Thursday, January 21, 2010

Updates from my Kitchen

I've mentioned that I've had a very, very, very poor track record with investments, right? I have a mutual fund and a few retirement accounts and a brokerage account, and every single one of them is worth less money than the principal that I've contributed. Every single investment account I have ever had has earned a negative rate of return over the long term. This is going back over roughly 15+ years. Every time I tell my students about the power of compound interest I feel like a fraud. I would have more money if I had put it in a cardboard box.

So I have a new investment plan. I will spend money on my house! Instead of buying intangible things, like a miniscule fraction of ownership in a publicly traded company, I buy things like clapboards and the services of painters and light fixtures and the like. I will buy a nearly silent dishwasher. No matter what happens with the stock market, I will be able to wash dishes while watching television. I will have a garbage disposal.

And so on the next phase of plowing money into my house, it seems that things are moving forward on the kitchen project. Today I received a bid from the architect. I may end up paying more in professional fees to the architect than my friend paid for her entire kitchen remodel project.