You Have To Invest Wisely If You Want Your Savings To Survive

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Pablo Edronkin

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The most valuable things that a regular, average person has is his car and his home but investments in both areas are usually not very useful; if you want to have money for emergencies, save it and eventually pass it to the next generation of your family, you have to think out of the box.

Indeed, most of us need a house and a car, but the moment you buy your brand-new car it starts losing its original value. A car with a couple of thousand kilometres of use is almost never as valuable as a new one. So, an investment of tens of thousands, in reality, doesn't yield any positive value… Unless you buy a special kind of cars, luxury ones. Of course, you have to have the money but you don't need to start at the level of a Rolls Royce. There are luxury cars that start at far lower values. The reason to seek one is not just aesthetic or based on the thirst for social status: Luxury cars increase their value year by year, while normal, run-of-the-mill ones tend to lose it.

Lady Di died after an accident in a car that was worth around US$60.000, new at the market; it was a Mercedes Benz and despite the tragic accident that we know about, it was perfectly good for people accustomed to a luxurious life. That kind of money is accessible for most middle class families, and in fact, such amounts are spent in cars over a couple of years: If you only buy modest cars priced today at about US$20.000, after a few years, just a fraction of your life, you would have spend the same sixty thousand, but in cars that lose value. Instead, if you would set yourself the goal of getting a car such as that Mercedes or any similar, you would indeed end up spending the money but instead of losing it in the way it happens with ordinary vehicles, over time you will keep it or even increase your capital. This has exceptions, of course, but in essence, it works like that.

With houses and properties happens something similar: Prices are inflated and often very costly mortgages are due to be paid for real estate that is not worth as much. Buying a house or a flat in Spain, for example, would mean spending a third of a million euros in many cases, and that's not for a luxury property but a common one. For a lesser amount, the same person could buy a better house in Morocco or in Latin America, and live the rest of his life partially or totally from the interest that the rest of the money would provide. Some people, because of conventional thought, lack of knowledge and initiative, condemn themselves to a life of virtual slavery, paying surrealistic mortgages over thirty or forty years, without knowing that the same amount of cash would give them a far better life if properly invested.

We then have to ponder the question of banks and financial investments: How many people have been left with nothing after years of saving money for their retirement because of the bankruptcy of their banks? Can you say that such institutions could be trusted? Evidently, and despite all short-term guarantees, in the long run you cannot be confident about the safety of your deposits. Virtual money may disappear very easily while tangible goods and valuables usually last longer and can be better managed, secretly if it comes to that. My grandmother several times told us how when WWII started, her mother, who lived in Warsaw, summoned her and her ten brothers and sisters to the city and gave each one of them a jar filled to the brim with gold and jewels. Those were the family savings: They were bankers and had been in the business for a couple of centuries. They owned several banks in Poland yet they had their money in safer investments, because despite the nazi pillage, that's how my family's fortune survived the war. Try to achieve the same with your money in a bank account.

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