Monday, June 6, 2011

The Perfect Graduation Gift - The Gift of Time

Last week I attended a graduation party for a neighborhood friend. My usual gift for a graduate would be to get them a graduation card, include an amount of money, write an inspirational closing like "Good Luck!" and then sign my name.

I decided to do something a little bit different this time by actually offering him some guidance instead of just wishing him good luck and sending him on his way to figure it out on his own. I decided that I would try to teach the importance of Time as it relates to wealth accumulation (how a relatively small amount of money invested over a long period of time can grow into a significant amount of money) in as few words as possible.

I bought a blank card so that I could explain this important concept inside. I wanted it to be a graduation card, but the best blank card I could find had a picture of a long and winding dirt road on the front. I thought this would be perfect and in the space below the picture I hand wrote a title -- "Graduation: The Road to the Rest of Your Life Starts Here..." I know, you are probably wondering why I am not writing for the Hallmark Company.

On the inside of the card I inserted a check for $50 and hand wrote the following message:

Dear Graduate

Congratulations on your graduation! I know $50 won't buy you much these days, however, if you understand the power of time, you can start having your money work for you instead of just having you work for your money! The great news is that you have time on your side and your whole life ahead of you. The question is: What will you do with all of this time?

For instance, (assuming the graduate is 18) if you were to invest this $50 one time and allow it to compound monthly for 47 years or until you are age 65:
  • working at 3% it would grow into $204.44
  • working at 6% it would grow into $832.97
  • working at 8% it would grow into $2120.79
  • working at 10% it would grow into $5391.33
  • working at 12% it would grow into $13,684.37!! This is very possible to get over 47 years!!
My advice to you is to follow your passions, enjoy your family and friends and live your life to the fullest, but whatever you do, don't waste any of your precious time!!

Now, it is possible that he took this money to the ocean during Senior Week and blew it all. It is also possible that this note changes the way he thinks about money and changes his whole life for the better.

Who knows? Only Time will tell.

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
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