I couldn’t disagree more. The concept of systematic saving and hoping for a solid average return in the markets isn’t something that I believe in anymore. I’m 32, and have been investing in the markets since I was 18, under the assumption that if I set up automatic contributions throughout my life I would ultimately be “rich”. I started by maxing out my SEP-IRA and then by maxing my Roth. I invest monthly in a range of products, again, all with the goal of cost averaging the market to my benefit over time. Fast forward 14 years from when I began, and I have accumulated less than $60k. My invested dollar amount exceeds my current total, as it did even at the recent market highs in 2007. In other words, investing for the long haul doesn’t work like it used to, particularly for my generation. The first decade of wage earning is the most important in terms of compounding interest, and we have just experienced a completely lost decade. The hopes for recovery to make up for that lost decade (14 yrs in my case) do not appear reasonable. David

For example, a $200,000 mortgage on a 30-year loan will cost you another $186,500 in interest payments, so you are actually paying a total of $386,500 over the course of 30 years. On the other hand, if you are willing to pay a few extra hundred dollars a month (for example, $350) by refinancing to a 15-year loan (usually at a lower interest rate), you could pay your mortgage off in only 15 years, and the best part is you would save yourself a whopping $123,700 in interest. That's money in your pocket. Talk to a loan officer about your options.
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