If you’re a dedicated saver, the idea that in some cases you should actually spend more money may feel counterintuitive. But there’s a difference between wasteful, discretionary spending and high-quality investments that can actually provide long-term value. Knowing the difference can really matter when it comes to your lifelong financial success.
Here are some examples of pricey investments that often end up being worth every penny.
Cost: Variable, but as much as $566,000
Just because a stock trades for a high dollar amount doesn’t mean that it will be a long-term winner. But it’s also not a very good reason to avoid it. In fact, buying stocks that trade for less than $10 is typically a more speculative/aggressive strategy than paying up for high-dollar stocks. Generally — but not always — higher-dollar stocks reach those lofty levels due to years of consistent earnings growth, while small-dollar stocks are speculative, volatile and often illiquid.
In this day and age, there’s absolutely no reason to avoid “paying up” for high-dollar stocks because it’s so easy to buy them. Many brokerage firms allow you to buy fractional shares of stocks, so even if you only have $500 to invest, for example, you can still own fractional shares of a stock like Berkshire Hathaway, whose Class A shares have traded as high as $566,000 per share.
The Maximum 401(k) / IRA Contribution
Cost: $6,500 to $30,000
A 401(k) plan is among the best options savers have for a retirement account, followed by an IRA. If at all possible, therefore, it makes sense to contribute as much as you can to these types of accounts. While the maximum allowable contribution to an IRA is $6,500, or $7,500 for those 50 and older, 401(k) plan participants can kick in as much as $22,500, or $30,000 if they are 50 or older. Socking away $30,000 per year from age 50 to 60 may seem like a burden — and indeed, for most Americans, it remains a challenge — but if you can afford this type of “pricey investment,” it could pay huge dividends for you in your golden years.
Cost: About $36,000 per year on average
There’s been a lot of debate recently about whether or not a pricey college education is “worth it,” as a four-year degree could cost upwards of $200,000 or more. This is especially true in light of the discussion over burdensome student loans. But a study from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that workers with only a high school degree earned $1.2 million less over the course of their lifetimes than those who earned a bachelor’s degree. Those with just an associate degree garnered $800,000 less in lifetime earnings.
Cost: Hundreds to thousands of dollars
It’s one thing to pay thousands of dollars for a product just because it bears a specific name brand or is a status symbol. But it’s something altogether different to invest in quality items that will last a long time and give you your money’s worth. Although some name brands do make top-shelf items that justify their prices, others simply trade on their name, making them not worth the investment.
In most cases, paying up for quality is also a better choice than choosing the most affordable option that will simply wear out quickly, requiring you to buy the item again. By investing your money in clothing, furniture or other items that are well-made, you can usually get a good long-term return on your upfront cost.
Cost: About $350,000 on average
In 2023, the combination of high home prices and rising interest rates have pushed housing affordability to the limit. But while there’s no guarantee that buying a home will be a solid investment, it’s often worth the risk.
For starters, a home provides benefits that go beyond mere numbers, such as providing shelter and a place for your family to grow up and share memories. But housing prices tend to meet or exceed the rate of inflation over time, although there are obviously variations based on the price you pay and the area where the home is located. Other benefits of home ownership include potential tax write-offs and the ability to withdraw or borrow against your home equity.
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