For a change of pace today I wanted to tell you a personal story.
Twenty years ago, when I was working as a business reporter in upstate New York and covering Eastman Kodak Co. for Gannett Newspapers, I decided it was time to start saving for a house.
So I concocted a plan.
I wasn't exactly getting rich as a journalist, but I was doing okay. Even so, I knew I'd need an actual plan that I could commit to if I really was going to amass the needed down payment.
My plan was simple. In the years that followed, every time my bosses gave me a raise, I started a new mutual fund.
By the time I got a job at The Baltimore Sun in 1998 - and Robin and I moved to Maryland - I had more than $25,000 set aside from this plan and some other money I'd saved. And we could start looking for our first house.
I also learned a valuable lesson: A little discipline can take you a long way.
I was thinking about this the other day when Radical Technology Profits Editor Michael Robinson and I were talking about the "one investment you should never sell."
It's a perfect investment for house down payments, college funds, retirement, a vacation house, a boat, or the cruise of a lifetime - in short, the kind of big-ticket purchases that come along a couple times during a lifetime.