What have you learned this year

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Mr.BB
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What have you learned this year

Post by Mr.BB » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:40 pm

This year is about over, and I was curious if there was anything you have learned this year? Good or bad, financial or personal.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

staythecourse
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by staythecourse » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:43 pm

Financial: I learned what I knew already... 1. The market goes up, down, and sideways and 2. No one knows when will happen.

Personal: My wife and kids still love me so what happens to the markets doesn't add any more happiness or fulfillment to my life.

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

mosthumbleman
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by mosthumbleman » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:46 pm

Financially: as I hit 50 this year, seeing the market go down 20% I find it harder to buy into stocks for rebalancing reasons. I am doing it, but it makes me quesy. Harder than it was before. As I near retirement in the next ten years I am shocked it is coming up so quickly.

Personally: I learned I am no longer young in terms of my career and need to refresh myself professionally. Learned it was more emotional than I thought it would be.

Yellowhouse
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Yellowhouse » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:07 pm

I learned that during a stock market downturn like we are experiencing now, it feels good to own property. It gives me a feeling of protection, like a blanket in the night. Considering I had 310k in my VG account back in September and now only have about 260k, yeah, my property is comforting.

On a personal note, I've learned that I'm approaching middle age and it's a somewhat scary feeling. I'm 43, soon to be 44 in February, and I'm much closer to the finish line than I am to the starting line.

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Starchild
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Starchild » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:26 pm

Don’t get greedy

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StormShadow
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by StormShadow » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:28 pm

Life is short. Enjoy it while it lasts.

jmanter
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by jmanter » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:31 pm

I learned how to filter noise out of my investing (mostly). On a related note, I learned what a Boglehead is.

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Time2Quit
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Time2Quit » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:40 pm

You can have the best plans but life comes fast! Try to be as prepared as possible. I had planned on working 5 to 6 more years at a very high salary but things beyond my control changed those plans. Then the market takes a dive...So far I am still Ok because I always try to plan for a a bit of a cushion.

I would be lying if I said all these changes don’t bother me. I aa still struggling on the fact that I will be ducumulating in 2019, 5 to 6 years sooner than I had planned.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." --Seneca

mule
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by mule » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:57 pm

I seen the market go as high as it ever has, and have seen a record low for the month of December, and all the drama in between. Even with all the up and down and sideways really nothing has changed in my life style. My wealth was all over the board and nothing changed. I beleive I was prepared for the good, bad and the ugly with a plan going into ER.

In a nut shell >>> I have more confidence and risk factor has strengthen and even more sure of just stay the course.

fire4fun
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by fire4fun » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:13 pm

Financial: Nobody knows nuthin'.

Personal: Life is beautiful, everywhere you look.

radiowave
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by radiowave » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:13 pm

If you have a good plan (IPS), it will get you through the storm. Be patient, stay with your goals.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page

latak215
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by latak215 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:25 pm

several wse people said many times many ways that stock market prediction is tough in the short run but history is comforting for those segments that can wait 20 year time frame.

Stormbringer
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Stormbringer » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:31 pm

I think this is the year when I came to believe that the goal in retirement planning should be inflation-adjusted income, not wealth (your "number"). While the two aren't entirely unrelated, they aren't exactly the same either. I think people focus too much on the size of the portfolio, and not enough on the income it can generate.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

2015
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by 2015 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:35 pm

Financial: The markets have shown once again who has been swimming with their pants down.

Personal: "You never know if this is the day it's all going to change" can become a reality many times over.

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Stinky
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Stinky » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:38 pm

Financial - I've spent a lot more time on the Bogleheads site this year, and I'm so impressed by all of the really smart people who post here.

Personal - Every day is a great day to be alive! The glass is always half-full. Live positively and optimistically.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

Scooter57
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Scooter57 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:16 pm

I learned that acting my age was killing me.

Got the guitar out. Been singing. Going to hoist these old bones up on a stage in a few months, do some open mics, and show these young kids a thing or two. I've got one last crazy road trip left in in me, crumbling spine, bad joints and all. The best times in my life were when we were all poor but we had a hell of a good time doing real stuff together that mattered.

In my dreams there is a place where people get together still and sing their best songs and no one is holding a phone.

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dwickenh
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by dwickenh » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:26 pm

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

TheHouse7
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by TheHouse7 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:26 pm

Financial: I need to spend more time finding skills/other job opportunity if I lose my job.

Personal: I learned to clean out my dryer vent every 6 months.
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

pascalwager
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by pascalwager » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:35 pm

I'm all for visual images and I've learned that the M* style boxes can show bright red day after day after day--across the weeks. No, it's not just a theoretical possibility.

annielouise
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by annielouise » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:42 pm

We learned that no matter how many layoffs you get through unscathed, you can still be blindsided by the one that hits you.

We also learned that it is possible to get a new software job, even at age 53. Whew!

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cinghiale
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by cinghiale » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:55 am

Financial: An asset allocation that looked rather stodgy and overly-conservative during the go-go seasons has looked (and performed) pretty good over these last few tumultuous weeks.

Personal: Health is paramount, and should be cherished, protected, and nourished to be best of one’s abilities.
"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

OkieIndexer
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by OkieIndexer » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:08 am

That I'm still not good at calling the bottom. I thought it was around Halloween, about 10% ago.

Also, that my Mom Indicator isn't perfect. Previously, whenever my mom freaked out about stocks was the exact bottom of the market. Well, this time she finally freaked out around Thanksgiving, later than expected, but also about 10% ago.

I still think my Mom Indicator has a lot of potential and can be quite accurate though, just not 100% apparently. :mrgreen:
"In bull markets, people say 'The more risk I take, the greater my return.' But when people aren't afraid of risk, they'll accept risk without being compensated." -Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital

Carol88888
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Carol88888 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:45 am

Enjoy the little pleasures - a walk in the park, a cup of tea. These are the things you get to control and repeat.

Don't go around believing "oil is going to 100" just because Barrons says so.

MJW
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by MJW » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:00 am

Scooter57 wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:16 pm
Got the guitar out. Been singing. Going to hoist these old bones up on a stage in a few months, do some open mics, and show these young kids a thing or two.
Do it! My dad (70 yo) has played guitar for decades, has a good singing voice, and finally mustered the nerve a few years ago to do some open mics. Now he's booked as a regular performer at a local winery and has been invited to play at parties and other gigs. In the process he met a fellow retiree who is a bassist looking to play again. So now my dad not only has a playing partner but also made a new friend.

Good luck to you.

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VictoriaF
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:19 am

Philosophical: The concept of finite and infinite games. I am now trying to apply it to many aspects of my life and life in general.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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AtlasShrugged?
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:33 am

I think this is the year when I came to believe that the goal in retirement planning should be inflation-adjusted income, not wealth (your "number"). While the two aren't entirely unrelated, they aren't exactly the same either.
Yes, I am coming around to this as well. Reading McClung's Living Off Your Money was a true eye opener for me. What I have not yet figured out is how to incorporate (or plan for) the tax hit. I am all over the track with that. I have ~10 years to figure it out.
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

carolinaman
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by carolinaman » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:35 am

This is probably the first time we have had a serious downturn where I was not considering changes to my portfolio. This is because I finally adopted a Boglehead low cost, index fund/etc portfolio with an AA I am comfortable with. Granted, there may be a further drops and I may get anxious, but so far so good. I have paid very little attention to the daily market gyrations, and many days I do not even check the market. I do not read all the Armageddon financial news either. Life is better with fewer worries when you have an AA you can stay the course with.

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Top99%
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Top99% » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:06 am

cinghiale wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:55 am
Financial: An asset allocation that looked rather stodgy and overly-conservative during the go-go seasons has looked (and performed) pretty good over these last few tumultuous weeks.

Personal: Health is paramount, and should be cherished, protected, and nourished to be best of one’s abilities.
Thanks for saving me from typing pretty much the exact same thing. :D
Adapt or perish

MotoTrojan
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by MotoTrojan » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:31 am

Learned there is value in switching to a Mutual Fund rather than ETF; much less stressful way to TLH.

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Tourne
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Tourne » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:49 am

Financial: 18 months after getting rid of my financial advisor and striking out on my own, I’m comfortable with my asset allocation (70/30) during the first real downturn (whew!).

Personal: I should have bought myself that new set of golf clubs sooner. DW and I have been focused on increasing our savings rate the past few years (now over 50%), and while that is important, so is taking time to enjoy life now.
Plans are nothing; planning is everything - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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bengal22
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by bengal22 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:37 pm

Value each moment with family and never put off saying to them how important they are to you.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

Dottie57
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:47 pm

I have learned my 86 year old mom is more fragile physically, mentally and emotionally than I previously thought. Helping her this year has been both hard and a privilege.

Texgal17
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Texgal17 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:01 pm


Financial: I learned I could “stay the course” ! Thanks, Bogleheads...
Personal: I learned how much I loved my Mom, after she was no longer with us...

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onthecusp
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by onthecusp » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:14 pm

Financial: I learned that even close to retirement that what seem like pretty big swings in my investments don't really change the assumptions I need to make in Firecalc. I still need to work a couple of years part time or one full time. (Is that OMY?)
Personal: We went to see the Nutcracker Ballet this year, were gifted nosebleed tickets, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! Never been to the ballet before.

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Goldfinger
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Goldfinger » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:32 pm

AtlasShrugged? wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:33 am
I think this is the year when I came to believe that the goal in retirement planning should be inflation-adjusted income, not wealth (your "number"). While the two aren't entirely unrelated, they aren't exactly the same either.
Yes, I am coming around to this as well. Reading McClung's Living Off Your Money was a true eye opener for me. What I have not yet figured out is how to incorporate (or plan for) the tax hit. I am all over the track with that. I have ~10 years to figure it out.
Santa just brought me that book (and a few others) yesterday, and I very much look forward to reading it. Seems to be extremely well-researched from the accounts of those who have read it.

--Goldfinger
"At cocktail parties lovely ladies would corner me and ask my opinion of the market, but alas, when they learned I was a bond man, they would quietly drift away." -- Sidney Homer/Salomon Bros

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cinghiale
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by cinghiale » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:38 pm

VictoriaF wrote,
Philosophical: The concept of finite and infinite games. I am now trying to apply it to many aspects of my life and life in general.
OK, I don’t want to hijack the thread, but this looks too intriguing to simply let go by the boards. Victoria, a few words of explanation here?
"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

misscourtneyk
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by misscourtneyk » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:23 pm

Financial: really saw the power of consistency start to add up (I'm almost 28). After years of consistent investing, I feel like I woke up and suddently have this fairly good sized portfolio, while my friends of similar age are asking me what a Roth IRA is. :oops:

Personal: I've learned that life is short; assuming I'm meeting all my financial and savings goals, nothing wrong with spending a little on some things I would enjoy for myself. Can't take it with you. Bought that gently used Mercedes I've always wanted; it's brought me a lot of joy.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.

KnowNth
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by KnowNth » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:44 pm

That when market drops, bogleheads surprisingly generate lots of noise as well. :D

SGM
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by SGM » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:00 pm

My 95 year old uncle plays harmonica well enough to be a guest artist on a newly released CD.

MJW
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by MJW » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:10 pm

KnowNth wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:44 pm
That when market drops, bogleheads surprisingly generate lots of noise as well. :D
Indeed.

KJVanguard
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by KJVanguard » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:22 pm

StormShadow wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:28 pm
Life is short. Enjoy it while it lasts.
I have noticed that too. I can't say more as my "50 seconds or 50 years" post was removed by mods.

quantAndHold
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:23 pm

1) It rains a lot east of the Rockies.

2) There are places in this country where grass can grow without being coaxed and threatened. See #1.

transient_academic
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by transient_academic » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:28 pm

I learned that I can stave off panic selling during a big downturn (so far). I wasn't investing during the last downturn and I have an aggressive portfolio. Many posters on here will say to people like myself "you don't know how you will respond until you see big losses in your portfolio". I agreed that I wouldn't know until it happened but I had a guess and I'm glad to see I did have a good estimate of how I would feel.

KJVanguard
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by KJVanguard » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:30 pm

I have a strong background in finance and have been investing for 25 years. I certainly was aware that stocks can go do, they can go down a lot, and they may not recover for decades (see Japan).

This year after losing about half a million in 11 months, this theory has become much more real for me. Now I haven't done anything about it. I would never sell when stocks are down, so I am standing my ground as one should. And I am trying to stay positive, as in lower stock prices now mean higher future returns.

I also learned that the better valuation in international stocks may not protect you from an even more severe decline than US stocks which are priced higher. Ultimately, I think international will win, even if it's not this year. I hold near a market weighting with 54% foreign. John Bogle would be horrified by this I know, but we can disagree. I am 100% in agreement with Mr. Bogle on the fact that costs matter A LOT.

Seeing my best friend's husband given 2-5 years to live has made me realize that life can be short, so you had best enjoy it while you can.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:53 pm

I didn’t panic when the market was down. I wasn’t in the market in 2008/2009 so I don’t know how well I’ll be tested. Older and wiser.

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Toons
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by Toons » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:59 pm

How to speak Spanish more fluently
: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

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GerryL
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by GerryL » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:05 pm

Retired now 4+ years.
Financially and personally: I can -- and should -- spend more.

gorow
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Re: What have your learned this year

Post by gorow » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:28 pm

mosthumbleman wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:46 pm
Financially: as I hit 50 this year, seeing the market go down 20% I find it harder to buy into stocks for rebalancing reasons. I am doing it, but it makes me quesy. Harder than it was before. As I near retirement in the next ten years I am shocked it is coming up so quickly.

Personally: I learned I am no longer young in terms of my career and need to refresh myself professionally. Learned it was more emotional than I thought it would be.
I am retiring Monday, and thanks to this board, the current behavior in the markets hasn't given me pause in the least.
Regarding your second point - absolutely. In my experience, that last 8 years of my career (I'm 63) were great because I refreshed and entered new areas.
Retired 1/1/2019. Not concerned about sequence of returns because two years here taught me what I need to know.

vested1
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Re: What have you learned this year

Post by vested1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:21 pm

Having never lived through a correction with a modicum of knowledge, I was pleased to find that even in retirement I am able to stay the course at 60/40 and still lose no sleep. In fact, I am surprisingly calm and resigned to the fact that I have no idea what the markets will do and since I don't need to sell any losers it doesn't really matter.

I just got off the phone with a panicked friend who is also retired and is convinced he should sell everything and go entirely into laddered CD's, not a horrible idea other than locking in those huge losses. His efforts to convince me to do the same bore no fruit. The difference in my opinion is one of perspective. A longer perspective make valleys and mountaintops merely features of a larger landscape. Kind of like looking at Mount Everest from nearby or viewing it from orbit.

It's amusing to remember that between the two of us, it is I who was judged as being too conservative.

Wake me up when it's over.

Edited to add that during our conversation I mentioned that I am still buying shares of stocks and bonds by reinvesting all dividends, rather than spending them, which should help once the world regains its sanity.

are_cynic
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Re: What have you learned this year

Post by are_cynic » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:54 pm

Financial: to automate everything. When the market dropped, my robots did everything they were supposed to; contribute, rebalance, stay the course. My emotions were neither required nor desired to manage my portfolio.

Personal: to automate everything. Time is the most valuable asset. The more decisions I can eliminate, the more peaceful life becomes.
"Invert, always invert" ~Carl Jacobi

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