This is a guest post by Edward Stern. Edward is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online degrees for Guide to Online Schools.
The newest gizmos and gadgets are temptation incarnate. With the hottest bells and whistles constantly changing technology as we know it, from TVs to cell phones, the urge to spend on the latest trend can be too much for some to handle.
However, gadgets have notoriously short shelf lives, with most technology being considered obsolete two years after its birth date. That 6-CD changer you bought brand new in the 90s for $500? Worthless. That original Playstation you waited in line for at 4 in the morning and spent over $300 for controllers and games? Makes a decent doorstop. That big screen from 10 years ago that you gleefully forked over several thousand dollars for? Sitting in your garage, a big immobile hunk whose picture clarity is primitive compared to the plasmas of today.
Technology isn’t a great investment, but some more so than others — while everything will one day be replaced by better, more efficient updates, some will last longer and be better investments. It’s just difficult to figure what will be a quick fad like 8-tracks and what will stand the test of technology’s rapid time like the iPod.
TVs are the centerpiece of many households, as one of the bigger investments and one that gets the most use. The new 3D televisions are all the rage, but it is hard to predict whether they will just be a fad or the way of the future. Having to wear goggles all the time is annoying, and some research has been inconclusive as to whether viewing screens in 3D is detrimental for eyesight and the brain.
A safer investment would be an all-in-one player for a TV like Apple TV or Google TV. Why not use the biggest screen in the house to search the internet, check your Facebook, and stream shows and movies? Streaming is the real way of the future for its ability to quickly call up most any program or movie on demand, thus making Blu-Ray and DVD players a very poor investment.
Another way to save money is by purchasing off-brand products, eschewing the popular, more glamorous logos for something less expensive. Depending on what you buy and what your needs are, this can be a good way to save money, though I wouldn’t normally recommend buying off-brand for essential items like computers — here, more often than not, you get what you pay for, especially in support.
Buying off-brand for MP3 players and the like is often a sound choice. If it plays music and holds the amount you need, why pay extra for a little apple logo? That said, for people who already have smart phones, portable players are completely unnecessary, and soon will go the way of the Walkman. Services like Mog offer apps for iPhone, Android, and most other smart phones that allow users to stream music anywhere they get reception. Mog offers a much larger library than most portable devices could ever hold, and at only $5 a month is a much more cost-effective investment for users who already have smart phones than to go out and buy a separate platform.
As always, investing in technology is roll of the dice. Consider anything that serves your needs for 10 years to be a truly exceptional find.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.