or buy whatever new car I wanted in cash - every year.
Now I am not saying you should buy crypto. This is not investment advice at all.
But, as you increase your earnings, think about setting up a house money fund rather than overly inflate your lifestyle.
Then invest, wait, invest, wait, invest, wait, invest, wait - you get the point.
I can't promise crypto-like returns, but over time it will probably appreciate more than any super nice car might.
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