Computer and Investment Shopping

I’ve had the same laptop for 12 years.  Technology progresses at the speed of light.  I know!  I finally decided it was time to purchase a new machine. After having problems with my laptop display earlier in the year I rigged up an old SQUARE shaped monitor as a second monitor to overcome some of the problems I was having.  But, this meant I had turned my laptop into a desktop.  It quenched my new device thirst for almost a year.

I use an iPhone (6S) and where I live Apple products dominate; or at least seem to dominate the coffee shop scene where the design on the back of your monitor is like a badge showing your financial wherewithal.   Perhaps this version is a more intimate display of keeping up with the Jones than your automobile.

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My browser thinks laptop review sites are a favorite destination I researched them so much.  I reflected upon my usage requirements, budget, and future familial computing needs.  I wasn’t ready for the learning curve or price tag of a Mac. Knowing that most of my time is spent on a Chrome browser I decided to get this Chromebook.  Its a bit of a learning curve, but I’m getting up to speed.

I still cannot get over the price I paid for an adequate machine. Even computers with far higher computing power are still drastically cheaper than even several years ago.  The cost per dollar of any technical horsepower metric is down across the board.  Its a good time to be a laptop consumer.

I believe my low cost laptop solution will meet my needs and allow the money I didn’t spend on a machine to earn a ROI elsewhere in my family budget.  This shopping experience is a parallel going on across numerous industries including the investment industry.

Fidelity recently announced zero (0.00%) expense ratio index funds.  Some even speculate that other fund families will eventually pay investors in the form of negative expense ratios to invest in their funds. Vanguard now offers commission free trading on 1,800 ETFs.  Everyone, it seems is borrowing the tech industry’s method of driving revenues by giving away benefits to deliver customer growth.

Now is as good a time as any to be an individual investor.  Investment expenses have been on the decline for some time.

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So, what does this mean to me?  Investment costs are correlated with returns which has a major impact on an investor’s long term portfolio value.  Below from the Securities and Exchange Commission showing a potential loss in value of $30,000 over 20 years on a $100,000 portfolio.

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When you make a decision about where to invest your hard earned money take an approach that involves research into the long term cost of ownership.  Morningstar is a great resource for independent investment information.  It could have a major impact on your quality of life in the future.  I recommend spending at least as much thought on your investments or finding someone you can trust to advise you as you will with your next consumer purchase.

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