26 February 2013

Nest Eggs for Education Funds

Years ago, my wife set up a savings account for each of our child.  Contributing $50 a month for several (many!) years, these eventually reach a few thousand dollars.  But with the rapidly depleting interest rates at the banks, we finally decided that it wasn't the most optimal approach.

Reviewing the longer term plans, we decided to build these towards their respective tertiary education funds, should they succeed academically.  We then revised the monthly contributing to $500 a month by investing in a basket for unit trust funds (aggressive portfolio diversified across several regional funds - US, Europe, GEM, Asia ex-Pac).  With the increased earning power, this was viable and sustainable in recent years.  Through this, the respective funds have rapidly built up to $50,000 each through a combination of monthly contributions and growth in valuation.

Looking forward, I have shifted towards $600 a month contribution towards a portfolio of conservative money market and short duration bond funds.  Coupled with additional top-ups following each Chinese New Year and other miscellenous, it should lead to a nett contribution of about $8,000 a year.  In 4 years, when they would be of age for university, the respective nest eggs would have reached $80,000, an average of $20,000 for each of the 4 years at the university.  A sum that wouldn't be enough for an overseas education, though it would be a big leg up regardless.  More importantly, it should be adequate for local studies.

Looks like they are set.

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