No. 219



How would you like to have a nest egg of $100,000, free and clear, the day you retire? As you read, and hopefully think about this question, I realize that you may already be retired and there is also the possibility that $100,000 is just pocket change for you. What Im saying, of course, is that this may not apply to you but you may know someone, family or friend, that you can share it with. It could make a real difference in their life and be the difference between a happy, care-free retirement and living the kind of life experienced by millions of Americans who are trying to get by on Social Security.

As it relates to what I am saying, a few months ago I wrote a column titled Acres Of Diamonds that was about the man who sold his farm for almost nothing so he could look for diamonds in a far away land. After twenty years, broke and despondent, he threw himself into a river and drowned. However, the man who bought his farm found acres of diamonds on this same property. The moral or the message here is that quite often we dont stick with what we are doing long enough to become a great success.

If you read this column on a regular basis, you know that many of my best topics and ideas come from my readers. Soon after this column ran in THE GAZETTE in Galax, Virginia I got a letter from Fred Saal who lives in nearby Fries. He stated that he agreed with the premise of Acres Of Diamonds but he then went on to share a concept that has changed the dynamics to make it apply to a much larger group of people. It also down plays the idea of Get Rich Quick which is a trap that many people fall into.

His concept is contained in the following personal experience: Several years ago one of my sons had gotten into a financial problem through the use of credit cards. I agreed to help him out of his predicament if he and his wife would spend some time with me and listen attentively to a lecture from me on financial aspects of life, with emphasis on credit accounts. After the lecture, I announced that I would also give him $100,000.00. Now, think carefully because here is the part that makes him a wise father.

This gift consisted of the information that he should save $1.00 a day and invest it in the stock market index fund. This fund should earn 10% per year, which is the long term average return of the stock market for the last seventy-five years. If he did this, his savings would be worth in excess of $100,000 when he was sixty-five years old, which was about 35 years in the future.

The message here is that anyone can become rich if they establish and consistently adhere to a savings plan for a long period of time. This message should be applicable to all except those who have put things off so long that their only hope is to win the lottery. Fred closed with this P.S. It worked!!

Im grateful for Fred Saal taking time to share this with me and here is a final thought until next time. What this concept really does is include those people who dont think they can afford to save money. The truth is, there are very few people in our country who cannot put aside $1.00 per day and all they need to do is learn how to sign up and where to send it. Using this principle as the foundation, the key to financial success is compounding money over time and to start now. Young people, like Michael and Casi Hovey who just got married over in Tulsa, Oklahoma, please listen to what I am saying. Put aside and invest at least $1.00 a day in the stock market. You can afford it. But first, give the Lord the first 10%, because when you put him first, He will take care of you. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)