Cash Prizes

Lotto fever struck my office today, and so everybody who’s anybody threw two dollars into the company pot in the hopes of being able to give a two-week notice tomorrow morning.

Sadly, as I just verified on my photocopied lottery tickets, we didn’t even win $1. As a math major, I made a point of telling people that the statistics were that we were more likely to see money by sitting down and working than by buying lottery tickets…I hate it when I’m right.

The loss of $1 (Marin provided the other dollar for our position in the group lottery) doesn’t bother me too much, however. Yesterday I received my index-tracking fund quarterly report in the mail: in the last six months, I’ve seen a 16% return on my money. I bet you didn’t see that kind of return in your checking and savings accounts. (I sure as heck didn’t see it in mine.)

Annualize that, and you’re looking at a 32% return (APR). Considering that the average return of the stock market is 12% (APR), and the average EAR [i.e. the rate you would use to compound by if you were to leave your money invested in the market over many years] of the market is a mere 8%, I’m doing pretty damn fine right now.

Of course, this is all paper gains. Nevertheless, it’s pretty neat stuff.

The result of this success? I want to put more money in. I’m also kicking myself for not having put more money in, earlier (ha ha—actually, I’m irritated I didn’t dollar cost average over each month, like I had intended to when I began this experiment). Sadly, these feelings are the exact opposite of what I should be feeling; now might actually (though I’m just a dumb college kid, so don’t act on my whimsy) be a time to get out of the market—especially if the averages do hold into the future.

Ah well. Perhaps I should start dollar-cost averaging now, and then not open next quarter’s account statement. The whole point of my investment (and the method I chose to invest) is to let the market work its magic, without my interference.

Yesterday also saw the arrival of my Full Metal Panic box. I like it, but Marin says that’s just because it’s shiny.

I have to admit, I do like shiny things.


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