Friday, March 31, 2006

FMJ Finds: Day 4

Just 6 cents found today... First, a penny along Biscuit's afternoon walk. Then, a nickel in the tennis court parking lot at Arroyo Vista Park in Moorpark, CA. Yes, it rained most of the day buy sometimes here in Cali you can get around the rain by driving to the next valley. FMJ blog total: $.64

WOW! $162,340.63

That's a lot of money! Amazing how compounding works. Earlier today, I ran some numbers supposing I dedicated this money to my son and invested it in an IRA in his name. He's age 5 now and would have 55 years to compound the investment in mutual funds. I am assuming an 8% return and adding our current years "finds" and Dividends (at least $120 per year.) as an annual contribution to the fund for the next 55 years until he could start withdrawing the money. Ajay would have $162,340.63 in his account at age 60! And he would never have had to work a day in his life until then to build his retirement account. Ah, the magic of compound interest! Most likely it will be more with a few big "finds."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

FMJ Finds -- Day 3

3 pennies found today. First one was during Biscuit's afternoon walk. The second penny at dinner tonight at Boston Market. Maya found the third under her seat at dinner. (Keep you eyes to the ground... you never know what's lying around.) Day three of FMJ Blog total: $.58

FMJ Blog: Days 1 & 2 Finds-

Evening of 3/28/06 while walking Biscuit, our dog, up to the Ralph's Grocery store, I found $.27 in the form of 1 Quarter and 2 pennies. Yesterday 3/29/2006 -- Last night, on our excursion to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, the kids and I found $.28 -- Quarter (at Mcdonald's) and three pennies(in front of the shops.) So, that's a grand total of $.55 since I started this blog. When the time permits, I'll do a new count of the found money jar. I do expect it to be at least $25.00 higher since our last count on 1/28/2006. We had some very nice "finds" lately including $16.25 in quarters left in an item purchased at an auction, 2 $1 bills on the school playground, and (this one was weird) I found a $5 bill tossed in a trash can found while taking out our garbage. Maya and Ajay love counting up all the money and dreaming of all the things they could buy with their treasure. I just tell them that one day it will be all theirs and that the things it will buy will be much more fantastic later than what the FMJ money will buy today. Yes, dreams of bags of candy, scads of gum and Wetzel's Pretzels are nice. Teaching the value of money at an early age, in my opinion, is the best thing a parent can do for his children. Last week, I received a dividend check from the Real Estate Investment Trust shares owned by the "Found Money Jar Fund" -- $8.57 per quarter. I showed it to them and told them how soon the dividend money would buy shares in another real estate company. I'm looking for one that owns shopping centers in our neighborhood so they can see, touch and smell their investment. Hopefully, those two buggers are learning the ways of compound interest even as the money passes through their little fingers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let Me Introduce You to the "Found Money Jar."

A long time ago, on a coastline far away... the found money jar was born. It all began with a bet with my younger brother that anyone could attain some wealth just by investing all the money that one finds during his lifetime. It was about christmas time in 1999. At the time, I was 32 years of age. My brother, a frustrated and demoralized debtor who was a mere 27 years old, was lamenting to me his inability to refrain from debt and credit card use. He, from time to time, was able to save a few bucks... only to be out of cash as his partying and various girlfriends would clean him out. (Thanks to God for letting him marry a rich wife with good money habits!) Anyway, back to the story, our conversation ended with a vowel that I would one-day create an extra ten thousand dollars $10,000.00 (maybe even more) to use when I retire by gathering all the dropped coins and bills I find at work, during my daily errands, along dog-walks, on vacations, at the park and tennis courts, and while tagging along my wife's shopping excursions. Whenever the "found money jar" count reaches a few hundred dollars, it is invested in real estate investment trusts and dividend paying stocks. Since the beginning, these funds have been kept in separate account and never comingled with other personal assets. My wife and kids also participate in the found money jar. The first coin found was a lonely penny at the Giant Grocery Store in Reston, VA. The total amount of U.S. coinage and currency found is $436.02 and we last counted January 28, 2006. $202.50 of the "found money" is invested in shares of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust(PEI-NYSE.) With Dividend Reinvestment and a recent merger, the trust shares have a total value of $643.95 (as of 3/27/2006.) The total value of the Found Money Jar fund is $877.47 (not including the "findings" since 1/28/2006.) Come back to this blog and you will find my intrepid adventures of the "Found Money Jar." I'll detail the "finds, talk about our investments and how I'm managing the funds. From time to time, I'll even spin some tales and let you in on some secrets.