I get offers for credit cards in the mail all the time. We all do. Usually they go straight into the shredder but occasionally I’ll glance at them just to laugh at the misleading garbage they expect us to believe. In my mail today was an offer for a card with a $450 annual fee. Of course, they offered all kinds of “perks” I’ll never use such as VIP seats to the opera. But just out of curiosity I crunched some numbers. I love to crunch numbers, but this one even blew me away. If instead of sending them $450 a year I opted to send that money to a mutual fund for just 25 years, and it averaged 11% interest (the stock market average for over 80 years), I’d have over $57,000. That’s right. Just $11,250 out of my pocket will earn me nearly 46,000 bucks. Think that’s something? If I invested that same amount every year for 50 years I’d have over $830,000. It may be too late for me to invest for that long, but if you’re in your twenties (or know someone who is), it’s not too late at all. And while $450 may seem like a lot of money, it’s not. $450 a year is a measly $1.23 a day. Think about the next time you’re getting something from the vending machine at work. Or better yet, the next time you have VIP seats at the opera ask yourself if it’s worth over 3/4 of a million dollars.