ruralavalon wrote:When I got my first job after finishing school (1971), and started saving for a house in an ordinary savings account.
Interesting questions as to whether saving and investing are the same thing. When you pay for an education you are "investing" in human capital.
investing is acquiring "something" in the hope of future return.
Saving is the function of not consuming your income. (yes income is also complex and may include unrealized capital gains)
There are lots of ways to "save" When you buy a house or a car you increase your stock of durable goods.
That can be a form of savings. So are gold earrings (as DW like to point out) I note that only the resale value is saving and the rest is consumed
When I graduated from law school I was deep in debt but had substantial "human capital" The next day
I made the most intelligent "investment" in my life by marrying the right lady.
(Brilliant medical student who desperately needed a cook) Paying down student loans was savings.
Buying our house resulted in substantial wealth creation. Having children was always a race between income and expenses.
I was 37 before I bought a new car or a share of stock. From then till now we have turned the savings crank.
I would also note that I benefited from a change in the tax law. From 2001 I could have a 403b and a 457 and a DB pension all from the same State employer with all with separate tax favored treatments. Including the DB pension our tax favored savings were about 32% of income. I managed to save outside of that our Retirement funds have always been the vast buldk of savings.