28 Jan 2018 16:40

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I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS! was a quote from the Generation X cult classic movie Better Off Dead where John Cusack’s character was pursed through the entire movie by a paperboy trying to collect $2 owed to him. To this day I still here an occasional fellow Generation X compatriot quote that classic line and can’t help but chuckle.

This classic line did make me think about how much $2 can make a difference if invested over the long term. The movie Better Off Dead came out in 1985 and unfortunately investing that much money in the stock market back then was just impossible. I remember opening my first trading account at TD Waterhouse (now TD Ameritrade) in 1989 and trading commissions were a whopping $49 per trade. With commissions at these exorbitant rates our poor paperboy was out of luck investing back in the day but if he had access to modern tools such as M1 Finance or Robinhood, which offer free stock trades, there would be no problems investing that $2.

Unfortunately, all of us at some moment in our lives struggle with finances where saving seems like an impossible task and investing seems even further away. But, what if all you could save was $2 per week? If you started saving just $2 a week ($104 a year) for the rest of your working life (40 years) and invested using a dividend growth strategy it would provide a retirement income of approximately $160 a month or $1900 a year. Maybe your struggles weren’t as hard as mine and had a little bit more to save & invest each week, here is a table of what a lifetime of modest savings would have yielded at retirement:

Monthly Dividend at Retirement
$2/week $160
$5/Week $400
$10/week $800
$20/week $1600

Amazing what just a small sum saved over 40 years can do….that is why I want my $2 dollars.

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