Friday for Thought: Retirement Funds

Years ago, between American Girl dolls, episodes of Home Improvement and long addition I decided to start a retirement fund. I had opened a checking account and learned to ride a dirt bike by age 8, so for an 11-year old I was would say I was advanced. My parents were invested in my continued development, encouraging my hobbies, athletics and financial security.

Naturally, being as “matured” as I was (and still am, thank you), I found the best, most aggressive investment as possible. I recently read that the younger years are the best time to make more “high-risk” investments.

See? Advanced.

So, I sunk my weekly allowance, meager babysitting earnings and the all-too-often double please to my parents into the obvious:

Beanie babies.

I hit up the local Hallmark Store and scoured every swap meet Dad took me to for those tough to find and/or retired pellet-filled plushes. I begged for a few extra bucks to cover the cost of a $20 Seaweed (the Otter) and protected the sure-to-be goldmines with tag sleeves and caps to ensure my Babies would be protected and in pristine condition. I had a printed, plastic sleeved list of retired, high-value Beanies with highlights. Don’t even get me started on all the Happy Meals I ate for those mini matching Beanies.

And, apparently, I joined the Beanie Baby Club – with printed certificate to prove it.

So, it’s fair to say when I asked my Dad to being my tub of Beanies over I was preeeetty confident that I had several hours of eBaying in my future.

Just the Beginning

What the hell was I thinking? These things crashed faster than the 2009 economy. I would have been better off turning them weeks (days?!) after purchase to return at least some sort of positive profit.

I spent an hour on my bedroom floor filtering through the bears, cats and dogs. Hippity, Hoppity, Floppity — one of these things MUST be worth something. Anything! After I found my Princess Diana bear I thought — BOOM! Dynamite. This is gonna be it.

Next time you want a good laugh, go ahead and search “Princess Diana Beanie Baby” on eBay. Want to know what that “must have” sells for?

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Yah, like $3. Maybe $7. But mostly $3.

So that was disappointing. (See #14 on the Huffington Posts “15 Things That Happen to You When You Start to ‘Grow Up'”)

But not quite as disappointing as realizing that I bought THREE of them. THREE?

How much did I pay for the extra two?

Weren’t those hard to come by?


Reviewing the current value of retired American Girl doll cloths/accessories that would have been a better use of funds. How was I to know that Beanie Babies would fizzle out and die like a dud firecracker?

Since Beanie Babies don’t pay the bills, I am going to transfer some money into that IRA now…before I convince myself that I can retire on shoes and airline miles.

Oh hey! How about these BitCoins…