Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

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delrinson
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Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by delrinson » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:06 am

Though I will tweak here and there, I am comfortably settled in with an AA consisting of bond, stock, and REIT index ETFs...and some Berkshire Hathaway. :D

But I'm holding on to my shares of Sears. Why? As a reminder of my susceptibility to making dumb decisions.

A few years ago when Sears dropped to the "bargain" price of just under $30 a share, and convinced of the value-in-the-commercial-real-estate thesis, I bought 75 shares. At market close yesterday Sears was at 4.60 a share....I'm down 85%. But, hey, it's just a paper loss, right? :shock:

Who knows? Maybe some day, long after the retail business goes belly up, the value of the real estate will be unlocked and I can sell for $100 a share. But I think it's just as likely that shareholder value will be wiped out.

Whatever happens, I'm hanging on to Sears. Not because I think it's a good investment. But because it wasn't...and isn't. It will sit in my portfolio as a monument to my errors in judgment.

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mhc
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by mhc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am

No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes

I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I don't need momentoes to remember my mistakes. I

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by bob60014 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:06 am

My GE stock is getting close to that point! :(

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am

In fact I do have such a monument in my portfolio, but it isn’t by choice. Some years back, I bought 2500 shares of my employer’s stock. A few years later, the company filed Chapter 11, and the stock became worthless. But the shares still live in my Vanguard account, with a stated value of $0.00, and I can’t seem to get a clear answer as to what to do about it (if indeed anything can or needs to be done).

Oh, well, it does serve a useful purpose; it reminds me of the folly of trying to pick stocks.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:15 am

Keeping it means you haven't made a decision and are holding out hope.
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bostondan
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by bostondan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:21 am

Yes. I have bought a handful of individual stock over the years, with a total value of about $1000 in a portfolio of $3.5m.

My wife decided to buy RadioShack stock at one point, for a total of about $50. As it crashed and burned we just kept it because my wife had a hope that it would somehow return victorious. I didn't push the point because I thought having it there was a good lesson to show us that individual stocks are stupid.

I currently have about $100 of Blue Apron stock. I bought it at $7 thinking that it had taken a big hit and would possibly come back up. Obviously I didn't expect much of a profit, but was doing it for fun. It is now worth $3. I'm keeping it there to remind me once again that buying individual stocks is stupid.

I sleep soundly knowing that 99.99% of my money is invested appropriately, while allowing the 0.01% of my portfolio invested in individual stocks to remind me to stay on course.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by vested1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:28 am

I am depleting the assets of a matured fixed deferred annuity that I was inappropriately sold at a former investment firm. This low interest bearing annuity is currently funding my SS delay. When it is depleted I plan on leaving the 59 cents left in the brokerage account at that firm indefinitely. I don't know what they'll do with the 59 cents. They may decide to close the account and send me a check, which I suspect may cost them more than 59 cents.

My 59 cent monument will be to my own gullibility for purchasing that annuity with 25% of my portfolio in a raging bull market during the last 5 years of my accumulation phase, and to the 6% ($12,000) that my former advisor made off the deal. I assume that the regular account statements from the former advisory firm will cost them more to produce than 59 cents. I assume that my former advisor's bonus check was a little light after I transferred my portfolio to Vanguard, along with 50% of the matured annuity, which was spread throughout my AA.

I don't plan on building any more monuments to my stupidity.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by goingup » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:35 am

mhc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am
No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes

I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I don't need momentoes to remember my mistakes. I
:D This gave me a big laugh this morning!
I share this sentiment. Cull the losers and move on. Why carry around physical reminders causing feelings of regret and unease?

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KlingKlang
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by KlingKlang » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:37 am

bob60014 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:06 am
My GE stock is getting close to that point! :(
You beat me to it. Also I let them get away with hiring me as a contractor instead of as an employee. :oops:

EHEngineer
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by EHEngineer » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:26 am

I have a couple things, but I would call them reminders of lessons learned. They'e here to be useful for the future, not to lament the past.
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by rbaldini » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:29 am

No. That would be a bad decision.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Lonestarz » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:03 am

My SO bought some stock in a sure thing company maybe 8 years ago. I keep it in her account as a reminder. Current value is <$1 and has been that way for years.

Worst part is the account is tax deferred so no loss harvesting.

Pigeye Brewster
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Pigeye Brewster » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:22 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am
Some years back, I bought 2500 shares of my employer’s stock. A few years later, the company filed Chapter 11, and the stock became worthless. But the shares still live in my Vanguard account, with a stated value of $0.00, and I can’t seem to get a clear answer as to what to do about it (if indeed anything can or needs to be done).
http://fairmark.com/capgain/worthless.htm

https://www.thetaxadviser.com/issues/20 ... ry-07.html

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QuentinCrisp
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by QuentinCrisp » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:46 am

In 1999 I bought shares of "go.com" on advice from a coworker who recommended this as the next big thing and future of the internet, and to get in on the "ground floor." After the dot.com bust the shares were converted into Disney shares. I only put a couple thousand into it. It stands as a reminder to poor judgment in (i) taking the advice of a coworker, (ii) investing in anything without knowledge, and (iii) thinking that you can get in on the ground floor of any new trend or business. I never did that again. Still hold those shares (now Disney). This is my confession.
Quentin

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:48 am

Pigeye Brewster wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:22 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am
Some years back, I bought 2500 shares of my employer’s stock. A few years later, the company filed Chapter 11, and the stock became worthless. But the shares still live in my Vanguard account, with a stated value of $0.00, and I can’t seem to get a clear answer as to what to do about it (if indeed anything can or needs to be done).
http://fairmark.com/capgain/worthless.htm

https://www.thetaxadviser.com/issues/20 ... ry-07.html
Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, here's my quandary:
It isn't enough to show that your stock was entirely worthless in the year you claimed your deduction. You also have to show that it was not entirely worthless in the preceding year. You aren't allowed to choose which year you claim the loss. You have to claim it in that single, unique year in which the stock changed from being almost-but-not-quite-worthless to utterly-without-doubt-worthless.
The company went through Chapter 11 and the stock became worthless back in 2009. I don't really want to go through the hassle of filing an amended return for 2009 for the sake of around $150 in capital loss. So there it sits. :?
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

dcabler
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by dcabler » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:51 am

Not sure it's a monument or just plain laziness. But decades ago I had several stocks at Schwab. I eventually sold all of them when I moved to mutual funds. But apparently there was either a typo on my part of a mistake on Schwab's part. The net result is that I still have 0.01 share of DuPont sitting at Schwab and nothing else. About 2 years ago, in the interest of consolidation, I went to their office to liquidate the one mutual fund I had and transfer the proceeds to Vanguard. They said they'd put in a request to make the 0.01 share of DuPont go away, but that never happened. And other than an automated email form them now and then, I ignore it. :moneybag

Pigeye Brewster
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Pigeye Brewster » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:58 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:48 am
Pigeye Brewster wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:22 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am
Some years back, I bought 2500 shares of my employer’s stock. A few years later, the company filed Chapter 11, and the stock became worthless. But the shares still live in my Vanguard account, with a stated value of $0.00, and I can’t seem to get a clear answer as to what to do about it (if indeed anything can or needs to be done).
http://fairmark.com/capgain/worthless.htm

https://www.thetaxadviser.com/issues/20 ... ry-07.html
Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, here's my quandary:
It isn't enough to show that your stock was entirely worthless in the year you claimed your deduction. You also have to show that it was not entirely worthless in the preceding year. You aren't allowed to choose which year you claim the loss. You have to claim it in that single, unique year in which the stock changed from being almost-but-not-quite-worthless to utterly-without-doubt-worthless.
The company went through Chapter 11 and the stock became worthless back in 2009. I don't really want to go through the hassle of filing an amended return for 2009 for the sake of around $150 in capital loss. So there it sits. :?
Well, $150 is a reasonable price for a monument. :beer

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bigROI
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by bigROI » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:10 pm

Iraqi Dinar, poor country is still in shambles after the 1 trillion + the US put into it.
Some gold and silver.... Not really bad since it can be an Apocalypse hedge
Had some booze but I consumed that hedge :-)
Never hurts to have common ammo or firearms for hard currency in case of total collapse

live an learn, the loss on a mistake is the cost of tuition in the classes of life. As long as you have learned and act soundly going forward you will make good progress.
A penny saved is much more then a penny earned when you consider the tax/SS/medicare cut.

stan1
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by stan1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:12 pm

mhc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am
No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes
Good job! Better said than what I was going to write but I have the same sentiment. Never hold regrets, just try to do better next time.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by 123 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:13 pm

I've always gotten rid of the remnants of bad decisions. Webvan crashed and burned a few months after I bought it. Eventually I got around to calling up my broker and having them buy it for $0.00 (except I had to pay the trading fee) just to get it off my statement and hide my sin. It hurt the most because it was in an IRA.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:15 pm

delrinson wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:06 am
Though I will tweak here and there, I am comfortably settled in with an AA consisting of bond, stock, and REIT index ETFs...and some Berkshire Hathaway. :D

But I'm holding on to my shares of Sears. Why? As a reminder of my susceptibility to making dumb decisions.

A few years ago when Sears dropped to the "bargain" price of just under $30 a share, and convinced of the value-in-the-commercial-real-estate thesis, I bought 75 shares. At market close yesterday Sears was at 4.60 a share....I'm down 85%. But, hey, it's just a paper loss, right? :shock:

Who knows? Maybe some day, long after the retail business goes belly up, the value of the real estate will be unlocked and I can sell for $100 a share. But I think it's just as likely that shareholder value will be wiped out.

Whatever happens, I'm hanging on to Sears. Not because I think it's a good investment. But because it wasn't...and isn't. It will sit in my portfolio as a monument to my errors in judgment.
ok, let's take these three one at a time:

1. paper loss? As in until you sell it's not real? Well, this may be true about owning the entire market, but not about owning individual stocks. Why? Because a stock you own can go to zero whether you sell it or not. Remember Enron? That wasn't a paper loss. That was an entire and total loss. Meanwhile, the only way the entire market can go to zero is if the world comes to an end. Yes individual markets have gone to zero (Germany, Russia, etc.) but if you invest (rather than speculate/gamble with individual stocks) then you own ALL the markets, not just one. So in order to go to zero someone who owns all markets would have to have all markets go to zero. Not impossible, but not highly probable. The probability of a stock you own going to zero? Much higher.

2. Why do you think the value of the real estate isn't already baked in to the price of the stock right now? Why would you think a stock would be worth more because of its real estate after the business goes belly up? That doesn't make sense. Warren Buffett used to buy companies for their intrinsic value or below intrinsic value so that in the worst case if the company went bankrupt he'd make back what he invested through the sale of assets. But not that he would make way more if a company went belly up. You're hoping the company goes from $4.60 to $100 a share AFTER the company goes bankrupt? Where are you coming up with these numbers? If the company would sell for $100 after it goes bankrupt, then shouldn't it be worth that now? If that's the case, then shouldn't you be buying more shares now that the price is only $4.60 a share? See how your logic doesn't hold up? And by the way, Warren likes to own preferred shares when possible that way he can get some value out of businesses should they go belly up. You as a common stock holder will be left holding the bag. The creditors and bondholders will get paid back out of the sale of the real estate and other assets before you. You likely won't see a dime.

3. Why let it sit in your portfolio and not sell it at a loss to either: 1. reduce taxable income ($3000 per year until the total loss is used up) or 2. offset gains from selling other assets that have increased in value. The question is, "If you didn't own the stock now, would you buy the same amount of shares you own now at the current price of $4.60?" If the answer is no, then you should sell it. If the answer is yes, then you should hold on to it. If you wouldn't buy more then you don't really want to own it. If you don't want to own it, why hold onto it? Sell it and move on. You don't need a constant reminder of a bad decision. You can remember it without holding on to it, can't you? Take the loss and use it to your advantage to reduce taxable income or reduce taxable gains from other appreciated assets sold.

What do you think about that?
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siamond
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by siamond » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:26 pm

From a numerical standpoint, it is a bit silly, there is value in selling those shares at a loss - to take a tax cut in the process.

From an emotional standpoint, I can see where the OP is coming from. We all claim that we learn from our mistakes, but that is not a very reliable process, to say the least, and we often end up repeating our mistakes in one shape or another, or at least are inclined to do so. I can see the point of such explicit reminder in your portfolio, a hard fact you can't avoid or distort in your memory, and that you'll see every time you check your balances or your statements. I find it an intriguing idea, actually.

I still have some shares from AIG, which I bought after their vertiginous drop. Being my usual contrarian, I thought this would be a terrific deal if I were to buy at a (fairly) low point and wait 5+ years. Well, 8 years later, I didn't lose my shirt on those, but certainly didn't do terribly well either. I have been reducing this position steadily in the past couple of years, but maybe I'll keep a few, as a monument to my last (hopefully!) market timing decision. And maybe they will finally shoot up, and I'll have to laugh at myself...

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by jalbert » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:09 pm

My SO bought some stock in a sure thing company maybe 8 years ago. I keep it in her account as a reminder. Current value is <$1 and has been that way for years.

Worst part is the account is tax deferred so no loss harvesting
If the account is tax-deferred, you harvested the loss going in.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

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baconavocado
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by baconavocado » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:14 pm

I don't need any standing monuments because I get a little reminder, called a capital loss carryover, every year at tax time.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Whiggish Boffin » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:17 pm

In 1991, I worked for a small aerospace company. We used an Orbital Sciences rocket to launch our satellites, and I bought $1000 of Orbital stock the next week. The stock price was high then because of our somewhat-successful launch.

Peace broke out, and surplus ICBMs became available as cheap satellite launchers, competing with Orbital. Some Orbital rockets blew up, and stock went down. Some Orbital rockets made orbit, and stock went up. Two years ago, Orbital Sciences merged with ATK, becomingd Orbital-ATK. Last September, Northrop-Grumman announced it will buy Orbital-ATK. The mergers raised the stock price more than any successful launches did. (Well, ok, if their rockets kept blowing up, who would want to acquire them?)

My original buy has tripled in value in 26 years, a nominal return of 4.33%/year. Inflation (CPI-U) is 2.35% over the same period, so my real rate of return has been 1.93%. Over the same period, Vanguard Total Stock returned 9.55% nominal, 7.03% real. I have held onto the the stock to remind me about the folly of stock-picking and the Next Big Thing.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by JBTX » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:43 pm

Maybe not quite the same thing, but close. Some years back I bought some gold and silver ETFS. I envitably subside to the swan song of gold bugs and doomsday prophets extolling its protective and diversification benefits. It is down substantially, maybe close to 50%. It represents 1-1.5% of portfolio. I could sell it but inevitably I’d buy it back when it eventually goes up (which could be a while). So I may as well let it sit there and when it is the only position I have that is negative it reminds me of the virtues of gold and silver (one could argue it is doing what it is supposed to do diversification wise. Yeah, that’s the ticket!)

I recently dumped a small position in Weyerhaeuser which was the only single stock I had. Why Weyerhaeuser? In my quest for diversification years ago I bought Plum Creek Timber, a timber REIT. Grantham loved him some timber. Of course the housing crisis crunched it. Eventually Weyerhaeuser bought it. I finally looked at it and wondered why I still had it and got rid of it.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by CABob » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:40 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:37 am
bob60014 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:06 am
My GE stock is getting close to that point! :(
You beat me to it. Also I let them get away with hiring me as a contractor instead of as an employee. :oops:
Another GE "investor" here. One of a small handful of stocks left over from my pre-Boglehead days. All have unrealized capital gains which makes me reluctant to sell and overall they end up being a significant percentage of my portfolio. Perhaps GE is at a point I should cease holding this "monument".
Bob

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by sophie1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:31 pm

Lonestarz wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:03 am
My SO bought some stock in a sure thing company maybe 8 years ago. I keep it in her account as a reminder. Current value is <$1 and has been that way for years.

Worst part is the account is tax deferred so no loss harvesting.
Same here. I bought shares of Nastech in a Roth IRA. My uncle, who retired after a career on Wall Street, was pushing my entire family to buy it. That was back when I thought I should listen to the experts when it came to investing, and it was about choosing the right stocks.

I am now wiser and my uncle went bankrupt. I haven't sold it because it would cost me more in trading fees than the sale would yield. Meanwhile, it's a very effective monument. I'll also celebrate once my investment earnings overtake the losses (it's getting close).

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:36 pm

mhc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am
No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes

I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I don't need momentoes to remember my mistakes. I
Do share the story of your ex wife. Please PM me if you prefer 8-)
One day it suddenly dawned on me that I had won the real estate lottery. | I'm not looking to get rich quickly. I'm not looking to get rich slowly. I'm looking to get rich for sure.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Pigeye Brewster » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:55 pm

WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:36 pm
mhc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am
No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes

I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I don't need momentoes to remember my mistakes. I
Do share the story of your ex wife. Please PM me if you prefer 8-)
It's not too difficult to envision a scenario involving all of them: ex-wife, bad friends, wrecked cars and broken dishes. :beer

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by jfn111 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:04 pm

I thought I would play around with Marijuana stocks. :oops:
INAR
INTERNETARRAY INC 250,000 $0.00017 N/A $25.00 7 N/A $158.95 -$133.95 -84.27% Schwab Equity Rating NC
Only $150 bucks worth but a good reminder.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:13 pm

[deleted]
Last edited by Nicolas on Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

WanderingDoc
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:16 pm

Pigeye Brewster wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:55 pm
WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:36 pm
mhc wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 am
No.

I also don't keep monuments of other bad decisions around like:
ex-wife
bad friends
wrecked cars
broken dishes

I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I don't need momentoes to remember my mistakes. I
Do share the story of your ex wife. Please PM me if you prefer 8-)
It's not too difficult to envision a scenario involving all of them: ex-wife, bad friends, wrecked cars and broken dishes. :beer
Is there any benefit for a man to get married?
One day it suddenly dawned on me that I had won the real estate lottery. | I'm not looking to get rich quickly. I'm not looking to get rich slowly. I'm looking to get rich for sure.

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by nodenuff2 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:58 pm

I bought 1500 shares of C (citi) at 4.98 . It was about 3 months later it did the unthinkable a reverse share split. It has recovered some will never return o the levels of 07-09 pre crash. I keep it even though now I have a little profit as a reminder .
2014 No. 42 2015 No.342 2016 No. 6 what do I know? "Good bless America land that I love..."

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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:37 pm

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general question).

In 2016, I followed Vanguard's website instructions and placed after-tax money into an existing settlement fund account that was only for pre-tax money. Nearly a year later, the transaction was unwound and put into the right account (Roth IRA).

My monument is in the form of a permanent scar in Quicken Moneydance, which was used to track this little misadventure throughout the course of the year. The final recorded transaction date in my Roth account is still not right, but Vanguard decided that's what it should be. Close enough. The 1099-R was corrected, which is the important part.

Tip #1: Save your 401(k) statement which comes with the direct rollover check. It's the only document that says "this is a withdrawal of after-tax contributions". You'll need it later to prove where the money came from.

Tip #2: Don't co-mingle pre-tax and post-tax money in a single settlement fund. Create a new settlement fund for each purpose.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

northtexan
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by northtexan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:14 pm

Yes, but I do not keep it as a reminded of my bas decision on buying it. I have some AOBC stock that I bought that I have lost about 40% in. At one point it made it back to the value I bought it at but was not smart enough to sell it all. I sold half of my position thinking it would continue up but it went right back down. The reason I have it is to utilize the loss for some tax relief in the future (don't know if it is the best idea compared to the alternative, sell, take the loss and invest in VOO). Having it in my portfolio definitely affects my thinking based on making bad decisions but it is not the reason why I still hold it.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:22 pm

No. I can recall my bad decisions without any external reminders.

SCV_Lawyer
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by SCV_Lawyer » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:31 pm

Up until earlier this year, I still held 70 shares of HLIT (Harmonic) that I bought back in 2000 for $75/sh. It was in an IRA so no TLH opportunity. Finally sold it last January for $5.20/sh. Now it's at $3.80, so good move.

Atilla
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Atilla » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:35 pm

Nope - sold all my crap investments the same way I burned/tossed out all the pictures of me and the first wife after she decided to seek other relationship opportunities and said she wanted out.

Don't need the reminder.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

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CABob
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by CABob » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:19 pm

My real monument or reminder is a paper certificate (remember those?) (suitable for framing!) of a stock bought as a result of a cold calling broker that I followed through a couple of brokerage changes watching the stock go down and a reverse split. I eventually asked for the certificate because I didn't want to do further business with the broker. I then watched it go down some more and finally it went bankrupt.
Bob

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:13 am

No, I find reasons to get rid of things, not the other way around. What can I say,I’m impatient.

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nedsaid
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by nedsaid » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:05 am

siamond wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:26 pm

I still have some shares from AIG, which I bought after their vertiginous drop. Being my usual contrarian, I thought this would be a terrific deal if I were to buy at a (fairly) low point and wait 5+ years. Well, 8 years later, I didn't lose my shirt on those, but certainly didn't do terribly well either. I have been reducing this position steadily in the past couple of years, but maybe I'll keep a few, as a monument to my last (hopefully!) market timing decision. And maybe they will finally shoot up, and I'll have to laugh at myself...
Hmmm. At least you bought after the big drop. I saw my 75 shares fall to 3 shares and a warrant. I exercised my warrant and bought eight more shares, so I am up to a whopping 12 shares of AIG. Morningstar had it at a 4 star which meant they saw potential in the shares.

AIG is proudly one of my Four Horsemen of Underperformance: AIG, GE, Microsoft, and Pfizer. Microsoft has done so well recently that it has been replaced with Comtech Communications. It is sort of my "anti-index" or an index of high expectations and disappointing results. I suppose I will have to come up with a mutual fund version as well.
Last edited by nedsaid on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A fool and his money are good for business.

sjwoo
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by sjwoo » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:36 am

I still see Evergreen Solar in my Roth account. It has a value of zero as the company went bankrupt. It wasn't much, like $120 of it when I bought it years ago, from the proceeds of some leftover dividend payment. "Why not just buy something that might really take off?" I told myself.

Had I bought SPY with that, it'd probably be about $300 now. Again, not much, but you know what? I'd much rather have $300 instead of zero.

Every time I see Evergreen Solar, it makes me remember to value every dollar I have.

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iceport
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by iceport » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:38 pm

delrinson wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:06 am
Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?
Nope. As a matter of fact, I do the opposite: I refuse to adopt any explicit value tilt. Why? It reminds me too much of a mistake I made decades ago.

I knew barely enough at the time to allocate to each of the nine Morningstar style boxes. But I was in all other ways woefully ignorant, making most of the classic mistakes. So at one particular point in time, my small cap value fund — Fidelity Low-Priced Stock — had under-performed everything else for years on end. Meanwhile, international stocks had been on a tear.

So what was a faithful performance-chaser to do?

Well, the first step I took was to say to myself, quite explicitly, "Who in the world owns small value anymore?" The next step I took was to cash in the entire holding of Fidelity Low-Priced Stock and buy Artisan International with the proceeds. You can guess what happened next. Small value sky-rocketed with a burst of phenomenal returns, and international stocks tanked.

Years later, after becoming a better-informed Boglehead, I learned of the supposed value "risk factor." And to this day I absolutely and positively refuse to adopt a value tilt. I like to kid myself that it's because nobody really knows for sure whether it's a risk or behavioral phenomenon. I also hold some consolation in the fact that the future magnitude and timing of any value effects remain unknown. But in truth, if I'm honest with myself, it's primarily because it would be a constant reminder of when I sold low and bought high in a classic performance-chasing delirium.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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RyeWhiskey
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by RyeWhiskey » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 pm

I am a young investor with a small portfolio. When I got started I bought 3 penny stocks "for fun." Two have lost 99% of their value and one has gained about 50%. I keep all three as a reminder to never, ever, think I know more than anyone. The rest of my equities are invested in the Total World Stock Index and I check it once a year. I am very happy with this setup. :beer

EDIT: This post made me curious and I just checked to find out that one penny stock is no longer active, the other has lost 94% and the third gained 60%. My records of my mistakes seem to be disappearing on their own...
This post was brought to you by Vanguard Total World Stock Index (VTWSX/VT).

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:05 pm

jfn111 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:04 pm
I thought I would play around with Marijuana stocks. :oops:
INAR
INTERNETARRAY INC 250,000 $0.00017 N/A $25.00 7 N/A $158.95 -$133.95 -84.27% Schwab Equity Rating NC
Only $150 bucks worth but a good reminder.
sometimes stocks can go up in smoke.

you gotta look beyond the weeds to find a good stock
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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jfn111
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by jfn111 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:45 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:05 pm
jfn111 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:04 pm
I thought I would play around with Marijuana stocks. :oops:
INAR
INTERNETARRAY INC 250,000 $0.00017 N/A $25.00 7 N/A $158.95 -$133.95 -84.27% Schwab Equity Rating NC
Only $150 bucks worth but a good reminder.
sometimes stocks can go up in smoke.

you gotta look beyond the weeds to find a good stock
:sharebeer

jon-nyc
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by jon-nyc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:17 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:06 am
My GE stock is getting close to that point! :(
Ha - GE is the only single stock in my portfolio. I bought in in 09, so the capital gains have prevented me from selling it. Based on advice from this forum, I decided several years ago to transfer it over time to a donor advised fund. So unfortunately the losses on the part I've yet to transfer are 'really' hitting my favorite charities.

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Toons
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Toons » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:18 pm

No way.
Move on .
Time is fleeting
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Dead Man Walking
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Re: Do you keep anything in your portfolio as a monument to your bad decisions?

Post by Dead Man Walking » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:42 pm

My wife and I have 116 shares of PRU that we received when Prudential demutualized several years ago. We keep the stock as a reminder that we exercised the option to buy more life insurance without having to submit medical information. The option was part of the terms of policies that we purchased shortly after we were married. The original policies were paid up at age 65 for me and age 68 for her. The optional coverage we purchased were whole life policies - not the smartest investment decision.

The original policies continue pay dividends which add to their cash value and add paid up life insurance even though the premium has been paid in full. As far as life insurance goes they weren't a terrible investment. The whole life additional policies were a terrible investment. The agent that sold us the whole life policies told us that the dividends would cover the cost of the premiums in the years to come. Some older Bogleheads may remember that Prudential was found guilty of misrepresenting the dividend/premium relationship. The settlement entitled the suckers like me who fell for the line of baloney they were selling to purchase a limited amount of Prudential mutual funds without paying a commission. At the time, Prudential had a top-rated utility fund, but their other funds were mediocre, especially when compared to Vanguard and Fidelity funds. I didn't buy their funds because we owned good funds at both Vanguard and Fidelity.

The initial price for PRU was $29.30/share. PRU closed for $110.72/share on 11/10/17. We can sell the shares through CompuShare and not pay a commission; however, we don't want to pay the capital gains tax. We have received quarterly dividend checks since the demutualization. We cash the quarterly dividend checks and go to one of our favorite Italian restaurants for dinner and laugh about the stupid decision we made 30 years ago.

DMW

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