Did you ever "win" big?

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Skyccord
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Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Skyccord » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:15 pm

I know we live in the world of a 3 fund portfolio. But my question is did you ever have a stock pick that paid you a very handsome return?

pennylane
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by pennylane » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:20 pm

Yes. I gambled and bought a $100 worth of a garbage penny stock that crashed to $8. I decided to not sell it as the fee alone to sell would of been $8... so I left it alone for maybe 6 years or so.. can’t remember but I basically just forgot about it and assumed it was going to $0...

I checked randomly and saw the stock position went from $8 to $1600+.... I sold immediately.

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:34 pm

I've had a couple of times on small stocks where I've doubled my investment in a short time period. That said, more frequently I've watched helplessly as it's lost 20% - 50% in value while I hold it. So I restrict myself to 1% of portfolio in more speculative single stock bets, as I know the odds aren't good. The one individual stock I hold now is in a local company I want to see succeed. Everything else follows the Boglehead way.

Mrxyz
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Mrxyz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:59 pm

No but many many years ago, I had an etrade account for a few weeks, made around $2500, found someone else doing the same who is a compulsive gambler and was losing IT- money, wife, job and mental health! I cashed out and closed account.

tim1999
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by tim1999 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:15 pm

In the late 1990s I bought a small amount (like $1,000 maybe?) worth of company called Cross Timbers Oil, which later became XTO Energy, then merged with ExxonMobil. It went up like 5 times what I paid for it in just a few years.

I also purchased stock in the now-defunct retail chain Bradlees for like $2 per share, didn't sell all the way down to like 25 cents, and it became worthless when they went bankrupt/closed down and the stock stopped trading.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:18 pm

I know somebody who did and he just got a TESLA. He got a big portfolio and it’s gotten bigger. He got very lucky.

MnD
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by MnD » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:03 am

When gasoline prices would get crazy low I would put around 1/3 the price of a new car into bombed-out Varco stock (oil services company now called National Oilwell/Varco). I got 3 "triples" out of that strategy and when I would sell I would buy a much-needed new car. A couple of Subaru's and a Nissan - nothing fancy.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:24 am

Mine was small, but it wasnt I bought a stock and it went up, it was like I shorted a stock and it declared bankruptcy within a few days. I had maybe 1000 shares. Boy I couldn’t wait to get to the office to close the trade.The walk from the parking lot to my office was too long. But I didn’t want to sell anything when I was walking, I wanted to sit down, took a deep breath, made sure what I saw on the watch list was reality. Let’s say I made some money, nice enough to treat my group of friends at work at a nice high end sushi restaurant.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Will do good
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Will do good » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am

Brought APPL about a year before Steve Job returns at around $3.25

aristotelian
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by aristotelian » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:17 am

I've had a few winners but they were more than cancelled out by losers.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:31 am

Yes. 40 years I met my wife, married her 38 years ago.

Most who "won big" on a stock lost more on other stocks.

I sold Amazon at $20 after years and years of waiting. That showed me to never invest in individual stocks again.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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Watty
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Watty » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 am

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:17 am
I've had a few winners but they were more than cancelled out by losers.
+1

One of the big problems with stock picking is that if you pick 20 stocks then just by dumb luck a couple of them will do much better than the stock market.

I have also gone to the horse races and bet on a dozen races and won a couple.

bltn
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by bltn » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:01 am

Because I never had more than moderate gains on my best individual stocks, and occasionally lost money, this was a factor in my switching to index investing.
An example of a single stock home run came from my accountant a couple of months ago. He bought Amazon with a 20,000 dollar investment years ago. He told me his investment is now worth 750,000 dollars. I ve never been smart enough to do anything close to that. Oh well. Market returns have been good enough for me.

andypanda
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by andypanda » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:45 am

About 50 years ago my father had a customer who was a stock broker. He recommended a small company that owned a huge, extremely popular, family-style restaurant north of D.C and three more in Florida. Before I returned to college for my junior year, I took about $800 from my summer job doing tree service work and bought just over 100 shares. (I had my father buy them with my money.) I definitely remember that the stock ended up splitting 4 times and eventually going to $36. The details are hazy and I could be off on them, but it pretty much paid for grad school in '72-'73.

The main Florida location was in Clearwater/Tampa and had 12 dining rooms and seated hundreds. Over the top decor. 8-)
www.onlyinyourstate.com/florida/kapok-tree-inn-fl

So why did the stock jump? I was told they also had a bunch of low-cost farm land outside of Orlando. Fwiw, in the '60s when Disney started buying - anonymously - what was to be over 30,000 acres, land was going for as little as $100 per acre. A lot of it was swampy, etc. By the time Disney World opened in late 1971 the land around the park was a great deal more valuable.

Call me Mr. Lucky.

Jags4186
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:49 am

At a trade show one of the vendors had one of those booths where dollar bills fly around and you have to see how many you can grab in 30 seconds. I won and cashed a check for $1000. Had to send $320 of it to Uncle Sam and Uncle Tony (Sam’s cousin in New Jersey).

Still felt great.

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sleepysurf
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by sleepysurf » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:55 am

As a fledgling investor in the late 90's, I bought Munder NetNet Fund, and it tripled over the next year. I cashed out just before it's historic decline. Thinking I was an investing genius, I put all my earnings into the PALM IPO. Years later I finally learned the difference between investing and speculating!
Retired 2018 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced)

ChinchillaWhiplash
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:30 am

I bought Tesla stock at $33 a share about 20 years ago. Sold it at around $125. Wish I would have held it longer :oops:

Grantley
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Grantley » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:01 am

I sold Amazon and AOL short in 1999 and eventually did very well although I was sweating it out for a while as the stocks just kept climbing. I wouldn't recommend this and won't do it again, but I did believe the tech bubble would burst eventually.

I also bought BP after their Deepwater Horizon disaster. I've found that buying stocks in situations where no professional money managers want to be caught with it in their portfolios after a major problem is also a good contrarian bet. I'm trying it again with GE.....we'll see.

I know this is a very un-Boglehead way of investing but I only do it with a small portion of my portfolio.

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ReformedSpender
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by ReformedSpender » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:21 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:30 am
I bought Tesla stock at $33 a share about 20 years ago. Sold it at around $125. Wish I would have held it longer :oops:
Tesla was founded in '03 and didn't go public until '10 with an offering price of $17 a share nonetheless...

Regardless, congrats
Market history shows that when there's economic blue sky, future returns are low, and when the economy is on the skids, future returns are high. The best fishing is done in the most stormy waters.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:34 am

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

scrabbler1
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by scrabbler1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:46 am

The company I used to work for began an ESOP in 1997. The initial stock price was $29. We were given shares based on our total annual compensation, and I ended up with 337 of them. Meanwhile, the stock price exploded to $879 by the end of 2008. Do the math, that's nearly $300k which I cashed out (using NUA to lower the tax bite) and used to aid in my early retirement plan.

Bacchus01
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:50 am

I met my wife

sjt
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by sjt » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:56 am

ReformedSpender wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:21 am
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:30 am
I bought Tesla stock at $33 a share about 20 years ago. Sold it at around $125. Wish I would have held it longer :oops:
Tesla was founded in '03 and didn't go public until '10 with an offering price of $17 a share nonetheless...

Regardless, congrats
Clearly Chinchilla is posting from some point in the future.
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale

GoldenFinch
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by GoldenFinch » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:59 am

When I saw the title my first thought was that I definitely got lucky in the husband department. It really was luck because you never know how things are going to turn out in the long run. On that note, I wish everyone luck with the things that really matter to them, whatever they may be.

Dudley
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Dudley » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:06 am

A company I worked for : bought in at ~$10 and sold at ~$10M. Basically luck. But I'm a Boglehead in terms of investing. I don't agree on speculating on single stock (or sector or asset), and would never own anything other than an index. I also believe stocks (and US) are inherently more risky than most like to think.

veggivet
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by veggivet » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:58 am

Yes, two stock purchases stand out among a bunch of other duds. I bought into Apple with a basis in the mid-teens, and way back in '87, right before the crash, I bought 100 shares of a small, unheard of company called Amgen which cost around 4k. On advice from my dad, I sold half my position every time the stock doubled. If I hadn't sold, that 4k initial investment would be worth north of 12mil today. Haven't sold any Apple...yet. These two stocks more than made up for the many clunkers I bought along the way to becoming a Boglehad, several of which went to zero.
If you watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves.

Jimmie
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Jimmie » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:38 am

veggivet wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:58 am
On advice from my dad, I sold half my position every time the stock doubled. If I hadn't sold, that 4k initial investment would be worth north of 12mil today.
Don't be too hard on your Dad. His advice ensured you would not lose a penny on a purely speculative play that could have gone south just as easily.

ChinchillaWhiplash
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:44 am

sjt wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:56 am
ReformedSpender wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:21 am
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:30 am
I bought Tesla stock at $33 a share about 20 years ago. Sold it at around $125. Wish I would have held it longer :oops:
Tesla was founded in '03 and didn't go public until '10 with an offering price of $17 a share nonetheless...

Regardless, congrats
Clearly Chinchilla is posting from some point in the future.
Sorry, seemed like it was that long ago. Anyhoo was not long after their IPO. Thanks for the correction.

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AerialWombat
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:46 am

I “bought stock” in my current day job business in 2012, and in 2018 it finally delivered a very handsome return. Increased my personal net worth 442% in one year via the cash I extracted from that business.

I anticipate a more modest return in 2019, and plan to semi-retire in early 2020.

Not what you meant, obviously, but it’s the biggest win of my financial life.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

Dottie57
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am

Will do good wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am
Brought APPL about a year before Steve Job returns at around $3.25
When did you sell?

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Stinky
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Stinky » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:50 am

My employer’s stock crashed from $45 to $3 in 2008-2009. I was highly confident that my employer would survive and prosper. I went “all in” on the stock - 100% of my investments were in the stock. I sold out in 2010 at about $20 per share.

However, the stock continued to go up after I got weak-kneed and sold. The company was bought out later for $70 per share. I still had a few shares left, but most were gone.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

fire4fun
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by fire4fun » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:01 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 am
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:17 am
I've had a few winners but they were more than cancelled out by losers.
+1

One of the big problems with stock picking is that if you pick 20 stocks then just by dumb luck a couple of them will do much better than the stock market.

I have also gone to the horse races and bet on a dozen races and won a couple.
The thing about life is, sometimes you just need 1 or 2 big wins, and you never have to work again. You've won. Haters will say "got lucky" because that's all they could say. They never took action so they are stuck rationalizing their own life and decisions.

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Will do good
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Will do good » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am
Will do good wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am
Brought APPL about a year before Steve Job returns at around $3.25
When did you sell?
I sold half about 2 years ago when I retired. Missed much more run on the stock :?
Even if the stock drop back down to $1 I'm still way ahead.
As others, I also have few losers too, but this one lucky pick puts me in the black.

veggivet
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by veggivet » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:13 pm

Jimmie wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:38 am
veggivet wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:58 am
On advice from my dad, I sold half my position every time the stock doubled. If I hadn't sold, that 4k initial investment would be worth north of 12mil today.
Don't be too hard on your Dad. His advice ensured you would not lose a penny on a purely speculative play that could have gone south just as easily.
Didn't meant to sound critical of his advice. He taught me tons on investing/finance. We still joke about Amgen, though... :D
If you watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves.

Dottie57
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:36 pm

Will do good wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am
Will do good wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am
Brought APPL about a year before Steve Job returns at around $3.25
When did you sell?
I sold half about 2 years ago when I retired. Missed much more run on the stock :?
Even if the stock drop back down to $1 I'm still way ahead.
As others, I also have few losers too, but this one lucky pick puts me in the black.
Congrats! I bought some Apple at $6x A share but sold too early too. Made a nice profit too.

sambb
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by sambb » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:53 pm

have made a lot of money on a few stocks. Dont consider it lucky at all. Great companies and great products. Paid off my mortgage. Its funny that people say that it is luck. Im not good enough at it to make it the central part of my investment life, but the times ive done it, ive been very satisfied with the results. I havent done it in years though.

Remember that in the late 80s you might have been a resident in a developed stable country with a bright future and invested in that country's index fund. And if this was in Japan, you might have failed.

Past performance, even of indexes, does not guarantee future results.

HippoSir
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by HippoSir » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:55 pm

I bought some bitcoin at ~$200, forgot about it for a long time, then saw in the news folks talking about it.

Went and checked and price was ~$14k at the time, immediately sold it all. Felt a bit annoyed when it peaked at ~$19k, but less annoyed now. :D

dcop
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by dcop » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:35 pm

My overall taxable stock only portfolio which I started in 1999 (includes all gains/losses of previously held stock that have been sold) is in the black $188,597.35. Dividends included. I'm very happy with this this considering that in 2002 it was in the red at -$37,000.

Below is my profit/loss over the years for each holding. The highlighted rows are stocks that I still have a position in.

Image

DA200
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by DA200 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Bought 100 shares of Amazon for $6,000 in 1999.
Still holding and now worth $164,000.
This is the only individual stock that we own and never plan to buy individual stocks again!

2015
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by 2015 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:03 pm

fire4fun wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:01 pm
Watty wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 am
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:17 am
I've had a few winners but they were more than cancelled out by losers.
+1

One of the big problems with stock picking is that if you pick 20 stocks then just by dumb luck a couple of them will do much better than the stock market.

I have also gone to the horse races and bet on a dozen races and won a couple.
The thing about life is, sometimes you just need 1 or 2 big wins, and you never have to work again. You've won. Haters will say "got lucky" because that's all they could say. They never took action so they are stuck rationalizing their own life and decisions.
Actually no. Luck has a very large impact on results in life. There are scores of books out on the subject. The realty of luck (good and bad) has nothing to do with humans categorized by others as a "hater" or judged as "rationalizing". Luck is deeply embedded in all human activity.

This is the issue with people who are led around by their noses by the daily fire hose of disgorged financial "information". They are not as rational as they could be as a result of missing out on the plethora of big picture things related to how life and reality work. The irony is reading and studying widely outside the extremely narrow fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics serves to make one much more effective in all three of these areas.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:26 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:31 am
Yes. 40 years I met my wife, married her 38 years ago.

Most who "won big" on a stock lost more on other stocks.

I sold Amazon at $20 after years and years of waiting. That showed me to never invest in individual stocks again.
+1

I had stock options that expired worthless in 2000. Replaced with RSUs at a dollar.
After holding for 5 years I made $2,500. 48 hrs later they stock doubled and I would have made $5k. 2 years later the stock was worth just over $125k. :shock:

fire4fun
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by fire4fun » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:23 pm

2015 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:03 pm
fire4fun wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:01 pm
Watty wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:54 am
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:17 am
I've had a few winners but they were more than cancelled out by losers.
+1

One of the big problems with stock picking is that if you pick 20 stocks then just by dumb luck a couple of them will do much better than the stock market.

I have also gone to the horse races and bet on a dozen races and won a couple.
The thing about life is, sometimes you just need 1 or 2 big wins, and you never have to work again. You've won. Haters will say "got lucky" because that's all they could say. They never took action so they are stuck rationalizing their own life and decisions.
Actually no. Luck has a very large impact on results in life. There are scores of books out on the subject. The realty of luck (good and bad) has nothing to do with humans categorized by others as a "hater" or judged as "rationalizing". Luck is deeply embedded in all human activity.

This is the issue with people who are led around by their noses by the daily fire hose of disgorged financial "information". They are not as rational as they could be as a result of missing out on the plethora of big picture things related to how life and reality work. The irony is reading and studying widely outside the extremely narrow fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics serves to make one much more effective in all three of these areas.
There is a little luck sure. But I firmly believe that people create their own luck. Lots of evidence that this is true as well.

People who find themselves saying "well they got lucky" are usually those that have been timid and played it safe their whole life. I don't want to ever have any regrets that I didn't do/try something because I was afraid.

I also don't want to be the guy that spent 98% of my time reading books, without putting any of the concepts I've learned into action. This is coming from someone that reads a lot. The truth is you can't know everything and can't have all the data before trying something.

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GoldStar
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by GoldStar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:45 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:50 am
I met my wife
Your wife was a stock pick?

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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by MotoTrojan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Will do good wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am
Brought APPL about a year before Steve Job returns at around $3.25
And then...?

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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by danielc » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:03 pm

Skyccord wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:15 pm
I know we live in the world of a 3 fund portfolio. But my question is did you ever have a stock pick that paid you a very handsome return?
I began investing when I was young, right at the beginning of the stock market crash in 2008 or so. I blindly DCA'd my money into a broad total market ETF as everything crashed, and made an impressive return when it bounced. The total dollar value of my winnings was not very high because I didn't have much money at the time. But the rate of return for those few months were amazing.

... Then I had to sell everything because I decided to go back to school and I needed the money :?

In hindsight, putting money into stocks at that point in my life was very dumb :oops: . But I got lucky, and made a great return :D .

Tal-
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by Tal- » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:04 pm

I bought MoviePass stock (HMNY) at .02. So... any day now, I'll have a story for ya...
Debt is to personal finance as a knife is to cooking.

grkmec
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by grkmec » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Bought 100 bitcoin back in 2014 for an average price of $500 each. Sold most of them between December 2017 - January 2018. Made about $1.5 million profit on the trade.

jacksonm
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by jacksonm » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:09 pm

Not by stock picking but I made about $100k on stock options after working for a private company for only about 3 months before it was bought by a publicly traded company.

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oldzey
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by oldzey » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:23 pm

As far as it pertains to picking stocks, no - but my total stock market index funds have done well.
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

bhsince87
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Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Post by bhsince87 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:21 pm

What's your definition of "Big"?

I've had a few (7-8) stocks that went up at least 10X, and plenty that went up more than 5X.

But I only bought in $5k blocks, so even a 10X wasn't life changing. And I sold a lot of them "too soon" in hind sight. Usually started taking profits at 5X.

My average return over 30+ years was about 17%, so I can't complain.

That being said, my 401k has always been 3-4 fund oriented, full Bogle.

Apple is my best of all time. I still own about 1,300 shares, bought for around $3 per share, currently trading at about $150 per share.

And I've never lost more than about $4,000 on a stock. I usually sell at a 50% loss, but a few times I was sure a company was going to turn around, but then it was bought out while I was still negative.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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