What did you do right?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
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peterinjapan
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What did you do right?

Post by peterinjapan » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:09 am

Two things I've been lucky enough to do right:

a) First, I started a business way back in 1996. Obviously starting a business and not going bankrupt is a smart thing to do, but in my case I found there were many benefits I got personally from the company, things like laptop computers and iPhones paid for, as they're valid business expenses. Also my personal car, since that's allowed here in Japan. My company "having my back" in certain cases allowed me me to focus on my net worth building.

b) I'm an American living in central Japan, where our business is. It's a nice place to raise kids and work, since I can work anywhere there's an Internet connection, but it'a also nice because I can live in a "cheap" region where an apartment would cost $500-600 a month, while my U.S. investments, including properties in San Diego, grow, and me to not waste my personal salary on local living expenses since we paid off our house decades ago. I didn't plan things this way, but they worked out pretty well.

So, what did you do right in your investing life?

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cinghiale
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by cinghiale » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:19 am

In no particular order:

1) Read and heeded the core message of the book Your Money or Your Life (Dominguez and Robin) in 1992. Upped monthly savings significantly, and re-thought spending, budgeting, and the whole “Does money and the accumulation of stuff buy happiness?” question. (This book has been discussed in prior threads. Here’s an excellent summary of it: https://vickirobin.com/books/summary-of ... your-life/)

2) Went through the very difficult process of moving our investments and ultimately discontinuing working with a financial advisor with whom we had a 20-year relationship. Transformed our portfolio by simplifying it, drastically lowering costs, and buying entire markets through index funds.

3) Found this forum. Scoured the threads, climbed the learning curve, absorbed the key facts and their implications. Got to “know” the cast of characters here. Used the collective wisdom and knowledge of the many to challenge and refine my thinking.
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell

livesoft
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by livesoft » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:18 am

My spouse and I contributed the maximums allowed for each of us to all our 403(b)s, 401(k)s, and IRAs every year since the early 1980s. We also started a taxable investment account to save for things like a home down payment. It didn't really matter what we invested in. Of course, that was not a bad time to start investing either.
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dwickenh
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by dwickenh » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:01 am

I worked extra hours in management to allow my wife to stay home and raise our 4 children. She did this by choice and we have been thankful for the great adults we have raised. There are no guarantees with children, but her love helped get them on the right footing for life. After the children were raised, she went into the workforce for 15 years and helped us get on track with our retirement last year. I married the right woman!!!

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

onourway
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by onourway » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:17 am

Saved 20-30% of my income since I got a good job at age 23. That savings rate has only accelerated.

Bought a solid house in what turned out to be a down period of the local market and have stayed in it despite it being well under what our salary might indicate we could afford.

That house is also in a neighborhood where there is zero pressure to keep up with others which allows us to keep our other expenses to a minimum. We are often the ones that seem like we're splurging for the neighborhood, and we try to minimize that perception.

Dandy
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Dandy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:22 am

1. Lived below our means and saved/invested early on.
2. Resisted the trend to move to a bigger house and paid off mortgage.
3. Always made sure the family had a nice vacation - the bonding that those experiences and memories cemented has been great.
4. Worked for a major Wall Street firm and resisted the trend to load up on their stock -- which went from 120 to 8 in the Great Recession - while I also lost that job.
5. Both my children graduated from college and have their Masters** without us or them having any debt. **one is 6 credits short and working on it.
6. Started both children with TIRA or Roth as soon as they earned money. I would fully fund or match until they got full time employment.
7. Married a wonderful woman.

Sometimes what you think you did right might not have been optimal e.g. those who moved to a bigger house might have ended up ahead when they sold for a much higher price.

Major mistakes were not investing in equities until middle age, not converting more to Roth when retired at age 60.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:24 am

dwickenh wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:01 am
I married the right woman!!!
Ditto. Before I met her, I was a financial wreck (as well as a dating disaster, but that's another story :wink: ). She helped me see the error of my ways. And of course, she's been supportive of my career and is a great partner in life.

The other thing that I absolutely feel I did right was to begin contributing to a 401(k) in my early thirties. Sure glad now that I did that back then!
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Bracket
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Bracket » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:00 am

Right:

Invested time and money into education which now provides a good income.

Learned about index investing/Boglehead philosophy early enough to avoid making major errors. Never tried to pick stocks, never tried to time the market, never paid an advisor from Edward Jones to buy me loaded mutual funds, etc.

Married someone who is OK with living below our means. We live well, but not extravagantly.

Wrong:

Bought a house in a bad market knowing we would probably need to move within 5 years. Bought because it was "time to buy a house" without really understanding all the financial implications of buying a house. Lost a large amount when we sold.

Didn't really save for the first 4 years out of school.

Sat on too much cash for several years after that rather than start taxable investing.

UncleLongHair
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by UncleLongHair » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:07 am

Put myself through college paid for about 1/3 with need-based grants (I was totally broke) and the rest on loans.

Got lucky that I was interested in a field that was going to do well (software). My other 2 choices at the time were fixing cars and hanging drywall.

Worked my last 2 years of college and got a full time offer the day I graduated. For the next 15 years spent every day terrified that I'd never find another such job and so saved as much of my income as possible. There were periods where I saved $5k/month.

Discovered investing by starting to read Warren Buffett's letters to shareholders in the mid-90's. Have been invested in Berkshire Hathaway and stocks/funds ever since.

I'm 48 and most of the money I have today was saved from age 23-33 and invested.

sambb
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by sambb » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:18 am

Right:
-Invested in myself instead of mutual funds, to raise salary
-saved more - this has more of an effect than expense ratio. It is interesting here, seeing how much people talk about expense ratio (down to demonizing target retirement funds for having a higher expense ratio than admiral shares - the total amonut saved is so so low).
-side hustle - did some consulting on the side to make extra money
-married right person who also work

Dottie57
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:30 am

In 1988, my small employer started a 401k. I started at 6% contribution since It was all I could realistically afford. Every raise after that upped my percentage with all money in raise.

I've been putting in the max since 1992

Paid money off my home in 17 years instead of 30. I 've stayed in my origin nal home. No new mortgage.

Large purchases were paid. For with savings except car and home. My ncludes vacations, funiture, renovated kitchen.

As I approach retirement, contribution to 401k are 24k and Roth ira at 6.5k. That and the recovery from 2008 has really boosted my portfolio.

I hope to do Roth conersions in the 15% tax rate when I retire.

Wrong

I used FA because I believed investing was too complicated and mysterious.

I neglected changing first FA because he was my Dad's neighbor. Should have moved earlier
Last edited by Dottie57 on Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

darrvao777
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by darrvao777 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:32 am

Got a high paying job

Moved to a moderate cost of living / high paying area

Saving 20 - 50% of gross income

Never had a financial advisor, started with a simple 3 fund portfolio from day 1

Married the right spouse (keeps my spending in check)

TSWNY
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by TSWNY » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:37 am

Save 30-35% of our gross income.
Spent several months reading all I could on this forum and then fired our financial advisors.

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rosylenm
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by rosylenm » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:42 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:24 am
dwickenh wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:01 am
I married the right woman!!!
Ditto. Before I met her, I was a financial wreck (as well as a dating disaster, but that's another story :wink: ). She helped me see the error of my ways. And of course, she's been supportive of my career and is a great partner in life.

The other thing that I absolutely feel I did right was to begin contributing to a 401(k) in my early thirties. Sure glad now that I did that back then!
Off topic, related to tag line—ha ha ha! I just watched that Sports Night episode yesterday!

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hoppy08520
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by hoppy08520 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:45 am

I picked good parents. My father has a STEM Ph.D. My genes enabled me to succeed in our knowledge-based economy.

Also, invested in TSP (government 401(k)) in my first job at age 22, and have been saving ever since.

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Sandtrap
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:05 am

1 After working in finance, decided that the path of a "wage-earner" was not for me. The path of a self-employed businessman allowed me to be innovative and ambitious, while having more fun and freedom than I ever thought possible.
2 Business instinct genetics from my business parents and relatives.
3 Married a sensible and frugal spouse, also from business.
4 Discovered and absorbed the wisdom of the Bogleheads.
5 Blessed with frugal bones.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:12 am

I started saving money at with my first job at age 16.

When I had access to a 401(k) with my first “real” job, I participate and started investing any extra money I had. The 401(k) was with Vanguard so I got on the right low cost track early on.

I married a like minded girl 27 years ago and we stuck through it all the good and the bad.

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Top99%
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Top99% » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:49 am

Right
1. Married the right woman
2. Discovered index fund investing by reading Scott Burns' weekly column
3. Became frugal and an aggressive saver early enough. Your Money or Your Life and The Millionaire Next door were hugely influential.
4. Bought lots of REITs in the late 1990s/early 2000s when they were screaming dirt cheap
5. Kept my skills marketable
Lucky
1. Remained employed through the tech bubble and GFC crashes (some skill was involved but luck was for sure)
2. Maximum savings rate coincided with 2 great buying opportunities (related to 1 above)
Wrong
1. Spent way too much on material goods and saved way too little in my 20s and 30s. Due to luck I got away with it.
2. Let my Nortel stock options reach >80% of my net worth in 2000. That all vaporized on October 17th, 2000 at 5:01 PM. Not that I remember the specifics. :oops: In a way watching my net worth decline over 80% in under 5 minutes helped motivate me to learn about investing and save more aggressively. I did learn from this mistake at least.
Adapt or perish

SJCX
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by SJCX » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:52 pm

I started investing in my 401k(TSP) when I first started working and started at 10% and raised it over the years until I was maxing it out before 40.

I also avoided debt trouble before completely eliminating all debt before 40

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Toons
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Toons » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 pm

Ignore the noise.
Invest as much as I could as often as I could
: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

Mr.BB
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm

We started seriously saving very late in life.
Back in 2005 we did not have that much in savings
In 12 years we created a full year emergency fund
Joined the three comma club
Live below our means
Put money aside every year for new cars (about every 9-10 years)- paid off in full when we need a new one.
Have no more mortgage payments
Have zero debt
Found this great forum
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

flyingaway
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by flyingaway » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:35 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm
We started seriously saving very late in life.
Back in 2005 we did not have that much in savings
In 12 years we created a full year emergency fund
Joined the three comma club
Live below our means
Put money aside every year for new cars (about every 9-10 years)- paid off in full when we need a new one.
Have no more mortgage payments
Have zero debt
Found this great forum
If you made it to the three comma club in 12 years (2005-2017), you should be able to buy one new car each year, not every 9-10 years.

Cruise
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Cruise » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:40 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm

Joined the three comma club
Anyone have a clue about how many billionaires contribute to bogleheads?

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:07 pm

What I did right:
1. Read "Millionaire next door" and saved for retirement in my early twenties.
2. Never use my grant money and student loan money, I invested it all.
3. Saved enough for a down payment before housing bubble started.
4. Bought my first condo once I got a full time job.
5. Bought gold at $323 and sold at $1000+ (I was lucky)
6. Bought oil and natural gas, casino stocks & double my investment.
7. Bought Netflix, Apple, Google, Nvidia, Mpel etc at the right time.
8. Found Bogleheads and got myself educated
9. Reinvested into index funds
10. Sold my condo year 2006 and cashed out.
11. Bought my heirloom house year 2010 after the housing bubble burst.
12. Family trip every year (great memories)
13. Bought a rental property with solid ROI 10%
14. Met my awesome wife who appreciate my focus in saving and investing.
15. Started 529 early on for my kids

What I didn't do right:
1. Bought a new luxury car when I got my first job
2. Didn't buy more rental property in 2008, 2009
3. Sold some stocks too early
4. Bought too many toys and spent too much on myself. Guilty as charged.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

GCD
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by GCD » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:45 pm

I know I did 2 things right. Everything else it's hard to tell, might have just been a wash. You never know about the path not taken.

1. Married right. No fights, no divorce, 1 marriage, second solid income, agreement without debate on all major issues, all's good. This is huge. It might be the most important of everything. IMO, the adage "marriage takes work" is wrong. Life takes work, but the marriage itself is effortless if you have a good one.

2. As soon as I got my first real job I maxed TSP and IRAs and used low cost funds. AA 100% stocks, put my head down and didn't look at my balance for 15 years. Paid off my student loans in the shortest time possible. Let my standard of living be what it was after the above was accomplished. I didn't let my standard of living dictate my savings.

GCD
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by GCD » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:35 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm
We started seriously saving very late in life.
Back in 2005 we did not have that much in savings
In 12 years we created a full year emergency fund
Joined the three comma club
Live below our means
Put money aside every year for new cars (about every 9-10 years)- paid off in full when we need a new one.
Have no more mortgage payments
Have zero debt
Found this great forum
If you made it to the three comma club in 12 years (2005-2017), you should be able to buy one new car each year, not every 9-10 years.
3 comma club in 12 years from not much savings??? Is that a typo?

heyyou
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by heyyou » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:05 pm

As the last child of a Depression era couple who owned a small business since the 1940s, I saw how to live within my means from the start, and was exposed to buy and hold stock ownership. I inherited some facility with arithmetic. I married someone who turned out to be a better tightwad than I am.

Having made many investing mistakes early, due to my greed, I eventually learned to stop that thinking. By age 30, I discovered a sense of having enough, enough car, house, and gadgets, so I became a slow adopter of new ones, regardless of what my coworkers were buying. Saved pay raises from that age forward, as much as possible. Much later, after the mortgage was paid off early, I continued that payment amount into a taxable savings account at VG.

At my job, the 401k was started in my late 20s, it offered the Magellan fund and an S&P500 index fund. Bought equal amounts of both and learned a lesson there, but I still own equal slices of size, value, and foreign/domestic equity index funds, but each of them is cap weighted. Lost interest in Large Growth exposure since the 2000 Crash so the current hot stocks have no appeal.

My aversion to Fidelity products is from my financial advisor investing my savings in advisor shares of Fidelity index funds that gave him a .25% kickback annually on all of my shares owned, plus he would not aggregate our five accounts to reduce his 2% fee on the smaller ones, with 1% fee on the larger ones. Finding the VG Diehards at M* was propitious.

Filling up all of our available tax sheltered accounts, a little bit earlier each year, was a private game to me. Those 20th century IRAs with a $2000 annual limit may seem silly now, but some of those old 500 index shares are now worth 19x their early 1980s purchase prices (not inflation adjusted). Stock index funds outgrow inflation over decades of time. Patience is fullness.

I kept the job that had the no-COLA pension until the pension credits caught up to our spending, which smoothed the transition into retirement at age 55. Retirement has been the best, most carefree years of my life. So far, delayed gratification seems to work, and 12 annual Roth conversions have greatly reduced the threat of higher future taxes on the RMDs if one of us finishes before the other one.

I didn't intentionally plan 30 years ahead, I just repeatedly did what seemed like the right thing to do at the time, and many of those decisions turned out well. In retrospect, there is a broad spectrum of "good enough" methods of retirement saving. Each of us should do what suits us, so we will stay with it during the crashes.

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: What did you do right?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:16 pm

GCD wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:35 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm
. . . .
Joined the three comma club
. . . .
If you made it to the three comma club in 12 years (2005-2017), you should be able to buy one new car each year, not every 9-10 years.
3 comma club in 12 years from not much savings??? Is that a typo?
Probably. I don't think there's a "3 comma club" in Bogleheadville. . . yet.

123
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by 123 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:24 pm

I have never carried any debt other then home mortgage (even then we put 50% down). Paid cash for cars. Have always used credit cards as a convenience and paid off credit card bills in full every month for 30+ years. It just has always felt really good not really owing any money and not being on "the hook".
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Mr.BB
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:52 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:16 pm
GCD wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:35 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm
. . . .
Joined the three comma club
. . . .
If you made it to the three comma club in 12 years (2005-2017), you should be able to buy one new car each year, not every 9-10 years.
3 comma club in 12 years from not much savings??? Is that a typo?
Probably. I don't think there's a "3 comma club" in Bogleheadville. . . yet.
LOL...oops...wishful thinking...better make that the 2 two comma club (not bad though) :happy
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Mr.BB
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:53 pm

GCD wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:35 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:30 pm
We started seriously saving very late in life.
Back in 2005 we did not have that much in savings
In 12 years we created a full year emergency fund
Joined the three comma club
Live below our means
Put money aside every year for new cars (about every 9-10 years)- paid off in full when we need a new one.
Have no more mortgage payments
Have zero debt
Found this great forum
If you made it to the three comma club in 12 years (2005-2017), you should be able to buy one new car each year, not every 9-10 years.
3 comma club in 12 years from not much savings??? Is that a typo?
My bad....should of been two comma club.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

staythecourse
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:00 pm

In my control: 1. Got a good education in a high paying field and 2. Married a spouse who makes money, lives LBYM, and committed to being responsible. Much easier to travel a difficult road with someone else who agrees you are traveling in the right direction. My mom was right when she said being successful is ALL about being around good influences. That includes spouses!

Not in my control: Being raised in America with upper middle class family who believed in education and did not abuse their children in a time and place where folks did not easily die from some random disease.

I'll take some credit for what is in my control, but can't imagine HOW MUCH is really attributed to the stuff that is NOT in my control. Lucky is better then being good.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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cheese_breath
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:06 pm

Invested 15% into TIAA-CREF from 1968-1976 directing as much as they would allow into CREF stock. Then ignored it until I retired in 1997.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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fishandgolf
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:29 pm

Pros:
1). Married my high school sweet heart :D
2). Continue to love and respect her as the blessing she has been in my life.

Cons:
1). She loves to travel....ugh....I hate to travel............... :annoyed

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FreeAtLast
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by FreeAtLast » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:45 pm

1) Saved as much as I could on a definite schedule: once a month for IRA, every quarter for taxable funds.
2) Lived beneath my means.
3) Realized very early on that almost matching the markets' returns (index funds) was good enough for me.
4) Never panicked during market downturns, i.e., buying opportunities.

Simple rules. So why can't so many follow them? :(
Illegitimi non carborundum.

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Tycoon
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Tycoon » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Patience.
Appeal to Pity:When pity is envoked to support a statement | Appeal to Popular Sentiment:Appealing to unrelated prejudices and attitudes | Hasty Generalization:Too little evidence to support the conclusion

Ron Ronnerson
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Location: Bay Area

Re: What did you do right?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:58 pm

Here are a few things:

I work in a job that I like doing. This makes it so I’m not interested in early retirement and have greater time to save and invest. The job also provides a pension that should cover retirement expenses. I save a decent percentage anyway.

My wife and I share similar views on how much to save as well as spend. It feels like we’re working together toward our shared goals for the future while also being able to enjoy the present.

We bought our home in the Bay Area in 2009. Prices have gone up considerably so we have a lot of equity in the home and an after-tax mortgage rate that is lower than the regional rate of inflation. While we live in a VHCOL area, it doesn’t feel so bad to us due to our housing costs being moderate. We have middle class incomes.

A portfolio with a high percentage in equities has worked out well.

I was smart enough to get lucky.

honduranhurricane
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by honduranhurricane » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:17 pm

Right:
Invested in self: undergrad and masters
Got a job with a great benefits (and stayed), thankfully no layoffs or other adverse employment actions
Resisted living a high end lifestyle
Finally found Bogleheads
And number one, married a wonderful woman with similar values

Wrong:
Could have saved a lot more in my 30's (to busy with self destructing behaviors)
While I did well with individual stocks, I could have avoided much of the stress and saved all the time spent researching and monitoring by simply indexing.

racy
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:38 am
Location: Nebraska

Re: What did you do right?

Post by racy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:26 pm

Learned to work & show-up every day: did farm chores every morning & evening.
Leaned & applied the magic of compound interest.
Married someone like-minded about achievement and money. And stayed married.
Got a job with a company pension plus a 401k.
Achieved work objectives. Got promoted.
Paid ourselves first . Lived below our means.
FIRE at 60.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 1322
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: What did you do right?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:42 pm

I didn’t blunder too badly. I made mistakes but I’m still here.

bobhunt10
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:58 am

Re: What did you do right?

Post by bobhunt10 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:53 pm

Still very young (26) but...

The best thing I have done for myself is get in the game early.

Right after college I was able to land a good job that pays well. I read about investing soon after and learned of index funds and Vanguard. Lived very below my means the first couple of years and I now own two homes (one is a rental) and have six figures saved up for retirement.

scrabbler1
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 pm

Re: What did you do right?

Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:08 pm

What I did right:

Never wanted to marry or have children.
Bought the worst (co-op) apartment in the best building.
LBYM
Avoided debt: Paid off the student loans in 18 months, mortgage in 9 years, paid cash for cars.
Never smoked.
Worked for a company which began its ESOP during my peak earnings years, saw ESOP rise 3000% in 11 years.
Retired 9 years ago at 45.

User avatar
munemaker
Posts: 3458
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: What did you do right?

Post by munemaker » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:18 pm

This probably is not all of it:

1) Married a super woman who is not a spender, and only married once
2) A good education including a MBA that really helped me understand how the financial system works
3) Always live below our means; don't respond to peer pressure to keep up with others or project an image
4) Started saving & investing early
5) Always employed - never laid off or without a job
6) Started saving for college when the kids were babies so we could cover it all with cash - no debt for them or us
7) Bought a modest home to facilitate saving and investing
8) Kids got good jobs right out of college and require no financial support
9) Bought new and used cars over the years, but kept the whole process economical - paid cash except for the very early years
10) Never paid anyone to do something I can do myself
11) Never pay credit card interest or fees
12) Do a lot of reading to understand the system and optimize decisions (e.g. college funding, ACA, Medicare, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.)
13) Took vacations every year but managed to make them economical

Learned that you do not have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun.

macheta
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:06 am

Re: What did you do right?

Post by macheta » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:52 pm

1) started investing eight percent of my income when I was eighteen with matching contributions from the Corp. (20 yrs ago)
2) started reading and learning on this forum in 2012

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Top99%
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:30 am
Location: Austin, TX

Re: What did you do right?

Post by Top99% » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:20 am

macheta wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:52 pm
1) started investing eight percent of my income when I was eighteen with matching contributions from the Corp. (20 yrs ago)
Wow. My hat is off to you and I hope you inspire younger readers of this forum. I didn't reach your level of maturity/discipline until I was in my 30s.
Adapt or perish

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Watty
Posts: 14075
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: What did you do right?

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:45 am

Two things;

1) I was living in a high cost of living area and I moved to a low cost of living area when I was ready to buy my first house. The low cost of living area also had a better quality of life for me. My first house cost maybe a fifth of what it would have cost in the low cost of living area. Not only was housing less expensive pretty much everything was less expensive there so I had way more disposable income there.

2) After I bought the house I committed to myself to save half of any raises I got even if it was just for inflation. When I started this I was about 30 and I was probably saving less than ten percent of my income, by the time I was 40 I was saving over 20% of my income, not including my employer's 401k match when they started that. This was painless since I was never used to the the additional income. This also helped keep my lifestyle and expenses lower so retiring early was easier.

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randomizer
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: What did you do right?

Post by randomizer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:29 am

Landed a good job to (at least in part) make up for the financial idiocy of my youth. In about 7 years I have undone much of the damage that I foolishly did before.
87.5:12.5, EM tilt — HODL the course!

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peterinjapan
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 8:41 am
Location: Japan!

Re: What did you do right?

Post by peterinjapan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:27 pm

Bracket wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:00 am
Right:

Wrong:
Good point, we need a What did you do wrong thread.

User avatar
peterinjapan
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 8:41 am
Location: Japan!

Re: What did you do right?

Post by peterinjapan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:29 pm

123 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:24 pm
I have never carried any debt other then home mortgage (even then we put 50% down). Paid cash for cars. Have always used credit cards as a convenience and paid off credit card bills in full every month for 30+ years. It just has always felt really good not really owing any money and not being on "the hook".
Nice. I wish I could make my sister see about not having car loans. She somehow manages to have 4 or so, two of hers, one of her worthless husband and her husband’s kid. How...why...?

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peterinjapan
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 8:41 am
Location: Japan!

Re: What did you do right?

Post by peterinjapan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:31 pm

munemaker wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:18 pm
This probably is not all of it:

1) Married a super woman who is not a spender, and only married once
2) A good education including a MBA that really helped me understand how the financial system works
3) Always live below our means; don't respond to peer pressure to keep up with others or project an image
4) Started saving & investing early
5) Always employed - never laid off or without a job
6) Started saving for college when the kids were babies so we could cover it all with cash - no debt for them or us
7) Bought a modest home to facilitate saving and investing
8) Kids got good jobs right out of college and require no financial support
9) Bought new and used cars over the years, but kept the whole process economical - paid cash except for the very early years
10) Never paid anyone to do something I can do myself
11) Never pay credit card interest or fees
12) Do a lot of reading to understand the system and optimize decisions (e.g. college funding, ACA, Medicare, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.)
13) Took vacations every year but managed to make them economical

Learned that you do not have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun.
Nice. Yes, the “marry only once” is good if you can do it. I have an awesome Japanese wife with an accountant background (perfect since she’s the Boss of our company) who loves to invest and save. She hates debt too, and pays it all right away without telling me.

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