Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Of Mice and Mutual Funds

Ten seconds. It doesn't sound like a lot of time. But when you're waiting desperately to hear something and that something remains silent, ten seconds can feel like an eternity.

We went to the doctor yesterday to check up on our precious baby. It was just a normal visit...the kind where you wait longer in the waiting room than the actual appointment requires. Eric has never missed a single doctor's appointment with any of our children during my pregnancies, but because of everyone's current crazy schedules no one was able to watch the girls. So Eric pushed them around in a stroller at the hospital while I went into our routine checkup alone...for the first time ever.

It was a simple ask a few questions, hear the heartbeat, and go kind of thing. Only, when Dr. Matuszek put the doppler on my stomach to find that familiar thump thump thump there was nothing there. She moved the little probe all around for what seemed like forever. It was enough time for me to notice her brow furrow and for me to obsess over how I haven't felt any little kicks or flutters lately. I was alone in the room with the rest of my family somewhere in the hospital, and inside my heart was slowly breaking for all of us.

Finally she moved all the way to far left side of my belly, and there it was. It was so faint at first, but unmistakable. And I could see a smile of obvious relief spread across her face. "Everything sounds great!" she said. Praise the Lord! Longest ten seconds of my life!

The rest of the appointment went off without a hitch. Our due date is now officially moved up a week to October 19th, Gracie's birthday. :) And our gender appointment is all set for next month. I can't wait to take another peek inside! It's amazing how much love I can have for someone I haven't even met yet. :)

Lesson Nine : Of Mice and Mutual Funds

Last night at Financial Peace University we began the all-important investment lessons. Investing seems intimidating at first, but it really doesn't have to be. In fact, Dave's biggest piece of advice when it comes to investing is to never ever buy anything (ever) that you yourself do not understand and to KEEP IT SIMPLE. When looking for a financial professional to help you, you must find someone with the heart of a teacher. They have to be able to break things down in a way that you understand, otherwise...they don't get your business. :)

But really, investing isn't that hard at all. Even I have a pretty basic knowledge of how it works (after this refresher lesson.) While I'm not going to dish out investment advice today, since I am way not qualified to do so, I can share a few basic principles and encouragement that we received last night.

First of all, not everyone is ready to invest today, right where they are. In fact, in Dave's "baby steps" to financial freedom, investing is one of the later things to do - after debts are paid and you have a fully-funded emergency fund in the bank (3-6 months expenses.) But no matter where you are on your financial journey, you have to look ahead. Dave stressed the importance of always looking in the direction that you want to go, much like a water skier. If you look down, you'll crash and burn on the waves. If you want to move up, look up. Investing should be a goal for everyone. Because in the scheme of things, it is how you will ultimately build your wealth and secure a future for yourself after your working years are over. 

You'll know that you're truly wining with money when your money makes more for you than you make for you. :) In other words, with the right investments, your earnings every year can be greater than your salary. That is the goal you should be shooting for. To keep up with taxes and inflation, you should never be invested in anything that isn't earning at least 6% every year. And even then you will only break even at the end of the day. If you are currently invested in something earning less than 6% you are losing money. (Get it outta there!)

There is so much more I could say here about having a diversified portfolio and taking risk and why day trading is a really, really bad idea, and how you shouldn't buy gold and why you should invest in growth stock mutual funds, and blah blah blah. But it's A LOT. I can't say it enough, if you get the chance to take the class someday - take it! 


So is this weather confusing the heck out of anyone else? It was supposed to be storming all week long. (Including yesterday. Didn't happen.) Today it's going to be sunny and 90! And tomorrow is looking like the same. I thought it was very appropriate last night when Dave made the joke that there are only two kinds of people in this world who can be wrong all of the time and still keep their jobs: economists and weathermen.

Now I have to come up with something fun for us to do outside! It's days like today that I wish we had a swimming pool, haha. Hope you have a sunny Wednesday no matter where you are!


Heather said...

Good Lord woman. You had my heart breaking at the beginning of this post. Glad everything is okay.

Ashley Mitchell said...

Seriously! Don't do that to us!

Adrien said...

Sorry!! Didn't mean to trick anyone. Everything is all good!

Ashley N. said...

Oh my goodness! I thought my heart was going to quit beating at the beginning of the post! I wish I could have been there for the investing lesson last night, I need that lesson!

Litney said...

Glad your appointment went good! I'm ready for your "Summer 2012" blog header... I've been waiting to see what you come up with!


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