Gold. Crude Oil. Natural Gas. Copper. Commodities are present in every facet of our daily lives. We all seem to be sensitive to the price of gas at the pump, what it costs to heat our house, and what we pay at the grocery store. When we turn on CNBC, the ticker not only shows the Dow and the Nasdaq, but oil, gold, silver, and a host of other products that have become almost mainstream. Niche products, such as frozen orange juice (think of the film “Trading Places”) and coffee, have become chat room staples.
As kids graduate from high school and prepare to move on to the next phase of their lives, many parents face a similar conundrum: How in the world are we going to pay for college?
Whether you have one child or several, the costs of college are simply daunting. With college costs rising approximately 7% each year, you could be out half a million dollars by the time you pay for a few kids to get a degree. That’s enough to destroy even the best-laid financial plan.
As many people know, earning college grants and scholarships can be difficult – there is a great deal of competition, and even students who get excellent grades are denied. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult to obtain student loans – even though that money must be paid back with interest.
Funding your kids’ college expenses is certainly not as straightforward as you might think. Still, despite all the hurdles and difficulties, numerous opportunities exist that you can take advantage of by being creative and planning carefully.
The Rising Cost of Tuition
When I started trading commodities in the fall of 1990, the price of gold was $400 an ounce. From September of 1990 to September of 2005, the price of gold ranged from around $280 to $450 an ounce: a difference of $170 over 15 years. Over the course of any given year, a $40 to $50 move in the price would be considered a big – in a single year.
Having spent 20 years on Wall Street, I was fortunate enough to meet many intelligent people – and on Wall Street, intelligent people become rich. So when I was speaking recently to my old boss, I asked him about the stock market and what he was buying. He told me he hadn’t bought a stock in 10 years.
What’s this? Everybody on Wall Street has a couple of favorite stocks that they love to brag about. So where on earth was he putting his money? His answer: “Whole life insurance.”