What did you do right?

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

Post by RadAudit » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:26 pm

Went to work for a company that had a 401(k) plan - or what ever came before that - with a match, contributed every year and stayed employed for 39 years.

Plus most of what munemaker said.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

Luckywon
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Luckywon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:52 pm

Right:
Worked as hard as I could in school. Became well trained in a high paying profession (medicine). Entered a specialty that has allowed me flexibility to structure a nice work/life balance.
Read books on behavioral finance in early 2000's, have been a Boglehead philosophy investor since 2004
Bought a house 20 years ago that has tripled in value. Pay low property taxes thanks to CA prop 13.
Diligent about saving and getting value for money in big and small ways.
Never had kids.

Wrong:
Many investing sins prior to seeing the light including at one point betting 70 % of my portfolio on an extremely volatile stock which could have reset my portfolio by going to zero. Managed to exit wounded, but still alive.
Never had kids.

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Johnnie
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Johnnie » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:25 pm

Right: Maxed-out tax-deferred savings opportunities pretty much since they were invented, starting with IRAs, then 401ks and Roths. Thankfully, I've always been a super-saver.

Wrong: I never learned how to invest properly until I started reading Paul Merriman in Marketwatch a few years ago. Alas, I've always been a rotten (ignorant) investor, despite knowing lots about economics, accounting and the economy - go figure. :(

Right: One of the cognitive/behavioral investment errors Merriman describes is "Knowing that you should do something but not doing it." When I read and finally grokked his "Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Equity Portfolio" I began the difficult process of consolidating several 401k, IRA and Roth accounts into just two places (VG & Schwab), unloading some individuals stocks, sector funds, American Funds, etc., and moving all that money into the low cost index funds that make up the "Ultimate" portfolio.

If I had discovered BH and the simple Three Fund approach first I might have gone that direction instead. <shrug> Only in the fullness of time will we learn which works out better, but I suspect the differences will be small. Either way, I feel darned lucky to have discovered this overall approach before it was too late.
Last edited by Johnnie on Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:29 pm

I stopped listening to Dave Ramsey.

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badbreath
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by badbreath » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:35 pm

1 Found a profession I really like and worked in it (many awards and 35+ patents)
2 Saved 15% or more of my income for 30 years
3 Stayed married 25+ years
4 Live like the millionaire next door
5 Found Bogleheads when I really needed it
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx

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badbreath
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by badbreath » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:41 pm

oops repete
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx

TheHouse7
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by TheHouse7 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:55 pm

I spent enough time with my Mom before she passed away from ALS.

Convinced my wife to max tax advantaged space next year.

Enlisted in the Navy.
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

bigred77
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by bigred77 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:56 pm

I started investing roughly a quarter of my income since age 23.
I found Bogleheads at age 23.
I’ve been lucky to have never been unemployed.
I was very career focused in my 20s and advanced quickly.
I got 2 masters degrees at a reasonable, subsidized cost.

It also helped that I was very lucky in that I started investing in 2008 and bought real estate in 2009. Returns since then have been pretty fantastic.

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Portfolio7
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Portfolio7 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:39 pm

* Went to a public school and earned a partial scholarship. This was a good investment in myself.
* At age 23 I'd saved $5K in my emergency fund. Then I lost my job for 8 months and spent it all while finding another. Then I got a third, better job.
* I started saving in my 401K at age 27. Age 25 would have been better.
* I saved roughly 10% of income (before employer match.) 20% would have been better.
* I always saved enough to get the full employer match and often maxed out my 401k when younger. Building a Roth IRA too would have been better.
* I invested the 401k money myself. Learning how to invest earlier would have been better.
* I worked hard. I was reasonably lucky.
* I only owned two houses so far, and both appreciated pretty well. Owning smaller ones would have been better.
* I lied. We own another house that we purchased for in-laws. This ended up hurting our savings substantially.
* We opened 529 accounts for our boys at birth and contributed now and then. Having a steady contribution plan would have been better.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Cruise
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Cruise » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:47 am

Right Choices:

-As an undergrad, studying when others partied or protested.
-Having a vision of my future profession which became a reality because of great planning. It is all in the details.
-Getting my Ph.D., and then my MBA,
-Marrying a woman who could have been an international model, but instead got her Ph.D.
-Avoiding temptations that could have resulted in divorce.
-Staying married to the love of my life. Needless to say, we share a bunch of values.
-Living below our means. Not an accident, but a result of deliberate planning.
-Having insight into my skill sets and how to leverage them to provide a service that others would purchase.
-Making ethical professional and business choices when tested.
-Funding every tax-advantaged investment opportunity to the max. And then funding other investment opportunities.
-Learning how to use miles for International First Class travel: Hey, you have to live!

Right Circumstances:

-Born to parents who lived through the great depression, and took lessons from the experience.
-Born to parents who preached education, because they did not have the opportunity.
-Born to parents who considered investing in their children their most important mission in life.

Poor Choices:

Tons of things about which I wish I could have a do-over. Some of these things caused me to miss opportunities. There have been a ton of rough spots in my life mostly caused by me being an imperfect human.

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stemikger
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by stemikger » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:17 am

First let me say I think it's cool I'm talking to someone in Japan.

My luckiest and smartest move was when I bought my house in 1993 for $134,900. Today I'm still in that house and made a lot of great memories there. The good part is I can sell that same house for $550K. I would probably not be able to afford the house I live in today.

My other smart move was trying to max out my 401K. I kind of got a late start at 30 so I tried to max it out every year. Today at 53 I take advantage of the catch-up provision and put in an extra $6,000.

I always lived below my means and that has put me in a good position today.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

WanderingDoc
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by WanderingDoc » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:37 am

1. Had the military pay for medical school.
2. Bought a lot of real estate.
3. Traveled extensively and never had a budget.

All other decisions are questionable :P
Don't wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate, and wait. | Rent where you live, buy where others pay your mortgage for you.

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woof755
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by woof755 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:47 am

Got born to good parents. (I give myself all the credit for good taste in choosing them)
Worked my arse off in HS and college
Left home to go to college
Went to cheap state schools for undergrad and med school.
Chose a residency and fellowship program that was hard as hell, not cushy.
Read Eric Tyson's "For Dummies" books on personal finance and investing, leading me to VG. And eventually here.
Did my idiotic screwing up when I had 1000s invested instead of 100s of 1000s invested, and haven't changed my AA in years.

Along the way I did a bunch of stuff wrong.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

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cinghiale
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by cinghiale » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:16 am

stemikger wrote,
My luckiest and smartest move was when I bought my house in 1993 for $134,900. Today I'm still in that house and made a lot of great memories there. The good part is I can sell that same house for $550K. I would probably not be able to afford the house I live in today.
I was thinking the same thing the other day about home values. This calculator (http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/) shows that your home’s price, adjusted for inflation, would be $230,275 in 2017 dollars. So, you’re right. And smart. And lucky.

:sharebeer
"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

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AtlasShrugged?
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:16 am

Stuff I did right....
1 - Married a good woman
2 - Did I mention that I married a good woman....and that we stayed married through good and bad times?
3 - Worked hard, and was always willing to try new stuff, or do stuff others did not want to do
4 - Started investing in my 401K
5 - Did not buy too much house, even though I was offered an astounding amount of money for a loan [listened to my wife here!!!]
6 - Shunned revolving debt after learning a very bitter and life altering lesson
7 - I found this forum, did a lot of reading, and have learned greatly [BTW, I miss Larry Swedroe who made great posts on staying the course]
8 - Took a second P/T job to max out my Roth....have a ~12 year plan, and am on week 99 of 676 weeks
9 - Took care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually.....maintain an even keel wherever possible

Stuff I did wrong....
1 - Waited WAY too long to get really serious about investing for retirement (started in earnest at age 49)
2 - Not listen to my wife earlier about getting serious on investing for retirement (You can boil this down to just not listening to my wife)
3 - Not using passive low-cost index funds from the very start

Stuff where the jury is still out....
1 - I have a pronounced tilt to small-cap and mid-cap, and am 'drifting' to a market-based allocation. My strategy here is to capture higher returns now, and slowly glide to a more conservative posture at age 62. The jury is still out.
2 - My allocation at age 51 is 81/19, which is HUGELY aggressive for my age. Will it work? Will I make up for lost time? The jury is still out.
2a - I have assumed a CAGR of 7% for projection purposes. Is that too much? The jury is still out.
3 - In 2 years, I intend to start purchasing small 1-2 BDRM condos for rental, and get a diversified income stream. I have never been a landlord in my life. Will that work? Who knows....The jury is still out.
4 - My plan assumes employment at BigCorp. Will I survive another 12-16 years? The jury is still out.

On balance....The most important thing I did was to get lucky by marrying the right woman - and staying married.
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

MandyT
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by MandyT » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:06 pm

Although it's hard to tell without visiting any alternate universes, these are the financial decisions I'm happiest about:

(1) Living below my means and staying out of debt.

(2) Renting (apartments) long-term. There has been a lot of peer pressure telling me to buy a house, which I've ignored. When I was married, we ran the numbers and it wasn't a slam-dunk either way. Being divorced, happily single, and newly retired, I love the fact that I can stay if I feel like it and move if the situation changes. I'm a little bit of a baby about being too hot or too cold, and I really like the fact that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to keep it 72-73 degrees all year.

(3) Getting a nearly do-it-yourself divorce in 2002 for $450 (combined attorney fee and filing fee--I paid half). If our situation had been more complicated, this may not have been practical, and I might have been sorry if I had omitted anything important in the list of assets I was keeping, but it worked out really well for us. We figured that, even if we didn't divide things exactly "right", any money we kept out of the pockets of lawyers would be more for us to keep. I'm not sure how much I saved on attorney and court fees, but I'm glad the appreciated value is in my portfolio now!

Stormbringer
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Stormbringer » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:02 am

peterinjapan wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:09 am
So, what did you do right in your investing life?
1. Started contributing to my retirement fund when I was 23 (but it took me 15 years of throwing darts at a board and paying fees before discovering index investing).
2. Bought my first rental property when I was 24.
3. At 25, I invested $1250 for a 50% stake in a startup property management company. Today it manages 3800 units.
4. Sold many of my rental properties a year before the crash.
5. Discovered the wonders of the Solo 401(k) and backdoor Roth IRA.

Plenty of bad decisions too, but mostly overwhelmed by the good ones,
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

More Please
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by More Please » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:30 am

Married only once, just celebrated 39th anniversary.
Always saved aggressively, 50% on pretax income.
Learned about Bogleheads in 2011 (late to the game) but adopted the philosophy and practice.

Did many things wrong ie. bought at house near the height of the bubble , we could have easily waited.
Wasn’t aggressive enough in my career, missed opportunities :(

But I guess I got most of it right because we’re better off than I ever anticipated. Sometimes I pinch myself.

Blessed :happy

winterfan
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by winterfan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:27 am

Right:
*Married a great, frugal guy. I agree with the above poster that marriage shouldn't be hard. Life is hard enough sometimes!
*Made a concerted effort to put a large chunk of money into my kid's 529 plan in 2009. She should be able to attend college without debt. Of course, it could be argued that we could have just invested that money elsewhere and had the same result, but I like knowing there's a chunk of money earmarked for her education. We were also investing in our 401Ks at the time anyway.
*Husband and I always invested in our 401Ks/IRAs etc. It's a lot easier for me to spend and budget what isn't there in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind.
*We bought a modest house, paid it off early and never moved.
*Paid cash for cars and never carried any debt.
*DIY on house/yard/car maintenance
*Although we've both been through job losses, none of them occurred during the recession. I'm thankful for that, because we were both in industries affected. I knew people out of work then and it was so tough to find anything!

Wrong:
*Sometimes we spend too much on frivolous things like eating out. That's more on me than my husband. He prefers to eat at home.
*I sometimes wish we had bought a different house with a better layout from the get-go. The real estate market is difficult where we live. Supply has been tight for at least 15 years. I just have to remind myself that a lot of people would love to be in our situation and just count my blessings instead of complaining!
Last edited by winterfan on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:35 am

From a purely financial perspective, marrying someone who was smart, career oriented, and frugal was a home run. It means we can essentially live off one salary and save the other (more or less equal) salary. Wasn't bad from a personal perspective either :happy

Going with low-cost index funds instead of the FA route was a second home run. I listened to a sales pitch from an AXA guy right after I got my first job earning real money. At the time, I didn't know much about investing or the FA scam, I had student loans at 6.8% and just figured that it was fool hardy to try to beat a guaranteed 6.8% post-tax return. This was before low-cost private financing was available. Fortunately, by the time I got rid of those loans, I knew enough to avoid financial advisers and their ilk.

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ruralavalon
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:41 am

1) Always lived frugally. Married a wife who is more frugal than I am. Still married 49 years later. Bought low mileage used cars. Made significant down payment on home.

2) When I got started on retirement investing (a bit late, in my late 30s) I always contributed whatever was possible every pay period, no matter what the market was doing.

3) Never sold off in a market crash.

4) Was able to get all four children through college without loans.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Texanbybirth
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:46 am

1) Asked the girl to marry me. (And subsequently married her.)
2) Had kids.
3) Somehow have managed to stay employed.

The mistakes seem to flood into my mind after each bullet point I type, so I'm gonna leave those three as my contribution. :D

flyingaway
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:16 pm

Looks like MARRIED THE RIGHT PERSON is the rightest thing.

hoops777
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by hoops777 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:47 pm

At age 42,with a net worth of less than 5000 dollars,that is not a typo,I started a very small business by borrowing 25K from my brother. I did all the sales,all the estimates,all the bookkeeping and I answered the phone.Low overhead,just my 3 installers and myself.I just retired 23 years later financially secure with little or no help from the stock market.
Last edited by hoops777 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

2015
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by 2015 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:23 pm

Tycoon wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:47 pm
Patience.
+1
External results always flow from internal competencies. Personally, I learned the art of delayed gratification, along with self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control. Also important were engaging in lifelong learning from a very young age, while seeking out mentors and gravitating towards the smartest people in the room at every stage of life.

In every situation, I have always had the audacity to ask, "why not, why not me?" This has proved to be most beneficial.

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Will do good
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Will do good » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:54 pm

1. Married the right person
2. Worked hard and always had freelance business thru my career. How do I have the time? see #1
3. Started many business and some of them actually worked out ok. See #1
4. Invested early and often. See #1
5. Be lucky, being at the right place at the right time.

BHUser27
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by BHUser27 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:04 pm

I can't claim ownership of most of my investing success.
For the most part, I was naive and lucky.
The one thing I did right was live below my means.

JBTX
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by JBTX » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:44 pm

Great Summary -I'm just gonna use this!
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 - (YES, in my case wife brings good income too)
2) A good education including a MBA that really helped me understand how the financial system works (YES, MBA finance)
3) Always live below our means; don't respond to peer pressure to keep up with others or project an image (YES)
4) Started saving & investing early (YES)
5) Always employed - never laid off or without a job (Mostly YES - RIF'd a couple of times, never too long, and mostly 2 incomes)
6) Started saving for college when the kids were babies so we could cover it all with cash - no debt for them or us (YES, in progress)
7) Bought a modest home to facilitate saving and investing (YES)
8) Kids got good jobs right out of college and require no financial support (NOT THERE YET!)
9) Bought new and used cars over the years, but kept the whole process economical - paid cash except for the very early years (YES)
10) Never paid anyone to do something I can do myself (UHHH...I fail on this one. :D )
11) Never pay credit card interest or fees (YES)
12) Do a lot of reading to understand the system and optimize decisions (e.g. college funding, ACA, Medicare, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.) (YES)
13) Took vacations every year but managed to make them economical (YES)

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

knick17
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by knick17 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:12 pm

peterinjapan wrote:
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?


Where in Japan u live? used to live in Saitama! Need any remote/online worker who speaks English Japanese and Italian? :)

2tall4economy
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by 2tall4economy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:46 pm

Got a degree in finance and worked in that field, even though I started as an engineer with zero understanding of money

Invested heavily from the time I completed my finance degree, and made up for the 10 years prior where I squandered it.

Lived overseas in countries who are very different from the USA. Perspective experience that anybody who lives in similar countries or the same country simply won’t get. I used to laugh when the us expats in Australia complained about having a hard time adjusting to the language and culture shock. Really? Try china or Uzbekistan or Russia.

Converted my home back in the states into a rental instead of selling it when I left the USA.

Socked away an incredible amount while I lived overseas and had a free house a free car and an inability to purchase anything for 11 months out of the year
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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baw703916
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by baw703916 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:15 am

It seems that on this thread, something like half of the replies make reference to "marry the right person".

So how is this actually implemented? Is there an equivalent of John Bogle to make everything simple, or is it just dumb luck? Seems a lot more complicated than just calling up Vanguard, taking a risk tolerance quiz, and choosing a three-fund portfolio!

(my question is semi-tongue in cheek, but also somewhat serious. Great if that happens for you, but is there any strategy involved?)
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

Cruise
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Cruise » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:40 am

baw703916 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:15 am
It seems that on this thread, something like half of the replies make reference to "marry the right person".

So how is this actually implemented? Is there an equivalent of John Bogle to make everything simple, or is it just dumb luck? Seems a lot more complicated than just calling up Vanguard, taking a risk tolerance quiz, and choosing a three-fund portfolio!

(my question is semi-tongue in cheek, but also somewhat serious. Great if that happens for you, but is there any strategy involved?)
Date lots people. Eventually you learn about what qualities work and what don’t.

Live in sin for a few years. One really gets to know someone well when you share a bathroom, checking account, and many other things. :)

texasdiver
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:25 pm

Right:

Mostly invested maximum contributions to TSP/403b)/401(k) plans over the years and left them on autopilot in mostly vanguard target retirement funds

Married the right woman. A younger doctor from a foreign country (no student loans out of residency)

Wrong:

Bought a new 27 ft cabin cruiser boat in Alaska that we had custom made to be a dive boat and fishing boat. Did this together with a partner. It cost a tremendous amount just to fuel the thing up with diesel for a weekend trip and the maintenance and monthly marina costs were huge. We lost maybe 30% when we sold it 5 years later. Which wasn’t really bad for boats.

Bought a camping trailer that we didn’t have time to use or a place to store. Turns out most nice fall and spring weekends fall right in the middle of youth soccer seasons. So weekend soccer games used up most of our good weather weekend camping opportunities. No one camps mid-summer in Texas. For the cost of the trailer and secure year-round storage we could have stayed at 5 star VRBO rentals anywhere in the country for our vacations and still come out way ahead.
Last edited by texasdiver on Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nova1968
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by nova1968 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:54 am

Worked overseas for several years at a young age which provided free housing, no taxes, per diem, no auto expenses. It was the foundation for a secure retirement.
Last edited by nova1968 on Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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baw703916
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by baw703916 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:38 pm

I never bought a $5000 watch, in spite of the extreme peer pressure. ;)
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

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market timer
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by market timer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:45 pm

My best results have come from pursuing an individual interest, rather than trying to follow the herd. Typically, whatever group you are in has a certain well-defined hierarchy of achievement. If you are in school, it might be getting a job offer with a certain employer; if you are working, maybe it is a promotion. The same applies to where you choose to move for work, in which neighborhood you choose to live, where you send your kids to school, etc. The well-defined paths are typically low return and high effort.

As Warren Buffett says, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." This doesn't just apply to financial investments, but every decision you make. Value relative to price can only be understood if you have a good sense of your unique values. There have been several times in my life when I feel like I'm on a completely different path from my peers due to different values. A clear example is during my PhD years, when I was not interested in becoming a professor. Everything in grad school is designed to achieve that outcome, and success is judged by the school's rank of your placement. In my view, that is a career with low return and high effort. The only case where it makes sense is when you are truly passionate about your research, but I know few who are. I thought it was better to find a role in the private sector with the good aspects of academia (intellectual challenge, flexible work hours), but with more diverse and applied projects, and less competition.

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gmtret
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by gmtret » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:55 am

I must say that automating my investments has been the most positive among the things that I have done right, such that investments occurred monthly
with no regard to market movements. Other than that, I'd guess that finding the Diehards back in the nineties was indeed fortuitous. :)

Good luck,
Chris
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." | - Albert Einstein

staythecourse
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:26 am

baw703916 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:15 am
It seems that on this thread, something like half of the replies make reference to "marry the right person".

So how is this actually implemented? Is there an equivalent of John Bogle to make everything simple, or is it just dumb luck? Seems a lot more complicated than just calling up Vanguard, taking a risk tolerance quiz, and choosing a three-fund portfolio!

(my question is semi-tongue in cheek, but also somewhat serious. Great if that happens for you, but is there any strategy involved?)
Like many things in life it is MORE important to see the actions of folks over what they verbally say. When you date just watch how materialistic they are or expensive their hobbies may be. It is easy to figure out if one looks at their actions and NOT their words. My wife is a doc from a doc family and was thrilled to find she loved to eat at the mall's food court and shopped at the time at "forever 21" as a fellow. She also drove a broken down Kia and never talked about "when I make enough money".

The problem is folks start to put blinders on to the person they have feelings for and that is what gets them in trouble.

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

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Garco
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Garco » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:05 am

This will echo several others postings here:

1. 1 marriage.

2. 1 house (until retirement), 1 car at a time, no expensive toys, vacations mainly with extended family (low rent).

3. 2 kids through college with no debt (we saved, and we paid).

4. stayed healthy, which is part luck (good genes, no major accidents), part having excellent medical services, and part staying physically active.

5. saved 15% of my gross salary for ~40 years (spouse did not have a career), which when combined with SS, means we maintain our standard of living in retirement. Retired at age 70.

6. was lucky to have parents who left us some money, which arrived only after we were retired, but comes in handy and which we will pass down to our kids in due course.

7. saw the world, mainly at others' expense, as part of my career.

Sandi_k
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Sandi_k » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:13 pm

1) Improved myself through education and travel.

2) Married the right man. <3

3) Took the job with stability and a pension over a boom-or-bust private sector job.

4) Helped DH buy a business, so *he* could be the private sector. :D

5) Started saving young, and with a focus on consistency and low-cost funds.

6) Lived in our first "starter" home for 20 years, and invested a lot of DIY sweat equity. Sold it for 2.5x what we paid for it.

7) Made sure our second home was on a 15 year mortgage, ensuring it'll be paid off before we fully retire.

8) Balanced our wants with prudent financial choices. We have bought new cars, but we then drive them for 10+ years, or over 200k miles.

9) Valued our friends and family, and helped when needed. Community is important to us, and we've been lucky. Giving back is meaningful.

10) Splurged every now and then on something pretty, impractical or unnecessary - a trip at 50, a nice watch with a promotion, an upgraded mattress as we've aged, an upgraded dishwasher that's quiet enough to watch TV in the next room at the same time. :D

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AtlasShrugged?
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:18 am

It seems that on this thread, something like half of the replies make reference to "marry the right person". So how is this actually implemented?
baw703916....If you are Jewish, I recommend JDate. I cannot begin to tell you how many couples I have encountered in shul at their aufruf where they tell the congregation they met via JDate.
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

snowox
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by snowox » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:47 am

Started my first business in 93 and sold in 97. Started another Business in 96 I retired from in 2015. Had another business I started but after 3 years had a medical scare so even though it was rolling had to part it out.

Made the decision in my mid 40's I had to get out of my Second business because it was killing me so started the research and hammered down the investments. Up to that point I was pretty much " I will always make the money to cover that" . I had no business debt so wanted to keep my cash flow as part of my exit strategy. (should of started ALOT SOONER)

Met my DW of 21 plus years now and have 4 beautiful Children.

Downsized many things and sold a bunch of toys, vacation properties etc.. of things I didnt need.

Lost 60lbs over 3 years now and have kept off eating better and sticking to a realistic workout. I dont do fad diets.

Read alot on investing and continue to do so because I either dont absorb well or it just takes me awhile to really understand.

3funder
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by 3funder » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:40 am

I started contributing to my workplace retirement plan my first job out of college and opened a Roth IRA soon after. I didn't have much money to throw at either, but 11 years later, I am maxing both accounts and have done well thanks to the nearly immediate crash and subsequent bull market.

LarryAllen
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:10 am

Good:
Married well (like minded in most areas and flexible in the areas we aren't like minded);
Have always sent a few extra bucks to the mortgage company (generally 5-20% of mortgage payment);
Have maxed out IRAs, 401ks, or other options every year I have worked;
Started 529 accounts within months of birth of our kids (you actually could start before they are born but we did not);
Haven't beaten myself up too much for some of the bad financial decisions;
Enjoy being the millionaire next door kind of person;

Bad:
Leased a luxury car about a year into my first good job;
Flipped new cars every 2 years, or so, for a while;
Have allowed lifestyle creep in many areas of life;

lolbatross
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by lolbatross » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:24 am

Took advantage of the good fortune / parent lottery. (Engineering degree, no debt, lived at home till 25 while saving)
Married well
Saved well - gross savings ~33%
Invest instead of pay down mortgage
Buy cars with cash

goldendad
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by goldendad » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:44 am

1. Always lived within our means.
2. Started investing in the stock market at age 27.
3. Got a college degree that helped me get a job - engineering.
4. Married a good lady - and stayed married until today.

Rysto
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Re: What did you do right?

Post by Rysto » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:10 pm

1. Accepted a job offer in 2007 while heading into my final year of university. Have a job already lined up when I graduated in 2008 was huge
2. Established a periodic savings plan in 2009
3. Got into index funds in 2010

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