Back in 1991 when I was still living and working in the UK, a financial advisor persuaded me to open a private pension fund. For my US friends, this retirement account is essentially an IRA. I opened a retirement fund with Zurich insurance (back then they were Allied Dunbar I think) and I contributed a bit to it, then moved on. Eventually I forgot about it.
Just recently I remembered this pension fund and figured I would go ahead and call Zurich and get my info updated and see how much I have in the pension fund. I was absolutely floored to find that I had almost $100k in there!
After falling out of my seat, I went over the numbers. In total I invested £13,500, and the current value is now £67,213. Putting that through the currency converter (1:1.39 GBP to USD) yields $93,199.
So what is the moral of this story?
Well, small investments on a long time horizon can add up to be significant; compound interest for the win! My small investment increased 5x over 30 years, and I stopped contributions after a couple of years. This is almost 30 years of interest only. Imagine what this could have been if I kept investing!
The other lesson here is that you should hunt down all those small IRAs and 401ks that you have scattered in your past. You never know where or what value they hold today. This was a welcome surprise as I was hoping to make the quarter million this year and obviously I have blown that goal away. Welcome news indeed. Now to get with Cat and see what our new net worth figure is.