What important things does a 20 year old need to know about money and finance?

Answer by Pat Roberts:

God, please grant me a time machine so I can go back and redo this one:

Humans are collectors. We love to collect stuff. We're all going to collect something: comics, video games, movies, action figures, 12" singles, cool gadgets – well that was my list at 20.

Saving money is boring and you should try to do it especially if you have an employer that will make matching contributions. But you can't see and feel that money unless you keep it stuffed under your mattress, and then it's just losing value like your action figures and video games.

A friend of my father tried to get me started collecting bullion. He gave me a 10oz silver bar for graduation. It was sort of interesting, but I didn't really think much of it. I just put it in a box and forgot about it. I have a very good friend who, instead of collecting BS like I did (the majority of which is worthless now) collected bullion. He started with silver, then later when he had a better job moved to gold. Years later when I reconnected with him he showed me his collection. He was like a f'ing pirate with a treasure. And while I spent money on crap that ultimately became worthless, he semi-retired at 40, able to use his bullion stockpile to secure low-interest loans for investment projects and an awesome house.

Bullion gave him something he could touch when he needed that connection to a collection. There's all sorts of interesting bullion available near spot (market) price. You can even buy and sell bullion recovered from shipwrecks at fairly standardized prices (2x spot).  It becomes addictive too… do you really need those 2" pipes for your car or would you rather have another bar of bullion?

Here's a link to get you started: http://www.apmex.com/Category/50…

Don't buy 'collector' coins. Buy the bullion based on spot price and if you happen to buy something that goes up in value as a collector item think of it as a bonus. The metal will always be worth the value of the metal.

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