Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

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midareff
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Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am

Just curious what pthers are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?

pasadena
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by pasadena » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:30 am

I have a small brokerage account with a few stocks. It's about $5k. I haven't bought (or sold) anything for months now.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:36 am

I have done this in the past but found it was too time consuming for the small amounts involved.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:36 am

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am
Just curious what pthers are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
We don't have a "play" account, and don't trade.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:38 am

If I want to play with something, it involves a spotter, being locked in 4 low and a disconnected sway bar. I don't play with my investments.
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Riprap
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Riprap » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:39 am

Nope...learned my lesson in commodity futures. It was a lesson in humility. The tuition was sort of expensive too.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:52 am

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am
Just curious what others are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
FWIW, it's not exactly hit and miss although sometimes it is. I track specific sector and geographic area fund performances in M* and play current momentum with the current results after it's digested and processed by formula in excel so there is a finite method. While withdrawing an amount equal to an annualized 5.5% WR it has increased share of portfolio from roughly 5% to 6.95% as of today over a two year period. Prior to the period and systematizing it I was doing the same thing by gut. Now most certainly there is no accounting for dumb luck, but it does eliminate any need/desire/urge to play with anything else as a side benefit. As of today the results for one day short of a full year are S&P500 up 2.51% and MOMemtum up 7.71% from 2/5/2018.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by smitcat » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:55 am

My wife does this with a specified amount of funds seeded years back. It solves for the issue that she likes to be active with some stock trading.

2015
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by 2015 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm

There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by VTSE0910 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:46 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am
Just curious what pthers are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
I have an account with Motif where I buy collections of stocks periodically. Sometimes, I'll buy a list from a newsletter, sometimes make up my own baskets. I've beaten the market so far.

I also have a Robinhood account where I trade more randomly. I've done ok with options by going long/short in whipsaw markets.

Both accounts make up about 7% of my portfolio in total and I enjoy the trading.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:06 pm

In the past, yes.

Play account was lending club, low 5-figures.

Other play account was investing in individual stocks and taking a few long shots. This account is roughly $7k, presently. It stays untouched now.

100% index funds now.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:33 pm

I use about 1% of NW to test my imagination. Not bad so far with a nice bonus of a free valuable live lesson that I cannot beat the market consistently.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by siriusblack » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:45 pm

I keep a brokerage account where I buy individual stocks. It works for me because:

1. It makes me feel like I'm doing something (so I can leave my 401k and IRA's in boring / lazy portfolios).

2. It keeps me grounded in the actual business environment and the economy -- it trains me to look at fundamentals, earnings, cash flows, growth rates, and business/competitive dynamics. For example ... in all these boglehead discussions about future returns of the market, I gravitate towards the S&P 500 earnings chart vs. the S&P 500 price chart. (http://www.multpl.com/s-p-500-earnings/) Over a very long period of time, it's the fundamentals that drive the performance of individual stocks and the market as a whole. (Over a short period of time, it's anyone's guess what will happen to prices.)

3. I think it also gives me some extra perspective in my day job -- I do business strategy/planning for a technology company, and I think understanding how individual stocks really work is a good foundation for any kind of business role.

4. I think people who understand how to select individual stocks have a slight edge psychologically in "staying the course" with the boglehead philosophy. I fully intend to teach my kids investing with individual stocks, so they can really understand what it means to have a partial ownership share in a company. (But of course I'll steer them to broad diversified portfolios for the bulk of their savings.)

Overall this is < 10% of my total portfolio. I'll add that my individual stock portfolio has performed pretty similarly to the broader market, so there has been no performance advantage or disadvantage -- it resembles a low-volatility factor + value factor fund. I gravitate to companies with steady earnings growth over a long period of time, healthy balance sheets, minimal debt, strong cash flow, low beta, and good competitive position. It performed pretty well through the December volatility. When I run my individual stock portfolio through portfolio visualizer, the sharpe ratio is higher than the S&P 500. I like the feeling that the portfolio is well supported by fundamentals, and who cares about the short-term price performance. That gives me good grounding for being a boglehead with the rest of my portfolio.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by TierArtz » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:47 pm

My ESPP. I should probably sell more often. Not counting the discount, my company's ticker lags VTSAX for 1, 3, 5, and 10 year periods :(

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by SteveJones » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:58 pm

The craziest have ever gotten is buy into Vanguard's Health Sector fund. My whole family minus me is in the health industry so I did it.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Wiggums » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:07 pm

In the late 90s, I asked my coworkers a lot questions about investing and got little useful info. So I would buy Nokia stock every day when the market opened and sell it at lunch time when the market usually rallied into the European close. Short term gains and calls from Fidelity about some rule I violated was enough for me to move on. So I took up online poker until they took cash games away. Now I read a lot and spend time with the family.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by hicabob » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:18 pm

I have a couple IRA's that were balanced to exactly equal $$ about 10 years ago. One is straight US index, the other I pick the stocks. The winner varies but right now my picks have an 11% lead over the index account :happy I consider managing it a hobby and it's certainly educational. The "play account" is about 12% of my net worth so not too risky. I find selling the winners to be the hardest thing with managing individual stocks. Lots of woulda-coulda-shoulda.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by honduranhurricane » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:31 pm

I do.

I enjoy individual stock selection and like others have mentioned, it helps me not tinker with our much larger 'core' accounts. I define core as my 401k, HSA, wifes 457, both our roth's and the 529 account. Even my 'play' account is typically 50% total stock market.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:33 pm

I have dabbled in individual stocks, and have been successful. I am on my third cycle of picking five stocks to hold.

I do not trade, I hold, mostly about two years.

This cycle will be my last, though I have done well. But I don't know if I have luck or skill. And, I see no reason to wonder any longer. I am willing to walk away, so I will after I sell my current group.

Frankly, had I done this type of thing in my younger days, I probably would be much poorer, especially if I enjoyed the luck I have enjoyed when older. My ego would have probably given me too much confidence. That would have been a toxic mix.

No cycle ever involved as much as 5% of MY portfolio, as I never gambled with DW's money. That would not have been a moral thing to do.

Lately, I no longer even hold sector bets, like REITs, or Healthcare. Just like my individual stocks, those holdings served me well.

But, after receiving my lump sum pension money, the realization that other than receiving SS, and portfolio dividends and interest, I would most likely not be receiving new monies again hit me. That is a sobering conclusion I reached concerning such riskier investment activities. I am OK with that.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:47 pm

2015 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm
There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.
Probably just as good. Plus you get free drinks even when you lose all your stake. Though you do pay dearly for the drinks, in reality. :happy

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by dcw213 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:43 pm

I used to use an old brokerage account to trade stocks and sell covered calls. The account was just under 1% of net worth. I justified it as entertainment and education. I think there was some value in the education, mostly the outcome supporting that I could not consistently beat the market. I never got carried away but did find that i spent a lot of time and mental energy reviewing the price movements of my "picks". While I knew this all along, it hit me one day that this was not a good use of my time, as the outcome of my position of a few thousand dollars would not matter much to my financial situation. Stopping has just been one less distraction.

That said, I think it is a fair endeavor for those truly interested as a hobby, though one must be disciplined. I view the risk as high that upon losing most or all of the play account, one would be tempted to add new funds and try to make up for the loss (gambler's folly).

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by inbox788 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:26 pm

2015 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm
There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.
I'm completely the opposite. I play with investing because it's a positive expected value game vs. gambling a negative expected value. The aggregate of layers is guaranteed to lose in a casino, whereas the players in some investments (i.e. equities) can in aggregate come out ahead. You have to look at the size of the pie and when it gets bigger (stock/business growth) vs. those taking slices without adding to the pie (casino cut, broker fees, etc.). There's also the issue of games of luck vs. skill. I've though about the "skill" games in the casino (e.g. poker and card counting in blackjack), but they require quite a bit of work and commitment. And the "skill" in stockpicking and other equity games is much more interesting to me, but overall, it's hard to separate out the luck. Many of the "winners" in the stockpicking game really just lucked out and can't really reproduce their results, and those that might have done so (e.g. "the oracle of omaha") have relative small differences from the market and mixed results (apple vs. ibm).

Anyway, I started out with a larger percentage in a play account with the intent on expanding it, but while both have grown, and returns in the play account have outperformed, the risk, volatility and stress involved wasn't worth expanding it, and new investments are going in BH style so the play account is now just a small percentage and not significant to retirement.

One thing you should always do is compare your risk and results not only to cash difference, but what if you simply had invested in Total Market or 60/40 fund over long periods.
Last edited by inbox788 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:30 pm

Internet bubble bursting was the end of my playing. Growing a tiny amount would not be satisfying, neither would losing a big amount.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by gator15 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:31 pm

I have an account with Acorns. It's got a decent amount in it. Funded a vacation last year and will likely do the same this year.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:40 pm

It turns out that my core is my play account. It makes my play very real and prevents me from doing risky things.

Turnover in 2019 so far is 23%. In 2018, it was 97%. By turnover, I mean:
Turnerover% = 100 * Dollar_amount_buys / Dollar_amount_year_start.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by GerryL » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:43 pm

I have a substantial stash of company stock that I did not include in my financial plan. I don't "play" with it, but I consider it "play money." If it were included in my plan, my AA would be out of whack. Currently I view it as a source for funding my donor-advised fund, but I am also occasionally cashing out shares with a high cost basis and adding the $$ to the taxable account that is accounted for in my financial plan. And at this stage in retirement the dividends are nice.

In my working years I kept acquiring shares through ESPP, options and RSUs, but I rarely sold any. If I'd been more knowledgeable about investing, I probably would have handled the shares differently. Fortunately, it all worked out fine.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:41 pm

midareff wrote: Just curious what others are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
Husband used to have a play account :annoyed Bought Lucent Technologies in 1996 at $64/share, then held it "for the long run," until I found the paperwork in 2007 and sold it for about $8/share.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Plecoptera » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:05 pm

Somewhere in the Boglehead past there was an interview with John Bogle where he said I know you're doing it, you know better, keep it under 10%.

Like so much else, I have followed the spirit better than the letter at times, but I always kept it close to 10% or less. Right now I'm probably well under 1%, probably less than 0.1%

I have an active Brokerage account at Vanguard, and currently hold a few stocks which I got thru employee plans or through speculation. Their value is less than the brokerage fee of selling them so they will probably live on my account until I die.

I have also at times been an active stock picker, read many books and took classes on fundimental analysis technique. I sat down once, nearly 20 years ago and calculated my return, and discovered I had over time regressed to the mean. Basically I concluded I was an astute stock picker, and managed to end up about where I would have had I held the Vgard Total Stock and going fly fishing. As we all know, that means I beat most active managers, but I made much less on fees.

I don't regret it per se, during the 2008 panic I was picking many stocks that tripled and better. But it takes that extreme volatility and uncertainty. Stocks have to trade at an extreme discount due to irrational fear.

I have also held a few stocks that I spent time researching and where I knew about their position in the industry from dealing with them thru my employment. I knew when they were relatively cheap, and when they were overvalued. They all over the course of time got bought out, and are now part of larger competitors.

If I were an actual fund manager I would be regarded as a closet indexer, who occasionally gets lucky. In comparison I now get my Colorado fishing license at the lower senior citizen rate, and it is a much more interesting use of time. Trout have a brain sized smaller than a pea and are pretty much driven by hardwired fear and feed instincts. Most days I can beat them, and the Vgard Index funds I am in while doing that still beat the active managers.

As a smart man said, I know you're doing it, you know better, keep it under 10%.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Plecoptera » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:44 pm

Somewhere in the Boglehead past there was an interview with John Bogle where he said I know you're doing it, you know better, keep it under 10%.

Like so much else, I have followed the spirit better than the letter at times, but I always kept it close to 10% or less. Right now I'm probably well under 1%, probably less than 0.1%

I have an active Brokerage account at Vanguard, and currently hold a few stocks which I got thru employee plans or through speculation. Their value is less than the brokerage fee of selling them so they will probably live on my account until I die.

I have also at times been an active stock picker, read many books and took classes on fundimental analysis technique. I sat down once, nearly 20 years ago and calculated my return, and discovered I had over time regressed to the mean. Basically I concluded I was an astute stock picker, and managed to end up about where I would have had I held the Vgard Total Stock and gone fly fishing. As we all know, that means I beat most active managers, but I made much less on fees.

I don't regret it per se, during the 2008 panic I was picking many stocks that tripled and better. Self-esteem flowed freely. But it takes that extreme volatility and uncertainty. Stocks have to trade at an extreme discount due to irrational fear. The catch is the fear might not be totally irrational. Also, while you are doing that Vgard is balancing their funds and buying so you are concentrating your risk, and they are also going to benefit from the rebound. After a stunning 2009 bounce I again regressed to the mean. Modern Portfolio Theory is ALWAYS at work, and you exceed the market return only by increasing your portfolio risk. So, do you feel lucky, and do you feel it will continue.

I have also held a few stocks that I spent time researching and where I knew about their position in the industry from dealing with them thru my employment. I knew when they were relatively cheap, and when they were overvalued. They all over the course of time got bought out, and are now part of larger competitors. I was correct, they were bargains, especially when you don't have to calculate the labor cost associated with doing the analysis, and the constant tracking of relative value.

If I were an actual fund manager I would be regarded as a closet indexer, who occasionally gets lucky. In comparison I now get my Colorado fishing license at the lower senior citizen rate, and it is a much more interesting use of time. Trout have a brain sized smaller than a pea and are pretty much driven by hardwired fear and feed instincts. Most days I can beat them, and the Vgard Index funds I am in while doing that still beat the active managers.

As a smart man said, I know you're doing it, you know better, keep it under 10%.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by bgf » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:47 pm

what others might call a "play account" is currently 20% of my portfolio - berkshire hathaway, markel, amd ebix. they are in my IPS and i have rules governing when to purchase.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:52 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:41 pm
midareff wrote: Just curious what others are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
Husband used to have a play account :annoyed Bought Lucent Technologies in 1996 at $64/share, then held it "for the long run," until I found the paperwork in 2007 and sold it for about $8/share.
ouch....

2015
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by 2015 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:55 am

inbox788 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:26 pm
2015 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm
There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.
I'm completely the opposite. I play with investing because it's a positive expected value game vs. gambling a negative expected value. The aggregate of layers is guaranteed to lose in a casino, whereas the players in some investments (i.e. equities) can in aggregate come out ahead. You have to look at the size of the pie and when it gets bigger (stock/business growth) vs. those taking slices without adding to the pie (casino cut, broker fees, etc.). There's also the issue of games of luck vs. skill. I've though about the "skill" games in the casino (e.g. poker and card counting in blackjack), but they require quite a bit of work and commitment. And the "skill" in stockpicking and other equity games is much more interesting to me, but overall, it's hard to separate out the luck. Many of the "winners" in the stockpicking game really just lucked out and can't really reproduce their results, and those that might have done so (e.g. "the oracle of omaha") have relative small differences from the market and mixed results (apple vs. ibm).

Anyway, I started out with a larger percentage in a play account with the intent on expanding it, but while both have grown, and returns in the play account have outperformed, the risk, volatility and stress involved wasn't worth expanding it, and new investments are going in BH style so the play account is now just a small percentage and not significant to retirement.

One thing you should always do is compare your risk and results not only to cash difference, but what if you simply had invested in Total Market or 60/40 fund over long periods.
Luck is so intricately involved in investing I can't imagine allowing my ego, greed, or fear sucker me into engaging in any "play with" investing. I'd much rather "play" with my health, by knowing all of my health markers, and taking action to optimize my health. My most recent "play" in this regard I have deemed as High Performance Aging as well as Vitality by Design. My "play" also involves mitigating and minimizing deep and shallow risk of all kinds through optimizing my insurances, engaging in thorough emergency disaster planning, through and complete knowledge of estate planning, engaging in a thorough and continued scan of data, identity theft, and personal security practices, etc., etc., etc. My "play" includes constant innovative attention to community and relationship building and to ongoing personal transformation of all kinds. Some luck in these outcomes is involved, but I view it as a much wiser "bet" than any time I could waste "playing with" investing. I have stated repeatedly that the lives of human beings are complex adaptive systems, and the attention stolen by a focus on investing (gambling by any other word) must come at the expense of other life inputs/outputs that will have an equal, or even greater, effect on the overall system.

I have found the highest form of risk mitigation can be attained through the constant reading of non-fiction books outside and beyond the fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics. The paradox is reading beyond these fields actually serves to increase the effectiveness of decision-making within them.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by midareff » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:11 pm

2015 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:55 am
inbox788 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:26 pm
2015 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm
There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.
I'm completely the opposite. I play with investing because it's a positive expected value game vs. gambling a negative expected value. The aggregate of layers is guaranteed to lose in a casino, whereas the players in some investments (i.e. equities) can in aggregate come out ahead. You have to look at the size of the pie and when it gets bigger (stock/business growth) vs. those taking slices without adding to the pie (casino cut, broker fees, etc.). There's also the issue of games of luck vs. skill. I've though about the "skill" games in the casino (e.g. poker and card counting in blackjack), but they require quite a bit of work and commitment. And the "skill" in stockpicking and other equity games is much more interesting to me, but overall, it's hard to separate out the luck. Many of the "winners" in the stockpicking game really just lucked out and can't really reproduce their results, and those that might have done so (e.g. "the oracle of omaha") have relative small differences from the market and mixed results (apple vs. ibm).

Anyway, I started out with a larger percentage in a play account with the intent on expanding it, but while both have grown, and returns in the play account have outperformed, the risk, volatility and stress involved wasn't worth expanding it, and new investments are going in BH style so the play account is now just a small percentage and not significant to retirement.

One thing you should always do is compare your risk and results not only to cash difference, but what if you simply had invested in Total Market or 60/40 fund over long periods.
Luck is so intricately involved in investing I can't imagine allowing my ego, greed, or fear sucker me into engaging in any "play with" investing. I'd much rather "play" with my health, by knowing all of my health markers, and taking action to optimize my health. My most recent "play" in this regard I have deemed as High Performance Aging as well as Vitality by Design. My "play" also involves mitigating and minimizing deep and shallow risk of all kinds through optimizing my insurances, engaging in thorough emergency disaster planning, through and complete knowledge of estate planning, engaging in a thorough and continued scan of data, identity theft, and personal security practices, etc., etc., etc. My "play" includes constant innovative attention to community and relationship building and to ongoing personal transformation of all kinds. Some luck in these outcomes is involved, but I view it as a much wiser "bet" than any time I could waste "playing with" investing. I have stated repeatedly that the lives of human beings are complex adaptive systems, and the attention stolen by a focus on investing (gambling by any other word) must come at the expense of other life inputs/outputs that will have an equal, or even greater, effect on the overall system.

I have found the highest form of risk mitigation can be attained through the constant reading of non-fiction books outside and beyond the fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics. The paradox is reading beyond these fields actually serves to increase the effectiveness of decision-making within them.
That's very interesting 2015, and thanks for taking the time to share your perspective. I have become much more risk averse since 1997/8 (that was awful), and we do work on our health. ... her being younger and much healthier than me. My lovely wife is very artsy and creative and unfortunately not even a junior member of the numbers are us club. I'll probably have to go Vanguard Financial Services wrapped inside an instructioned trust in a couple years. .. with my attorney as co-exec.
He's OK with numbers and after 35 years of being work time lunch buddies and now both retired a bunch of years I know his character and trust it.
FWIW, my focus on life is not stolen by investing... we travel internationally 4 - 6 times a year where I shoot photos and she does videos. Try www.martindareff.com if there are any doubts. Thanks again for your perspective.... much valued.

Fire2030
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Fire2030 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:30 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am
Just curious what pthers are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
Before I discovered BH, I was/am a Buffet follower. But never had enough money to dabble with stocks after maxing the retirement accounts.
In 2008 I couldn't resist my self and took some money out of the Emergency Savings (used to 2 yrs worth of expenses in CDs/MM) to invest in stocks as everything was on sale :)
It was about 10% of my networth at the time...not trading but holding for long term of undervalued blue chip stocks. After 10 yrs..it was 10x that amount. I have now moved that to core holdings after LTCG. Now, I am waiting for another 2008 , then I can retire sooner than planned :)

Currently my play money is 3% of my networth.

sf_tech_saver
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by sf_tech_saver » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:35 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:18 am
Just curious what pthers are doing.... rarely do anything but rebalance the core depending on balance bands but have a play portfolio = to about 7% of total and trade 9 or 10 times a year there. What about you?
For me this is small angel investments (25K) in tech firms. It follows the Taleb model of truly unpredictable upsides and broadens my tech network.

I should have invested some play amount in Amazon when I saw how big their cloud business could be early on but wasn't really investing at the time.

Other than angel investing (network based so hard for big players to copy) or early industry insight its hard to see how to win vs. the market.
VTI is a modern marvel

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by sergeant » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:13 pm

Yes I have a play account in cash in my safe. I use it to play BJ a few times a year in Vegas. I once had a large play account but AP has dried up and now I'm basically a Ploppie who has fun at the BJ table.

Our real money is invested in a Boglehead fashion.
AA- 20+ Years of Expenses Fixed Income/The remainder in Equities.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by hushpuppy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:14 pm

delete
Last edited by hushpuppy on Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by daheld » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:24 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:38 am
If I want to play with something, it involves a spotter, being locked in 4 low and a disconnected sway bar. I don't play with my investments.
I get this and I am assuming I'm in the minority around here. :sharebeer

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:29 pm

Yes around 10%. I want to say it's 50/50 fun and educational since there's more of a hands-on learning curve involved. Mostly it validates the value of a lazy portfolio.

At some point I'll liquidate my individual holdings but haven't gotten around to it quite yet.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by pward » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:30 pm

I did have a small fun account. It was valuable in that it gave me real life experience to back up everything bogleheads have been saying for years. I was a terrible trader / market timer / stock picker. I also learned that it was an awful lot of work, and I got very little pay for all the time I spent in research. It just wasn't worth it. I closed the account and rolled all the funds over into my long term index investment account, and I've slept much better ever since. I was one of those people that had to try to beat the market to learn that I couldn't do it. Gladly, I was smart enough to do it with a small enough chunk of change that it didn't make too big of a dent in my total portfolio.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:02 pm

I would never call it a "play" account. I call it "taxable" or "after tax".

Currently have about $1.6 million in it, spread across 30 or so individual stocks an a few Vanguard ETFs and bond funds.

I started it 30+ years ago before I had access to a 401k. I did consider it as "money I could afford to lose" early on. So maybe that counts as "play"? I averaged about 16-17% annual return before adding bond funds a few years ago, as I neared early retirement.

My 401k has always been essentially 3 fund Bogle head. It grew a lot slower, but I considered it "money I can't afford to lose".
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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Spinola
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Spinola » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:04 pm

No "play" money account for me. All my money is serious money, working for my bottom line in as efficient a way as possible. No time or inclination to gamble with money I can't afford to not have invested in low cost index funds.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Lemonaid56 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:19 pm

We have a small amount of money that I had invested previous to finding this excellent group of advisers here.
Using a previous formula, I bought and held about eight different stocks for companies I thought I had researched enough. A few have done ok, one very good but not enough to offset the dogs I also bought on some Foolish recommendation.
I don't buy individuals anymore but I have only held these for about 6 years and and will stick to that plan and see what happens. To me it does not seem worth the frustration watching them continue to tank . Only talking about 25K all together,( very small portion of our overall investments) that are losing but that money definitely could be spent better elsewhere.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:38 pm

2015 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:14 pm
There's a casino about a mile from my house and I'd go there before I'd play with investing. As it is, I've found far more fulfilling things to do with my time than go to a casino (like marveling at the bunnies who are back outside my kitchen window after I was sure the coyotes got them). I'm aware the mileage of others varies.
Yes. Also avoid casinos.
It is indeed the coming season for the bunnies. Temperatures are rising. Light morning rains. Coyotes busy with other things.

Recently, a friend told me he had bought into PG&E, Pacific Gas and Electric at $6.13 after filing for bankruptcy. Thereafter within a week or so the stock jumped to $13.50.

Being a dedicated "Boglehead", I found more interest in the early spring bunnies. :happy

No "play account" for me.
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by AerialWombat » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:43 pm

1). I bought $2500 of a foreign cannabis stock when it IPO'd several years ago. Total gamble, pre-BH.

2). I currently own 100,000 shares of the MoviePass parent company in my 401k. It's worth $1100. Purchased after it tanked last year. I kinda "month trade" that one stock, and I've recovered all my original capital and then some.

3). In January, I started putting cash in to a real estate crowdfunding site that does fix/flip loans. Hard money lending is something I wouldn't mind doing as a future business, and this lets me dip my toes in the water.

4). The bulk of my imaginary/paper wealth is tied up in the tech startup I co-founded, and still own 20% of. My shares are theoretically worth $800k+, but I do not count it in my net worth or AA. I consider my cash and time invested in that company as a complete loss, mentally, despite it being cash flow positive and a likely acquisition target within a couple years.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by inbox788 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:21 pm

Fire2030 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:30 pm
Now, I am waiting for another 2008 , then I can retire sooner than planned :)
You're kidding, right? For that plan to work, a number of thing have to happen:

1) Another crash like 2008
2) You're prepared for a 30%+ loss in equities
3) You're able to re-create your last "brilliant" strategy of investing in equities at the bottom.
4) We have a similar V shape recovery, and not one of the alternative U or L shaped or worse ones.

We may have another crash, but it might not result in the same outcome or an investor may not make the same optimal steps. It's a lot easier to talk about making investments at the bottom looking backwards than when we're actually experiencing a huge drop and uncertain about the future.

Anyway, with your 3% play account, that's not going to matter much either way, assuming your 97% is planned well, you've got nothing to worry about. If 3% goes to 0%, you've got got to cut a little. And if 3% goes to 30%, you can spend a little more freely, but buying that yatch is probably still out of reach (though if you already have one, you can upgrade to one that's 30% bigger).

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by xb7 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:04 pm

I think it's helpful to think about the human brain and how easily in some cases it can be hacked or tricked, whether intentionally or just incidentally.
It's well understood that humans don't process information about risk in a purely intellectual, objective way.

My concern about people having a play account wouldn't be that they might lose money (if a small percentage of the portfolio). My concern would be if their initial experiences were mostly winning ones. Much like if a gambler has an early good run, they can get hooked on the experience.

Of course this varies by the individual, and each of us are likely convinced that we are not susceptible to things that we see impacting others around us. So maybe you personally are (relatively) immune to this, but for individuals at large I don't think it's a great idea.

One of the benefits of the boglehead approach is that it takes OUT the whole active management component, whether done personally or by using advisors or active fund managers or whatever.

Please understand that I don't say the above in a judgemental way; if you have a play account and it works well for you, great! I just suspect that it's not a good idea for most people to "play" in this way.

DoubleR
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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by DoubleR » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:15 pm

Yes I have a brokerage account. I know it not the boglehead way, but I enjoy trading stocks eventhough its a small account.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by sambb » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:20 pm

I used to have an account, and bought apple with the first iphone. Paid off my mortgage with that one. Obvious win, to whomever touched that phone while people had their blackberries.

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Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

Post by 2015 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:56 pm

xb7 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:04 pm
I think it's helpful to think about the human brain and how easily in some cases it can be hacked or tricked, whether intentionally or just incidentally.
It's well understood that humans don't process information about risk in a purely intellectual, objective way.

My concern about people having a play account wouldn't be that they might lose money (if a small percentage of the portfolio). My concern would be if their initial experiences were mostly winning ones. Much like if a gambler has an early good run, they can get hooked on the experience.

Of course this varies by the individual, and each of us are likely convinced that we are not susceptible to things that we see impacting others around us. So maybe you personally are (relatively) immune to this, but for individuals at large I don't think it's a great idea.

One of the benefits of the boglehead approach is that it takes OUT the whole active management component, whether done personally or by using advisors or active fund managers or whatever.

Please understand that I don't say the above in a judgemental way; if you have a play account and it works well for you, great! I just suspect that it's not a good idea for most people to "play" in this way.
Very well said.
The other issue with spending one's time "playing" with investing is the enormous opportunity cost involved, virtually all of it hidden. The only way to optimize success in the totality of life is to go to bed smarter than when you woke up, and playing with investing is guaranteed to thwart this. The sad thing about "students of investing" is they will never stumble across what is referred to as "quake learning". This is the type of learning that changes your world view in such a way as to improve a wide swath of your life. It is not to be found in the fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics, although it will have a major impact on your decision-making and effectiveness in these areas.

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