Page 1 of 1

How did you feel when 15K you contributed into 401K was gone

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:49 pm
by tmm999
Well?

I'm sure it happened to some of you in 2007 and when the tech stock crashed a few years ago...

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:55 pm
by Adrian Nenu
Those who diversified did not lose much.

Adrian
anenu@tampabay.rr.com

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:58 pm
by Rodc
Just part of the deal.

Seriously, does not bother me.

Now if it went on for 15 years...

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:04 pm
by bob90245
Didn't happen to me. My 2007 401k contribution went to bonds. :lol: My taxable contributions (personal accounts) went to stocks. :wink:

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:06 pm
by mikenz
what do you mean it's gone? what did you invest it in? Market is down maybe 6%.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:25 pm
by MWCA
I didn't like it. But since the tech crash my portfolio has risen a pretty darn good amount. The market goes up and down. If it didnt go down it would never go :lol:

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:30 pm
by Easy Rhino
During the tech implosion, my monthly contributions to my 401k were outpaced by my losses.

And mind you, I had only had a 401k for a couple of years at that point.

I was not diversified.

It made me sad. It actually made me semi-give up on investing for a while.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:36 pm
by tc101
My portfolio goes up and down. I feel good when it goes up. I don't feel good when it goes down. I like the whole process though, the various emotions, like a football game.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:59 pm
by jpsfranks
If the market's gotta tank, I get some small perverse satisfaction when it does so on a payday (like today). I lost a couple thousand but my new contribution got in about $20 lower from where it would have yesterday!

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:38 am
by wlpotts
I learned from Diehards years ago to not look at my investment dollar balances. I've found that I enjoy the comfort and confidence in the acqusition of additional shares. ( Of course I'm in the accululation stage and my IPS reflects my risk/return objectives)

Change your perspective!

15K is not lost money until you loose site of your plan objective by panic selling.

Yours,
Warren P.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:06 am
by lad
Easy Rhino wrote:During the tech implosion, my monthly contributions to my 401k were outpaced by my losses.
Me too -- and I was just out of school, barely making ends meet, and furious that this thing everyone told me I "had" to do was losing money quarter after quarter! Fast forward several years. That 401k is the best thing I ever did for myself.

Any money I have in the stock market is not money I need in the next 30 years. Many people tell me I'm far too conservative with money for my age (I'm 27 and have 40% of my total assets in cash equivalents, which is actually *down* a bit from what it was), but keeping a high cash balance is the security blanket that allows me to invest the rest comfortably. If the $15.5k I put into my 401k (all stock) evaporates tomorrow, I know it has 30+ years to come back.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:37 am
by livesoft
I'm very happy only $15K was gone because it wasn't $150K! :shock:

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:08 am
by LBMM
jpsfranks wrote:If the market's gotta tank, I get some small perverse satisfaction when it does so on a payday (like today). I lost a couple thousand but my new contribution got in about $20 lower from where it would have yesterday!
Haha. That's the way I feel. :D

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:10 am
by rgarling
It is very annoying, but after some deep breathing...

I wish I had a bigger block of cash that needed investing. Kind of like doubling down at the blackjack table.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:17 am
by stan1
Think of it this way. If you only lost $15K in your 401K, and you contributed the maximum of $15.5K, you are still ahead $500 in a very volatile year (after many years of significantly greater gains).

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:06 pm
by mickeyd
Well?
If 2007's returns made you uncomfortable, as well as the returns over the last few weeks, you may not have the proper asset allocation or you may be in need of an expanded education in the ways of financial markets.

My short course (free of charge): After diversification and a well thought out asset allocation, do not listen to the noise, nor the financial porn. Enjoy your friends and family. Stay the course.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:52 pm
by bob90245
As much as I hate to say this, if "losing" $15K is upsetting, just think what might happen during retirement. Let me explain.

For someone making $60K, a $15K 401k contribution represents one-quarter (25%) of one's annual salary. Now fast-forward to retirement.

Let's say you're now retired with 25X annual expenses. And you have a 50/50 balanced portfolio with half your portfolio in stocks. Let's further assume that you take out 4% each year.

Along comes a bear market and drops your stocks by 20%. That means your overall portfolio has declined by 10%. If your portfolio was your sole support, that represents 2.5 times your annual expenses.

Wrap your arms around that scenario and you'll see that a drop of $15K is just a warm-up to what might lie ahead.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:56 pm
by plake15
bob90245 wrote:As much as I hate to say this, if "losing" $15K is upsetting, just think what might happen during retirement. Let me explain.

For someone making $60K, a $15K 401k contribution represents one-quarter (25%) of one's annual salary. Now fast-forward to retirement.

Let's say you're now retired with 25X annual expenses. And you have a 50/50 balanced portfolio with half your portfolio in stocks. Let's further assume that you take out 4% each year.

Along comes a bear market and drops your stocks by 20%. That means your overall portfolio has declined by 10%. If your portfolio was your sole support, that represents 2.5 times your annual expenses.

Wrap your arms around that scenario and you'll see that a drop of $15K is just a warm-up to what might lie ahead.
I really think's that why Vanguard goes so conservative with it's "Target Retirement income fund"which is 30% stocks-70% fixed/bonds.most retirement financial experts reccommend between 50% and 60% stocks in retirement,60% being on the high end.

I Vanguard realizes how a bad bear market-one that last a few years can really throw off someones retirement portfolio ,in retirement it's more important about not having a very bad year or possibily a few bad years,much more important than trying to squeeze out an 1 percent gain with the added risk of more equities.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:36 pm
by bob90245
plake15 wrote:I really think's that why Vanguard goes so conservative with it's "Target Retirement income fund"which is 30% stocks-70% fixed/bonds.most retirement financial experts reccommend between 50% and 60% stocks in retirement,60% being on the high end.

I Vanguard realizes how a bad bear market-one that last a few years can really throw off someones retirement portfolio ,in retirement it's more important about not having a very bad year or possibily a few bad years,much more important than trying to squeeze out an 1 percent gain with the added risk of more equities.
As much as I fear this thread will be pulled in a new direction, I will have to make one small comment in reply.

Suggesting a 30/70 stocks/bond mix in retirement should also include a word about the take-out rate. My example with 50% in stocks assumed an initial 4% and adjusted upward for inflation. (I didn't expicitly write it that way, but most discussions on retirement withdrawals do.) By lowering the stock allocation to 30%, one should probably anticipate a sustainable withdrawal rate somewhat lower than 4%. If you want to look to history as a guide, I will offer this chart:

Image

Source: http://www.fpanet.org/journal/articles/ ... 5388_1.pdf

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:36 pm
by gkaplan
It's only money.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:04 pm
by rich
Well nobody LIKES to see their portfolio value go down. This is a great time to reaccess your risk tolerance. If you are losing sleep or if this really bothers you then IMHO your allocation is too aggressive. Life is too short to lose sleep over investments.

Many of us have made the mistake above, including me, so you are not alone.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:18 pm
by greg24
Years of listening to Diehard wisdom has made me appreciate both sides of the coin. When the market goes up, I'm happy to see my balance go up.

When the market goes down, I'm glad to see my 403b contribution, my wife's 401k contribution, and my daughters' 529 contributions buy in at lower prices. These contributions are throughout the month, so almost any time the market dips a bit, we're buying. So there is always a silver lining.

:D

Though I do understand that those in the withdrawal phase don't really have a silver lining.

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:32 pm
by plake15
Rodc wrote:Just part of the deal.

Seriously, does not bother me.

Now if it went on for 15 years...

The last protracted bear market (period of falling prices) in US equities started in February 1966 and lasted until August 1982. The Dow Jones index value in February 1966 was 995 and 16 years later it stood at 777. So any investor who stayed fully invested in an average portfolio of shares in this period lost 22%

never say never about that 15 year thing..

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:02 pm
by bob90245
plake15 wrote:The last protracted bear market (period of falling prices) in US equities started in February 1966 and lasted until August 1982. The Dow Jones index value in February 1966 was 995 and 16 years later it stood at 777. So any investor who stayed fully invested in an average portfolio of shares in this period lost 22%
What about the dividends? And what if the investor had a diversified equity portfolio that included small cap stocks?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:15 pm
by plake15
bob90245 wrote:
plake15 wrote:The last protracted bear market (period of falling prices) in US equities started in February 1966 and lasted until August 1982. The Dow Jones index value in February 1966 was 995 and 16 years later it stood at 777. So any investor who stayed fully invested in an average portfolio of shares in this period lost 22%
What about the dividends? And what if the investor had a diversified equity portfolio that included small cap stocks?
small caps had a great run during that time period,yes but even now a days very few people in thier 401Ks,IRAs. diversifed portfolios etc..have more than 10% allocated to small caps....dividends would have helped you sure.Again it would have only helped trim the losses/pain from excurating level pain to really bad pain.If you managed to outproform the market during that time, with dividends,overweighing small caps etc.. and lost only 10% while the market fell 22% your family still starved..not much solice in that.

now if you did for some reason heavily overweight small caps during that time 1970's etc.....you better hope you got out of them in 1982,cause from 1983-1990,small caps had one of their worst time periods in history.

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:48 am
by bob90245
Plake,

I don't know where you're getting your data from. But it doesn't match the Ibbotson data I have.

1) Dividends were a substantial component during the timeframe you mentioned. I don't have the DJIA Total Return index which includes reinvested dividends. But I have the S&P 500 total return index which would be an equivalent proxy. This chart shows the growth of $1000 for the S&P 500 from 1966-1982:

Image

2) You are correct that small cap stocks would have helped. According my Ibbotson data, small caps gained 10X during the 1966-1982 period.

3) Again, I don't know where you get your small cap data for the 1983-1990 period. But I don't see them as performning that bad:

Image

Source: http://bobsfiles.home.att.net/download.html#Growth

Re: How did you feel when 15K you contributed into 401K was

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:28 am
by preserve
tmm999 wrote:Well?
I'm sure it happened to some of you in 2007 and when the tech stock crashed a few years ago...
I don't think it is a big deal for anyone still contributing. Our 15.5k limit effectively rises when the market goes down.