Can you share your success stories?

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Topic Author
gomsoon
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Can you share your success stories?

Post by gomsoon » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Hi forum!

I was trying to find threads about people retiring by solely following boglehead principles. I just wanted to stay positive and stay the course during this downturn knowing there are people who just kept on going and was successful. Can someone share his / her success story from accumulation to retirement? How long did it take? Were you able to actually retire solely from 2- to 3-fund portfolio or had some other investments like real estate, crypto, etc?

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by WoodSpinner » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:07 pm

OP,

I have been a saver all of my life, from my very first job working at my Dad’s Pharmacy. Started in investing in low cost funds with my first job in 1978 and just kept on saving. Kept my expenses relatively low, saved 15% + Company Match, donated 10% to charity year-in-year-out. Made plenty of small financial mistakes but no big ones. Made many more good small financial decisions but no big ones.

Found the Bogleheads in 2017 as I was starting to plan out Retirement—what a terrifying time that was. Everything had been on autopilot for so long and I hadn’t really thought about how I would transition to this next phase.

In short, worked hard, enjoyed life, focused on what was important to me and my family and got rich slowly. Focused on life, volunteering, family, and my hobbies. Retirement was always a long term goal but rarely crossed my mind.

I have been incredibly lucky in life! But, I have also done my best to have a positive attitude, worked hard, grew my skills, and tried to add significant value.

I have a small home, IRA, and a Roth. No Real Estate (not handy and a bit scared of the risk), no Bitcoin , no Gold. My biggest assets are my wife and family.

Retired in Jan2018 and have been enjoying life—hope to continue for 30+ years.

Not sure if this is anywhere close to what you were looking for...

WoodSpinner

birnhamwood
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:34 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by birnhamwood » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:11 pm

We are in our eighties and are not rich by any means, but we have a solid sufficiency of about $3 million. We owe it to having chosen "safe" education careers (with good pensions), living below our means, avoiding the stock market, saving via US government bonds, and not trying to keep up with the Joneses. When the family rice and bean farm came up for sale twenty years ago we had saved enough and were able to buy it. It now brings in more than our combined pensions, Social Security, and other investments. To protect our nest egg, we both took our long term health insurance about mid-career.

We believe most people can replicate our experience. It just takes common sense and patience.

P.S. It helped to have had just one child.

Topic Author
gomsoon
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by gomsoon » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:04 pm

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:07 pm
OP,

I have been a saver all of my life, from my very first job working at my Dad’s Pharmacy. Started in investing in low cost funds with my first job in 1978 and just kept on saving. Kept my expenses relatively low, saved 15% + Company Match, donated 10% to charity year-in-year-out. Made plenty of small financial mistakes but no big ones. Made many more good small financial decisions but no big ones.

Found the Bogleheads in 2017 as I was starting to plan out Retirement—what a terrifying time that was. Everything had been on autopilot for so long and I hadn’t really thought about how I would transition to this next phase.

In short, worked hard, enjoyed life, focused on what was important to me and my family and got rich slowly. Focused on life, volunteering, family, and my hobbies. Retirement was always a long term goal but rarely crossed my mind.

I have been incredibly lucky in life! But, I have also done my best to have a positive attitude, worked hard, grew my skills, and tried to add significant value.

I have a small home, IRA, and a Roth. No Real Estate (not handy and a bit scared of the risk), no Bitcoin , no Gold. My biggest assets are my wife and family.

Retired in Jan2018 and have been enjoying life—hope to continue for 30+ years.

Not sure if this is anywhere close to what you were looking for...

WoodSpinner
Congratulations on your retirement! Glad to hear your longterm low-cost investing worked out. :sharebeer :sharebeer

Topic Author
gomsoon
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by gomsoon » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:06 pm

birnhamwood wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:11 pm
We are in our eighties and are not rich by any means, but we have a solid sufficiency of about $3 million. We owe it to having chosen "safe" education careers (with good pensions), living below our means, avoiding the stock market, saving via US government bonds, and not trying to keep up with the Joneses. When the family rice and bean farm came up for sale twenty years ago we had saved enough and were able to buy it. It now brings in more than our combined pensions, Social Security, and other investments. To protect our nest egg, we both took our long term health insurance about mid-career.

We believe most people can replicate our experience. It just takes common sense and patience.

P.S. It helped to have had just one child.
Wow thank you for that story. Surprised to hear you avoided stock market but still was able to retire with that much!

annu
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:55 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by annu » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:21 pm

I have been doing 4 fund portfolio since 2018. Last 3 weeks being home with kids and having to work, kids are young, need to make their meals, ensure they dont do anything stupid, and dont kill each other, I have still not decided to go out and get covid, still respectfull to wife as she has to work and go to office, and redirected my anger at spiders at home, finding and killing any/all of them.
So yeah not related to boglehead or portfolio, but biggest success of 2020 for me so far and if this working from home continues, probably for a long time, just hoping I always have some spiders to kill though... :D

flaccidsteele
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:42 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by flaccidsteele » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:36 pm

gomsoon wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm
Hi forum!

I was trying to find threads about people retiring by solely following boglehead principles. I just wanted to stay positive and stay the course during this downturn knowing there are people who just kept on going and was successful. Can someone share his / her success story from accumulation to retirement? How long did it take? Were you able to actually retire solely from 2- to 3-fund portfolio or had some other investments like real estate, crypto, etc?
Unconventional story

Started investing in university in the 90s

Equities only. Berkshire Hathaway B. No bonds

2000 tech crash, market timed into more Berkshire B (fell to $1400 pre-reverse split)

Added US index after tech crash. Also added more Berkshire B

2008 credit crisis, market timed again into more US index and more Berkshire B

2009 market timed again and purchased rental property (unlimited # of class B property in class B locations were selling for $40 psf and easily rented for $1 psf/mo)

Retired in 40s once net rental income replaced entire household income. $5m+ nw. No debt

2020 market timed again into more US index and more Berkshire B

Personally, after experiencing and buying into 3 downturns, investing is rinse and repeat. Simple game. Crashes transfer wealth from emotional to opportunistic
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat

retire57
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by retire57 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:23 pm

It took us about 30 years, with some employment gaps, to become financially independent using Boglehead principles. Buying and holding index funds all the way, we were never big earners, but rather big savers. Living in modest homes, driving modest cars, and avoiding debt helped.

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unclescrooge
Posts: 4532
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:38 pm

gomsoon wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:06 pm
birnhamwood wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:11 pm
We are in our eighties and are not rich by any means, but we have a solid sufficiency of about $3 million. We owe it to having chosen "safe" education careers (with good pensions), living below our means, avoiding the stock market, saving via US government bonds, and not trying to keep up with the Joneses. When the family rice and bean farm came up for sale twenty years ago we had saved enough and were able to buy it. It now brings in more than our combined pensions, Social Security, and other investments. To protect our nest egg, we both took our long term health insurance about mid-career.

We believe most people can replicate our experience. It just takes common sense and patience.

P.S. It helped to have had just one child.
Wow thank you for that story. Surprised to hear you avoided stock market but still was able to retire with that much!
Not really surprising. In early 80s, yields on treasuries were in double digits. As yields declined, there was a 30 year period where bonds had the same returns as stocks but with lower volatility. The chance of that repeating is slim.

ochotona
Posts: 157
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Location: Houston, TX
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by ochotona » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:16 am

I got out of stocks on 2/28/2020 using systematic trendfollowing. I also had lots of bonds, cash, and gold. I'm down a few % from my all time highs right now. I seem to make money every day recently... more when the market goes down, but also some when good news reinflates some of the bonds, though the gold gets hit on good news days. Yes I do have a specific equities re-entry point. Someday I will go in at least 60% equities... maybe 65%. Depends on how low it goes. The lower it goes, the more aggressive I will be at the turn... because lower is safer. Buy when others are not just fearful, when they are disappeared.

Current allocation - 4% equities, 2% put options on S&P 500, 13% cash, 15% gold, 66% Treasuries.

Over 2015-2018, I bought gold at an average price of $1250. That worked out well. It was not easy to do this. I bolted on the first purchase, gold is so volatile. And how do you value it?

In 2009 I went all in, taking all of my cash and bonds and committing to buy equities over a ten month period. Ten equally sized tranches. It turned out well.

I bought a house right after the 1987 crash, then sold it for a 47% a few years later, enabling me to buy the chateau (hahaha) where we've lived for the past 28 years. But... crashes and panics have taught me that I never want to be a landlord. If I can't divest myself of an asset by going online, making a phone call, or hauling precious metals in person to a dealer and selling that day, I'm not interested in it. I did well in my one real estate trade in my life, but zero interest in being a landlord. If you can't convert your holdings to cash quickly, they aren't worth what you think they are worth.

I have learned to buy used cars, not new. Huge financial impact.

I've never gotten divorced or owned a second home. Huge financial impact. "One house, one spouse".

Paid mortgage off at age 51. Saved up to put two kids through college w/o loans. No debts. And very thankful.
Peter W., MBA, CRPC

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Wiggums
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by Wiggums » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:24 am

We hold the three fund portfolio and s&p 500 Before I found bogleheads. We had a good savings rate and stayed invested during all downturns. We were lucky that we never lost our job, but there were a few occasions that we did not get a Cost-of-living raise due to the economy. We live well, but always below our means. I retired at 56 and I’m the type of person that just doesn’t need a lot of material things. DW will retire in two years, because she loves her job and the (dental and vision) benefits.

Time in the markets and our savings rate helped us a lot. We definitely benefited from a low cost, diversified portfolio that we managed ourself. I see no need to change my investment strategy now. I did reduce our AA when I retired and moved my 401k.

I personally have no interest in crypto. I don’t understand technology, nor do I understand From an investment standpoint why the stock is priced so high.

We never owned a rental property, but I’m not against the concept.

Good luck to you.

Topic Author
gomsoon
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by gomsoon » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:15 am

retire57 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:23 pm
It took us about 30 years, with some employment gaps, to become financially independent using Boglehead principles. Buying and holding index funds all the way, we were never big earners, but rather big savers. Living in modest homes, driving modest cars, and avoiding debt helped.
Your story sounds like the Boglehead way. Really encouraging to hear what I'm doing will pay off in 30 years. :happy

Topic Author
gomsoon
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by gomsoon » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:24 am

ochotona wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:16 am


Current allocation - 4% equities, 2% put options on S&P 500, 13% cash, 15% gold, 66% Treasuries.
I'm assuming you had different allocation during your accumulation phase, right? Also, 2% SP500 puts are for hedge for market downturn? Congrats!

ochotona
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by ochotona » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:19 pm

gomsoon wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:24 am
ochotona wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:16 am


Current allocation - 4% equities, 2% put options on S&P 500, 13% cash, 15% gold, 66% Treasuries.
I'm assuming you had different allocation during your accumulation phase, right? Also, 2% SP500 puts are for hedge for market downturn? Congrats!
I think most of my 20s and 30s I was near 100% equities... then after 40 I backed off to 60/40. Then I went looking for wealth-preserving solutions in my early 50s. I'm almost 59 now.

I got into the puts too late... it has been an emotional time for everyone. Now they are a drag, since we are rallying. But the system is still in downtrend, so I keep them.
Peter W., MBA, CRPC

Rudedog
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by Rudedog » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:36 pm

I always keep my late Mother's investment strategy in mind, 50% in equities and 50% in cash and CDs. Mom owned good companies like Walmart and had a large amount in American Funds. Always reinvested the dividends. Mom didn't sweat market downturns or try to squeeze out the last tenth of a percent. It's not a big surprise my target allocation to equities is 50%.

ochotona
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Re: Can you share your success stories?

Post by ochotona » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:42 pm

Rudedog wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:36 pm
I always keep my late Mother's investment strategy in mind, 50% in equities and 50% in cash and CDs. Mom owned good companies like Walmart and had a large amount in American Funds. Always reinvested the dividends. Mom didn't sweat market downturns or try to squeeze out the last tenth of a percent. It's not a big surprise my target allocation to equities is 50%.
My Mom did that too! After a lifetime of working, she retired to Hawaii. Much to praise about 50% stock allocation.
Peter W., MBA, CRPC

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