What To Do

All this financial introspection leads me up to a conundrum.  I have a small lump of money from a matured CD, and I want to make the most of it.  The most practical, least joyful thing to do would be to pay off some of my debt.  The Bali trip sunk me further than I like to be, but it so made life worth living.  Having this debt makes me uncomfortable, yet it is not unmanageable, as I have killed off larger amounts with my financial diet.  This lump, although small, is money that I forgot I had, it grew a little, and I want it to grow more for the future.

I could leave it in my savings account to build up that 9 months of expenses with a wee bit of interest, but that’s not very satisfying either.  I want return without much risk, which just isn’t possible in the era of near zero interest.

The most sensible thing to do would be to put it in my 401k so that it can grow tax free.  When I talked to the brokerage firm, they told me that I couldn’t deposit a chunk of money into the account, but that I could adjust my contribution for the duration until it reached the sum that I wanted to deposit, and then adjust back.  And maybe, if I was used to it, I will be able to afford to keep the adjustment at that higher rate.  An interesting idea that changed my notion of money – that it’s fluid, not just a solid lump sum.  Intriguing and painless, but somehow also unsatisfying, as I was interested in something new.

I thought of putting it into a long forgotten stagnating Roth, which could use a jumpstart.  I met with the financial advisor of my account who wasn’t that interested unless I moved all of my scattered accounts to him to make it worth his while.  He did tell me that the funds that I had in my Roth could be put to better us in other funds, and that I would have to choose it – yet another decision to be made.  I left more confused than ever.

My one crazy idea was to buy stock in rare earth minerals.  A total gamble, I am fascinated by them as they are in so many products from computers to green tech to military tech.  It’s a limited resource that seems as un-PC as oil and coal.  Risky, and a little sexy, like a new pair of sparkly shoes.

Speaking with a friend about my dilemma, she didn’t think I needed any more professional or non-professional advice.  No one knows my money and money tolerance than I do.  It’s a matter of putting it into action, which is the hardest part.

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