I’ve never bought fireworks in my life. Where I grew up they were illegal (although that seemed to deter few people) and my dad would never allow it. Yesterday, my son bought fireworks for the first time in his short life. I guess I’m less of a hard ass than my dad. My only stipulation was that he had to spend his own money and that an adult had to be present when he lit them.
I am fundamentally opposed to buying fireworks. I don’t oppose other people buying them, mind you. In fact, I need other people to buy them. I can sit in my driveway and watch thousands of dollars of other people’s money go up in smoke, get just as much entertainment as if I’d bought them, and not spend a penny. Did I mention I’m an accountant?
The boy spent $35.34 on fireworks this year. Had he invested that money in an index fund that returns 10% over time, he would have $8,084.43 when he’s 65.
If he continues to buy fireworks until he retires, and the cost or quantity of fireworks he buys is 5% more than the previous year, he will have spent $11,271.88. If he invested that money instead, he would have $165,930.57.
He thoroughly enjoyed lighting his fireworks, but I don’t know if was $166,000 worth of fun.