[Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

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Bluce
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Bluce »

Afty wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:53 pm Sometimes I think that keeping up with financial news and reading forums like this is a negative. My wife is totally unaware that anything has happened with the market. She's therefore unintentionally staying the course. This has happened before where she totally forgot about a retirement account and we discovered it years later. It had been invested in a target retirement fund (the plan default) and had done great!
Absolutely it is, if one is inclined to act on what they see/hear. I don't, but I do enjoy watching the gyrations.

As I've noted elsewhere, if this volatility bothers someone they should ignore the noise and just check their PF value 2, 3, or 4 times per year.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by CyclingDuo »

Bluce wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:21 am
CyclingDuo wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:17 am
Bluce wrote: Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:47 pm Image

I don't understand this chart. Just taking the simple 50/50 AA in a $1M portfolio:

We have $500k in stocks, $500k in bonds.

Stocks crash by 50%. The $500k stock allocation drops to $250k.

Adding that to the $500k bond portion = $750k, not $800k as shown. Portfolio loss was 25%, not 20% as shown . . . no?
The chart is based on Larry Swedroe's chart of the bear market decline of the 1970's (link below see #'s 5 and 6 for Larry's articles and his chart) and what bonds did during that -50% decline. I simply added some dollar amounts based on two examples: a $1M portfolio and a $2M portfolio.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asset_a ... te_note-12

CyclingDuo
Ok, but nowhere does the chart mention anything about bonds, other than being a percentage of AA. That's why I assumed they were only calculating stock prices and that bonds were flat.

So my math was correct. :shock:
If you search the posts of Larry Swedroe here at the BH forums or if you have read his books - his table and discussion about it including the bond component is all laid out fairly well. Sorry for any confusion. I figured everyone has been involved in some of Larry's threads from time to time here at BH and has come across his AA discussions.

The particular bear market model used in his example was the 48.x% drop bear market in 1973-74 and the bond returns for those two years. Why was that bear market used for his table? It was used as a model for his table because that particular bear market was significant as it changed how portfolio managers and managers viewed their performance against benchmarks. Before that bear market, even though everybody had bonds in their portfolio, managers were comparing those portfolios against the Dow Jones Average as their benchmark. (Odd, but that's what they did at the time).

It was also a significant turning point and model to use because using an index fund as the benchmark going forward became the norm. And guess who came along with an index fund right after that in 1975 once Vanguard was founded? :beer

Speaking of Larry's books - don't take this as shilling his books, but I do highly recommend the one he co-wrote with Kevin Grogan entitled Your Complete Guide to Successful and Secure Retirement available here:
(https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-S ... 0857197320).

I'm not reinventing any wheel, just adding dollar amounts and portfolio examples of $1M, $2M, (and $3M for the 3rd example below) because dollar amounts seem to strike a chord a bit better than Larry's basic table. Somebody in another thread or two had brought it up that Larry's table didn't have as much impact, so I made my own tables to add the dollar amounts to see if that would help.

Larry's basic table...

Image

My table after putzing around with the numbers using Larry's percentages and what a -50% decline could do to your portfolio based on AA, and how much of a gain to make it back would be required in percentage terms as well as dollar amounts...

Image

An earlier attempt at the same table above, but only focusing on the loss portion during the decline...

Image

Not every bear is a -50% decline. If we have one this year or coming up, we are in totally uncharted territory with the current bond market/low coupon rates compared to previous bear markets which will indeed be different this time.

CyclingDuo
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Bluce
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Bluce »

@ Cycling Duo: Thanks for the response. I do have two of Larry's books, but as I recall neither had that info. But I could have forgotten it. :(
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CyclingDuo
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by CyclingDuo »

Bluce wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:03 pm @ Cycling Duo: Thanks for the response. I do have two of Larry's books, but as I recall neither had that info. But I could have forgotten it. :(
No worries, this link to a discussion here at BH had Larry's comments about the table being a guideline, and then other posters diving in with some concrete numbers from 1973-74 as well as the dot.com bust bear market to compare...

viewtopic.php?t=18914

The posters that ran the numbers used VBMFX for the bond portion of the portfolio.

CyclingDuo
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Stef
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Stef »

CyclingDuo wrote: Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:39 am Image
I think this chart is very misleading. Assuming a -50% market loss, you'll need a 100% bull market gain with any AA to get back to your old portfolio value.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by MoneyMarathon »

Stef wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:03 am I think this chart is very misleading. Assuming a -50% market loss, you'll need a 100% bull market gain with any AA to get back to your old portfolio value.
It's just percentages that are misleading. It's the same logarithmic loss and gain.

It's only laziness that prevents us from using units of change that aren't misleading.

There's a reference to logarithmic units in the Bogleheads FAQ:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Percent ... ther_units
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

With respect to "so many," OP, I think there are few. Some are vocal and start new threads, but to me there don't seem to be very many.

The Illusory Truth Effect is easy to fall prey to.

PJW
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by barnaclebob »

Its human nature to follow the crowd just to avoid looking dumb, even if someone knows it could mean injury or death. Right now the crowd is saying sell your stocks.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by mhalley »

It's one thing for some Random to post they are getting out, because as mentioned before this might be their first bear, or they have an AA that is not correct for them. U read the posts and 90% of the replys are stay the course posts.
If I login one day and find taylor, Mel, ladygeek, nisiprius, WCI, are all going "me too", then I might have to think about it. Otherwise I continue to sleep fine with my 50% equity aa.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by InvestingGeek »

I think in the interest of keeping the quality of the rest of the forum high, we should have a separate section for non-BHs to post or posts that talk about action based on what the market is doing or news. Lots of the non-BHers posting say that this is a forum they use for general financial discussion, not necessarily BH-related, so we should give them that space while keeping the rest of the forum focused on Boglehead discussions.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by spae »

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Last edited by spae on Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Mel Lindauer »

mhalley wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:51 pm It's one thing for some Random to post they are getting out, because as mentioned before this might be their first bear, or they have an AA that is not correct for them. U read the posts and 90% of the replys are stay the course posts.
If I login one day and find taylor, Mel, ladygeek, nisiprius, WCI, are all going "me too", then I might have to think about it. Otherwise I continue to sleep fine with my 50% equity aa.
You won't be seeing such a post from me. This isn't my first rodeo; I've been through a number of down markets. I stayed the course then and I'm staying the course now and I suggest that others consider doing the same. This too shall pass.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by FIREchief »

Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: Disappointed in forum members

Post by Noobvestor »

jrbdmb wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:28 pm
Normchad wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:45 pm We've had a very long, nearly uninterrupted run up in the stock market since 2009.

A lot of people up the age of about 35 have probably never seen a market drop. If you just watch the news, it's easy to get roped in to thinking the sky is falling, and it's time to do something.

What I've learned in 30 years of doing this, is, everytime somebody says "it's different this time"; they're wrong. It's never different. So I'm staying put, and my monthly automated purchases are going on as scheduled.

Sitting through 2008-2009 without doing anything made me *queasy*. I held on, and it turned out great. It was absolutely the right thing to do. But it was queasy for me, and I was all mentally steeled to stay the course. I understand why others don't do it; it's a gross feeling.

But as WB says "when it's raining gold, run outside with a bucket, not a thimble". And "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful"
U.S. in 1929 was different. Japan in 1991 was different. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally it "is* different. Otherwise it would be easier to just buy the dip every single time.
Notably, in both of those scenarios a balance of bonds and stocks (1929) and/or bonds, stocks and international (for Japanese investors 1991 and on) would have made a massive difference. Sure, things can happen and nothing is certain, but diversification is the only free lunch, etc...

Having spend time here plus /r/bogleheads, /r/investing, /r/personalfinance, etc... on reddit, can confirm: a lot of younger investors have seen nothing but a US bull market this decade, and overwhelmingly seem to favor portfolios with low bonds and low international stocks.
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by bottlecap »

If you’ve been doing this long enough, a few larger than normal market drops don’t phase you.

My wife hasn’t even asked about it.

I haven’t even looked at my portfolio.

And it feels good.

Wake me up when we touch down.

JT
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Re: Disappointed in forum members

Post by Cg2 »

Tdubs wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:07 pm I am staying the course! This correction doesn't scare me; I will never deviate from the Boglehead way.

Except for that little exchange of funds I did at 3:45 pm Friday afternoon--that was just a slip. Happens to everyone. Hardly different from my IPS . . . the one I'm going to revise next week.

Other than that, I am staying the course!
:)
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Re: Disappointed in forum members

Post by Cg2 »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:43 pm
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm
I have not been a member for very long, but I believe in the Boglehead philosophy. I am staying the course, continuing with our plan and not looking at my balances. My asset allocation will remain the same. It can be hard to stay the course, and I thought this forum would be a good place for that kind of reinforcement.

That's all.
Regattamom:

Staying the course in a bear market (or 10% correction) is "hard" and requires belief and courage. Most Bogleheads have both.

If you are looking for confirmation that "staying the course" is the right thing to do, read this:
Barber Odean Study: "Of 66,465 households with accounts at a large discount broker during 1991 to 1996, those that trade most earn an annual return of 11.4 percent, while the market returns 17.9 percent. Our central message is that trading is hazardous to your health."

William Bernstein, author of Four Pillars of Investing: If you become upset when one of your asset classes does poorly, even when the rest of your portfolio is doing well, then you should not be managing your own money."

Jack Bogle: "Stay the Course. No matter what happens, stick to your program. I've said "Stay the course" a thousand times, and I meant it every time. It is the most important single piece of investment wisdom I can give to you."--"We say stay the course. But before you stay the course, make sure you're on the right course."

Bogleheads Guide to Investing: "Wall Street can't stand buy-and-hold strategies because brokers need trading activity to make money."

Jack Brennan, former Vanguard CEO: "If you're determined to succeed at investing, make it your first priority to become a buy-and-hold investor."

Warren Buffett: "Inactivity strikes us as intelligent behavior."

Andrew Clarke, author of Wealth of Experience: "Setting a goal, developing an appropriate asset allocation, and selecting a handful of funds are not hugely complex tasks. The hard part comes next: Battling your emotions so that you can stick with your plan through thick and thin."

Jonathan Clements, author and Wall Street Journal columnist: "Take my word on it. Buy-and-hold is still your best long-run strategy."

Phil DeMuth, adviser and co-author of seven investment books: "The investor says to his adviser: 'Every year you tell me to do nothing. What do I need you for?' The adviser replied: 'Every year you need me to keep your from doing anything."

Paul Farrell, author of Lazy Person's Guide to Investing: "In a study of 66,400 Merrill Lynch investors, professors Odean and Barber discovered that buy-and-hold investors beat the more active investors by a fairly sizable margin: 18.5% to 11.4% over a six-year period."

Rick Ferri, advisor and financial author: "Write down your strategy -- and stay-the-course."

Steve Forbes: "Everyone is a long-term investor until the market goes down."

Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve: "The best strategy for equity investor has always been buy and hold, and forget it."

Mark Hebner, author of "Index Funds": "Prices change to reflect news which is both random and unpredictable. Stock picking and market timing don't work. Stay the course in a risk-appropriate index portfolio and invest and relax."

Morgan Housel, financial columnist: "Do nothing" are the two most powerful -- and underused -- words in investing. The urge to act has transferred an inconceivable amount of wealth from investors to brokers."

Michael LeBoeuf, author of The Millionaire in You: "Simple buy-and-hold index investing is one of the best, most efficient ways to grow your money to the ultimate goal of financial freedom."

Jessie Livermore, famous stock trader: "The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the sitting."

Burton Malkiel, author of Random Walk Down Wall Street: "Buying-and-holding a broad-based market index fund is still the only game in town."

Paul Merriman: "There will always be somebody with a story or strategy that's newer or seems much better."

Morningstar video: Bad Timing Costs Investors 2.5% Per Year

Mike Piper, editor of The Oblivious Investor: "One of the most important lessons in investing is that there is no “perfect” portfolio, but there are many “perfectly fine” portfolios. Once you are confident that you have a “perfectly fine” portfolio, just stick with the plan and let the portfolio do what it is meant to do."

Bill Schultheis, author of The Coffeehouse Investor: "42% of millionaires of this country make less than one transaction per year in their investments."

Fred Schwed Jr. author of "Where are the Customers' Yachts? "It turns out that I should have just bought them (securities) and thereafter I should have just sat on them like a fat, stupid peasant."

Chandan Sengupta, author of The Only Proven Road to Investment Success: "If you are not going to stick to your chosen investment method through thick and thin, there is almost no chance of your succeeding as an investor."

Dan Solin, financial author and adviser: "Once you understand that monitoring the markets is harmful to your long-term returns, a whole new world of opportunities will await you."

Larry Swedroe, advisor and financial author: "There are lots of people out there who have something to gain by your taking action instead of your adhering to your well-thought-out plan."

Eric Tyson, author of Mutual Funds for Dummies: "Don't trade in and out of funds. Stay invested. Not only does buy-and-hold investing offer better returns, but it's also less work."

Jason Zweig, financial author and Wall Street Journal columnist: "The ultimate benefits of owning stocks accrue only to those who can buy and hold."
Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Eliminate emotion from your investment program. -- Cold, dark winters will give way to bright, bountiful springs."
Great post. Wish I'd really understood this 25 years ago. I've done well but I would have done better if I would have, after five years of learning, written out a plan that I never varied from. We need to understand enough to learn what is a Good Enough Plan, then write it down and don't stop believin'. I'm still struggling with this even today and I have to keep telling myself to stop tinkering.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Nowizard »

Others have covered much of the OP's post, but I would like to add another comment about "Why are people here if they don't believe the Boglehead philosophy?" The forum has many wonderful qualities, one being acceptance of various points of view in most cases, though with a definite focus on traits defining a generally specific approach. Many here (Most?) read and post because of a strict adherence to their perception of that philosophy. Many (Most?) also post specific questions, respond to the posts of others as mentors and enjoy a place on the Internet devoid of attacks on dissenting opinions. I never want to miss an opportunity to compliment what is a shining light in what can be a very judgmental area of the Internet...…….investing.

Tim
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by EnjoyIt »

FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by FIREchief »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:06 am
FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
No doubt. I haven't paid much attention to those threads because, well, I haven't paid much attention to what the market is doing. My response was to the "so many people" reference. If viewed in light of how many total members this forum has, the "so many" likely becomes statistically insignificant noise.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Unladen_Swallow »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:06 am
FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
I think most people staying the course are just quietly going about their business. The board is full of Coronavirus experts anyway, so it is quite noisy.

If I were to guess, people are rebalancing if they hit their trigger points. Or just watching.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by EnjoyIt »

Unladen_Swallow wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:06 am
FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
I think most people staying the course are just quietly going about their business. The board is full of Coronavirus experts anyway, so it is quite noisy.

If I were to guess, people are rebalancing if they hit their trigger points. Or just watching.
I hope and agree that you are probably right.

The thing is, this forum should help people stay the course and not convince them to sell sell sell.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Unladen_Swallow »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:38 pm
Unladen_Swallow wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:06 am
FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am
Regattamom wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:07 pm So many people asking about selling now and buying back in later and lots of people are agreeing it's a good idea. What happened to the Boglehead philosophy?
I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
I think most people staying the course are just quietly going about their business. The board is full of Coronavirus experts anyway, so it is quite noisy.

If I were to guess, people are rebalancing if they hit their trigger points. Or just watching.
I hope and agree that you are probably right.

The thing is, this forum should help people stay the course and not convince them to sell sell sell.
I don't have an opinion either way. If people are panic selling, I am inclined to think they need to permanently reevaluate their risk aversion etc. But discussions on staying the course etc would be helpful. People respond better when they understand why something makes sense, rather than just being just encouraged to do it.

I am staying the course. But also, my portfolio has been 100% stock. I have taken large losses, so be it. I am sure some BH would rather I not stay the course and instead change my AA to allocate a portion to bonds.

Stay the course is more complicated than it seems. Discussions help.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman
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Re: Disappointed in forum members

Post by AlphalphaMale »

RJC wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:28 pm "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
Which is stolen from I think Patton:

“No battle plan survives first encounter with the enemy”
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by EnjoyIt »

Unladen_Swallow wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:55 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:38 pm
Unladen_Swallow wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:25 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:06 am
FIREchief wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:51 am

I'm really not sure who you're talking about. Do you know how many members this forum has?
Look at the stocks is falling threading over the last 2 weeks. Look at some of the other threads. Lots of people talking about how this time is different and talking about getting out. Realistically I think these people should take this opportunity to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA (permanently.) This event should be a good lesson to those new to the Bogleheads philosophy. Not everyone will take advantage of this lesson.
I think most people staying the course are just quietly going about their business. The board is full of Coronavirus experts anyway, so it is quite noisy.

If I were to guess, people are rebalancing if they hit their trigger points. Or just watching.
I hope and agree that you are probably right.

The thing is, this forum should help people stay the course and not convince them to sell sell sell.
I don't have an opinion either way. If people are panic selling, I am inclined to think they need to permanently reevaluate their risk aversion etc. But discussions on staying the course etc would be helpful. People respond better when they understand why something makes sense, rather than just being just encouraged to do it.

I am staying the course. But also, my portfolio has been 100% stock. I have taken large losses, so be it. I am sure some BH would rather I not stay the course and instead change my AA to allocate a portion to bonds.

Stay the course is more complicated than it seems. Discussions help.
Agreed, this should be a good opportunity for many new investors to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA accordingly. Personally, I believe AA is a subject too frequently neglected. And, not that you need my approval or anyone else's, but 100% equities is just fine if you know yourself with regards to your need, willingness, and ability to take risk.

I have been 100% equities before, and comfortably lived through the dot com and great recession. Then again, my invested assets back then were 1/30 of what I have now. Today I am 70/30 and 2018 was my first experience of significant net worth decrease. It was no big deal. 2020, no big deal. Maybe I could comfortably tolerate 80/20 or 100/0, but I don't necessarily need to take the additional risk and will stay put at 70/30 as my IPS dictates.

Speaking of which, having an IPS is another subject I believe is frequently neglected. If everyone had a solid IPS and an appropriate AA then there would be a whole lot less hand wringing and talk about "this time being different."
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Unladen_Swallow »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:59 pm
Agreed, this should be a good opportunity for many new investors to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA accordingly. Personally, I believe AA is a subject too frequently neglected. And, not that you need my approval or anyone else's, but 100% equities is just fine if you know yourself with regards to your need, willingness, and ability to take risk.

I have been 100% equities before, and comfortably lived through the dot com and great recession. Then again, my invested assets back then were 1/30 of what I have now. Today I am 70/30 and 2018 was my first experience of significant net worth decrease. It was no big deal. 2020, no big deal. Maybe I could comfortably tolerate 80/20 or 100/0, but I don't necessarily need to take the additional risk and will stay put at 70/30 as my IPS dictates.

Speaking of which, having an IPS is another subject I believe is frequently neglected. If everyone had a solid IPS and an appropriate AA then there would be a whole lot less hand wringing and talk about "this time being different."
I agree. Self awareness is key when it comes to IPS.

I reevaluate my IPS every year. Does it still make sense for my goals and personal financial situation. And I think that is prudent to periodically challenge ones own wisdom.

I am not a fan of the typical way we often view AA, as in percentages of allocation. I prefer having a fixed amount of FI, without heed to the percent. This will be the way I head in the next few yrs.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by careytilden »

FIREchief wrote: Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:27 am Posters (many - not all) with <100 posts: "yikes, the sky is falling, what should I do. Should I sell it all?"
Posters with 100 - 1000 posts: "hmm, I'm getting a bit nervous"
Posters with 1000 - 2000 posts: "what, this again. Yeah I'll take a look and think about it"
Posters with 2000 - 3000 posts: "yeah, I'm not happy but I'll just stay the danged course"
Posters with >3000 posts: "what now? Something happened??"
Hey now. I've only got 200 posts. I ain't scared!
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by inverter »

Staying the course! 100% equities.

Sold my car last weekend and plopped it in the market in two transactions.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Doom&Gloom »

inverter wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:48 pm Staying the course! 100% equities.

Sold my car last weekend and plopped it in the market in two transactions.
Two transactions? Why all the hesitation?

:happy
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by FIREchief »

careytilden wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:38 pm
FIREchief wrote: Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:27 am Posters (many - not all) with <100 posts: "yikes, the sky is falling, what should I do. Should I sell it all?"
Posters with 100 - 1000 posts: "hmm, I'm getting a bit nervous"
Posters with 1000 - 2000 posts: "what, this again. Yeah I'll take a look and think about it"
Posters with 2000 - 3000 posts: "yeah, I'm not happy but I'll just stay the danged course"
Posters with >3000 posts: "what now? Something happened??"
Hey now. I've only got 200 posts. I ain't scared!
Good job!! That's exactly why I qualified it as "many - not all." Some of the newer members of the forum are WAY ahead of the game. :sharebeer

It's our "jobs" to help the others get there.... 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by EnjoyIt »

Unladen_Swallow wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:16 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:59 pm
Agreed, this should be a good opportunity for many new investors to understand their risk tolerance and adjust their AA accordingly. Personally, I believe AA is a subject too frequently neglected. And, not that you need my approval or anyone else's, but 100% equities is just fine if you know yourself with regards to your need, willingness, and ability to take risk.

I have been 100% equities before, and comfortably lived through the dot com and great recession. Then again, my invested assets back then were 1/30 of what I have now. Today I am 70/30 and 2018 was my first experience of significant net worth decrease. It was no big deal. 2020, no big deal. Maybe I could comfortably tolerate 80/20 or 100/0, but I don't necessarily need to take the additional risk and will stay put at 70/30 as my IPS dictates.

Speaking of which, having an IPS is another subject I believe is frequently neglected. If everyone had a solid IPS and an appropriate AA then there would be a whole lot less hand wringing and talk about "this time being different."
I agree. Self awareness is key when it comes to IPS.

I reevaluate my IPS every year. Does it still make sense for my goals and personal financial situation. And I think that is prudent to periodically challenge ones own wisdom.

I am not a fan of the typical way we often view AA, as in percentages of allocation. I prefer having a fixed amount of FI, without heed to the percent. This will be the way I head in the next few yrs.
Funny you say that. I also am not a huge fan of age in bonds or some formula derivative of that. It is a decent starting point, but it never addresses an investors risk profile.

I'm also not a huge fan of holding a large emergency fund since my fixed income portion is the emergency fund. Why else have all that fixed income. With regards to your FI comment. I assume that value should be X years of expenses. That would not work too well for an early investor since that would likely put them in a too conservative AA. It may be too aggressive for a late investor as they are nearing retirement or in retirement and less able to tolerate a poor sequence of returns. But those middle of the road, it may not be a bad plan as it should provide safety for X years if things go poorly.

I have adjusted my IPS over the years as well. Any changes usually take 6+ months of contemplation as per my IPS before pulling the trigger. For example, based on my old IPS I should have been at 60/40 when I semi retired, but I decided that I have a very safe part time employment and therefor can tolerate a bit more risk staying at 70/30. Next, I have experienced a few downturns and learned about myself that I am very comfortable at 70/30 indicating I can tolerate more risk and therefor am willing to take on that additional risk. Lastly, considering our recent increase in spending, I need to take that additional risk since I would prefer the slight boost in expected returns.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Poorman »

I'm staying on course. In fact bought 27.5k VTSAX few days ago and buying another 50k in the next week or two.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

I am still buying......
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Bluce »

FWIW: I don't have an IPS. I know what to do, I don't have to write it down.

And I've never made out a budget in my entire life. I also know how much to spend or not spend, and I know what is essential and what isn't.

Having said that, I could retire tomorrow and live as I am now with just interest and divvies from my portfolio. My goal to be the richest guy in the graveyard is going as planned. But: "The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray."

The US government could go on a printing spree and destroy the dollar (But . . . but it can't happen here!) then default on its debt or we could have a global nuclear war. But if either of those happened, we'll all toast.
"There are no new ideas, only forgotten ones." -- Amity Shlaes
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by watchnerd »

Presintense wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:42 am Visibly, I think you see a lot of the same members who were touting 100% equities, market timing, etc. becoming more vocal. In short, I think they never really did buy into a “boglehead” philosophy. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their insights. They just seem to be more mainstream than I was used to seeing here in the past.
Compared to 10+ years ago, I see a lot more posters now who are trying fancy things to beat the market.

As opposed to accepting that the market is hard to beat, and the best thing to do is to capture it diversely, cheaply, and efficiently.
70% Global Market Weight Equities | 15% Long Treasuries 15% short TIPS & cash || RSU + ESPP
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My simple asset-allocation plan.

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

I have been through eight bear markets and many more corrections. For what it is worth, this is my asset-allocation plan:

1. The money I cannot afford to lose is in bonds and cash. This lets me sleep like a baby. I suggest Vanguard Total Bond Market index Fund.

2. The rest is in stocks. I suggest Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund and Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund in an 80%/20% ratio.

The Three-Fund Portfolio

Best wishes
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Asset Allocation is critically important."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by gmaynardkrebs »

inverter wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:48 pm Staying the course! 100% equities.

Sold my car last weekend and plopped it in the market in two transactions.
I just sold my tires. Battery is next. :D
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Toons »

I am a forum member
I have been staying the course since
1981
Nothings changed
Except my net worth
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
"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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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Young Boglehead »

It's really easy to stay the course since I just started investing, don't have all too much money in, and have more education ahead before I even start my career. It actually seems like the perfect learning experience and buying opportunity, if the market stays down.

I can see why it might be tougher if recency bias prevented older folks from realizing they had an asset allocation that was too aggressive, though!
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by watchnerd »

Young Boglehead wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:15 pm It's really easy to stay the course since I just started investing, don't have all too much money in, and have more education ahead before I even start my career. It actually seems like the perfect learning experience and buying opportunity, if the market stays down.

I can see why it might be tougher if recency bias prevented older folks from realizing they had an asset allocation that was too aggressive, though!
I think there is a progression that goes:

Level 1 -- The easy bear. Too new, net worth too low to feel pain

Level 2 -- My first painful bear market. The worst one, like the first time you broke up a romantic relationship. Why is this happening, why me?

Level 3 -- My second painful bear market. Not as scary, you've been here before, but you're richer, so the financial bite is bigger -- years of savings.

Level 4 -- My third+ painful bear. You're jaded and scarred, but tougher, with an AA that works for you. Less time to make up for bad returns, though.

Level 5 -- Twilight year bears. It's all about that estate left behind as you know you will die before you go broke. You're relaxed.
70% Global Market Weight Equities | 15% Long Treasuries 15% short TIPS & cash || RSU + ESPP
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Unladen_Swallow »

Bluce wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:03 pm FWIW: I don't have an IPS. I know what to do, I don't have to write it down.
My IPS is not written down. It is simpler than trying to remember my wedding anniversary.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I have neither bought nor sold since mid-January because I did an early investment (into bond funds) of my February, March, and April scheduled contributions as part of my annual January portfolio rebalancing. I'm sitting on the sidelines until May when the next scheduled contribution will happen. Even after all the market movements of the last two weeks, my actual AA is not far from its 60/40 target.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Rowan Oak »

Staying the course.
Buy and hold and rebalance.
The Three-Fund Portfolio
It can be that simple.
“If you can get good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.” – Charlie Munger
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by CoastalWinds »

CyclingDuo wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:57 pm
Bluce wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:21 am
CyclingDuo wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:17 am
Bluce wrote: Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:47 pm Image

I don't understand this chart. Just taking the simple 50/50 AA in a $1M portfolio:

We have $500k in stocks, $500k in bonds.

Stocks crash by 50%. The $500k stock allocation drops to $250k.

Adding that to the $500k bond portion = $750k, not $800k as shown. Portfolio loss was 25%, not 20% as shown . . . no?
The chart is based on Larry Swedroe's chart of the bear market decline of the 1970's (link below see #'s 5 and 6 for Larry's articles and his chart) and what bonds did during that -50% decline. I simply added some dollar amounts based on two examples: a $1M portfolio and a $2M portfolio.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asset_a ... te_note-12

CyclingDuo
Ok, but nowhere does the chart mention anything about bonds, other than being a percentage of AA. That's why I assumed they were only calculating stock prices and that bonds were flat.

So my math was correct. :shock:
If you search the posts of Larry Swedroe here at the BH forums or if you have read his books - his table and discussion about it including the bond component is all laid out fairly well. Sorry for any confusion. I figured everyone has been involved in some of Larry's threads from time to time here at BH and has come across his AA discussions.

The particular bear market model used in his example was the 48.x% drop bear market in 1973-74 and the bond returns for those two years. Why was that bear market used for his table? It was used as a model for his table because that particular bear market was significant as it changed how portfolio managers and managers viewed their performance against benchmarks. Before that bear market, even though everybody had bonds in their portfolio, managers were comparing those portfolios against the Dow Jones Average as their benchmark. (Odd, but that's what they did at the time).

It was also a significant turning point and model to use because using an index fund as the benchmark going forward became the norm. And guess who came along with an index fund right after that in 1975 once Vanguard was founded? :beer

Speaking of Larry's books - don't take this as shilling his books, but I do highly recommend the one he co-wrote with Kevin Grogan entitled Your Complete Guide to Successful and Secure Retirement available here:
(https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-S ... 0857197320).

I'm not reinventing any wheel, just adding dollar amounts and portfolio examples of $1M, $2M, (and $3M for the 3rd example below) because dollar amounts seem to strike a chord a bit better than Larry's basic table. Somebody in another thread or two had brought it up that Larry's table didn't have as much impact, so I made my own tables to add the dollar amounts to see if that would help.

Larry's basic table...

Image

My table after putzing around with the numbers using Larry's percentages and what a -50% decline could do to your portfolio based on AA, and how much of a gain to make it back would be required in percentage terms as well as dollar amounts...

Image

An earlier attempt at the same table above, but only focusing on the loss portion during the decline...

Image

Not every bear is a -50% decline. If we have one this year or coming up, we are in totally uncharted territory with the current bond market/low coupon rates compared to previous bear markets which will indeed be different this time.

CyclingDuo
Thank you for this post.
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Noobvestor »

Bluce wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:03 pm FWIW: I don't have an IPS. I know what to do, I don't have to write it down.

And I've never made out a budget in my entire life. I also know how much to spend or not spend, and I know what is essential and what isn't.
I think that's probably fine for some people. For me, well, I'm forgetful, and I have an IPS that not only sets parameters for my investing but also reminds me of the reasoning behind various choices I made in some case a decade ago based on research I did at the time. I see an IPS partly as a tool for guiding allocations but also as a useful, all-in-one place to keep track of the 'why' and not just the 'what' /2 cents
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by steve roy »

There's the old Mike Tyson quote, applicable here:
"When they climb into the ring, every boxer has a plan.

And then they get hit."
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by Noobvestor »

steve roy wrote: Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:02 am There's the old Mike Tyson quote, applicable here:
"When they climb into the ring, every boxer has a plan.

And then they get hit."
Yeah, I see variations on that tossed around the forum a lot, and I'm honestly over it. Cute sayings oversimplify reality.

His plan may go out the window when hit, but his training doesn't. Being prepared is more than just a strategy you write down - it's the reasoning used to develop that strategy, and training yourself to stay the course and internalizing that you're going to take some punches along the way.
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe
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Re: Disappointed in forum members

Post by politely »

RJC wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:28 pm "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
I love this quote, because it has universal application. Here's an explanation from Tyson from an interview with the SunSentinel:

"People were asking me [before a fight], 'What’s going to happen?,' " Tyson said. "They were talking about his style. 'He's going to give you a lot of lateral movement. He's going to move, he's going to dance. He's going to do this, do that.' I said, "Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.' "

What I like so much about the quote is that its application stretches far beyond boxing. It really has meaning in any area of life, whether the blow comes from a health issue, losing your job, making a bad investment, a traffic jam, whatever.

It's how you react to that adversity that defines you, not the adversity itself.

"Exactly," Tyson agreed. "If you’re good and your plan is working, somewhere during the duration of that, the outcome of that event you're involved in, you're going to get the wrath, the bad end of the stick. Let's see how you deal with it. Normally people don’t deal with it that well."

He laughed. There's another way to spin his famous quote:

"How much can you endure, buddy?" he said. "Most talkers, they can’t handle it."
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Re: My simple asset-allocation plan.

Post by abuss368 »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:55 pm Bogleheads:

I have been through eight bear markets and many more corrections. For what it is worth, this is my asset-allocation plan:

1. The money I cannot afford to lose is in bonds and cash. This lets me sleep like a baby. I suggest Vanguard Total Bond Market index Fund.

2. The rest is in stocks. I suggest Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund and Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund in an 80%/20% ratio.

The Three-Fund Portfolio

Best wishes
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Asset Allocation is critically important."
Thanks Taylor! A simple but very effective strategy.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: [Why aren't forum members following the "Stay the course" approach?]

Post by abuss368 »

Staying the course here with the Two Fund Portfolio of Total Stock and Total Bond.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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