Kevin at asked an interesting question in the comments section of my most recent Net Worth update. He asked…

When are you going to start investing outside of your retirement accounts?

A valid question seeing that the only dabbling I’ve done in the stock market has been strictly related to retirement planning. To many of you, it probably appears as though I’ve overlooked short term investing. I beg to differ.

Although Girl Ninja and I don’t plan on buying a house in the immediate future we know that we don’t want to be renters forever. We’ve also read reports that indicate rent increasing between 4% – 8% a year for the next few years. It’s also probably safe to assume that interest rates will also rise in the next year or two (the difference between a 5% and a 7% mortgage loan can literally end up costing tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of the loan).

So Kevin, I challenge your assumption that Girl Ninja and I aren’t investing outside of retirement. In fact I’d argue that we are aggressively pursuing short term investing opportunities…via our savings account :).

We’ve been throwing $3,000 to $5,000 a month in to our savings account in hopes of building a sizable down payment quickly (between $60k-$100k). Can you imagine how great things will be once we reach this threshold (hopefully as early as this winter)!? If we have cash we can buy what we want, when we want.

We will have the ability to take advantage of interest rates while they are at one of their lowest rates ever (saving us hundreds of dollars a month).

We can put down 20% (saving another $100-$200 a month since we won’t pay PMI).

We could save tens of thousands of dollars by buying a house in a relatively flat market (this of course assumes house prices will begin to increase over the next few years).

And if for some reason we decide to NOT buy a house in the next few years, we will enjoy having a boatload of money in our savings account… Which we can then use to do things like short term investing in the stock market, travel the world….and by world I mean the United States, have 17 babies and get a reality TV show deal, but MOST importantly, I can buy that darn unicorn I’ve always wanted.

What short term investing strategies are you taking advantage of? What are you actively doing to better your financial situation outside of saving for retirement? I say there is more to “investing” than the stock market, what say you?

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